Tell us a little about yourself.
We are Kim & Ryan – two individuals who run a gourmet vegan recipe blog by the name of No Eggs or Ham. We met about four years ago in our hometown of Tampa, FL, and have been sharing our love for traveling, food, and each other ever since. Although we’re nomads by nature, we currently live, work, and eat at every food spot possible in Los Angeles, California. Ryan plays drums in the alternative band Gold Souls alongside his brother Andre, whereas Kim has a love for creating visual arts through mediums such as photography and food styling.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
While we arrived at veganism at different periods in our lives – November 2014 for Ryan and mid-2016 for Kim – awareness is ultimately what led us there. Awareness of animal well-being, personal health, and environmental impact. We think that feelings towards health and conditions for farm animals differ from person to person, but almost everyone can connect on one undeniable and urgent cause: the state of our environment.
To put it plainly, if advanced civilizations, such as America, don’t put two steps towards reversing humans’ consistent damage to Earth’s water, air, and land, then we’re not going to have a place to live in a couple hundred years. The biggest thing each and every one of us can do to have a lighter footprint is simply by reducing our intake of animal products. At the end of the day, that’s the most convincing reason for us to be vegan.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
We slowly phased out animal products over a course of about two years prior to becoming vegan; that way we wouldn’t revert to old habits, which often happens by cutting everything out all at once.
As far as phasing out your favorite foods and clothing, it’s helpful to find alternatives that keep you content. Sure, vegan hot dogs and Oreos may not be the healthiest things for you, but they’re an important step in a long transition to come. Don’t worry, you’ll find a cooler faux leather jacket eventually!
Our advice: take it sslllooowwwww.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
For one, we don’t have any children, but when it comes to living in a major city in the United States, we don’t feel there’s any valid excuse not to practice veganism every day – you can make it as cheap and easy as any other diet. However, when it comes to traveling, it can be impossible to eat vegan without embarking on an unintentional fast. And we don’t know about you, but we don’t want to be level 10 hangry when we’re in a place like Japan.
All that to say in some countries, we make exceptions. In a situation where we’re offered a dish that’s important to that culture, we wouldn’t say no, due to respect of their time, love, and effort to nourish us. On another note, when we were staying in a small suburb outside of Osaka, Japan, we couldn’t find a vegan meal ANYWHERE. Eventually, we settled for scrambled eggs on top of ketchup fried rice from a restaurant nearby.
Whether it be to better understand someone’s culture or to simply find something edible, we allow ourselves some personal leeway.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
We believe it’s important to teach children the process of how animals are turned into meat, but we also feel there are better ways of educating them other than showing them a documentary or vividly cruel video, such as explaining the process in a manner that isn’t explicitly horrific.
When they reach an age where they’re able to understand death as more than just sheer horror, they should be shown how animals are slaughtered and processed. That simply ties into our belief that no information should be withheld from children; kids are actually quite empathetic with animals and may be quicker than adults to change their lifestyle for the benefit of others.
What does being vegan mean to you?
To us, being vegan means doing everything in the forefront of our minds to avoid using animal products. We say forefront to specify that we can’t prevent ourselves from stepping on ants, killing a potentially dangerous bug in the house, or eating the accidental caterpillar hiding in broccoli!
To complicate matters, plants are also highly intelligent, living, breathing, and feeling organisms. They think – in their own ways – and adapt to the environments around them, and we’d be lying if we said we haven’t felt guilty about eating berries a couple times in our lives. Simply put, eating is a violent act, and that includes eating plants. The only way we can rationalize this is to understand that we can only extend our empathy so far; we can relate to what it’s like for a fish to suffocate, but not to what it’s like for a strawberry to be removed from its vine.
In general, we think it’s important to remain humble and never be self-righteous about being vegan.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Hahaha – no.
To elaborate a ‘lil bit, everyone arrives at veganism – or not – at their own pace. Forcing veganism on others will only make them annoyed and push them further away. By simply being vegan, you’ll have a positive impact on your family, friends, and maybe even your Instagram followers; we can’t tell you how many of our friends willingly eat vegan when they’re around us and end up loving it!
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
We’ve all not been vegan at some point (with the exception of some people). Remember what it feels like to know nothing about the downsides of the dairy industry or meat’s environmental degradation and that’s what it’s like to be your homie eating a burger right now – he’s not intentionally doing anything wrong. To that effect, he may be doing something more conscious than you that you could be overlooking, so we’ll refer back to what we said earlier: remain humble.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Miyoko Schinner, a bad-ass chef, has a cookbook called The Vegan Homemade Pantry and it’s full of essential vegan recipes such as mayo, fish sauce, cheeses, and a plethora of vegan meats! For the more simple cooks out there, Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker has a cookbook of 1-pot, 30-minute, and 10-step recipes called Everyday Cooking. If you love to cook and want to dip your fingers into vegan cuisine, these are our go-to staples.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
For a mind-altering look at animal agriculture’s massive effect on Earth’s environment, check out Cowspiracy. It also sheds light on the industry’s filthy connections with corrupt governments and non-profit organizations.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Do we have to choose just one? How bout one per area?!
1. Pasadena, CA – Sage Vegan Bistro, upscale American eatery.
2. Hollywood, CA – Doomie’s Home Cookin’, indulgent late-night junk food.
3. Austin, TX – Arlo’s Food Truck, best burgers in the South.
4. San Diego, CA – Plant Power Fast Food, vegan. fast. Food.
5. Orange County, CA – Thien Dang Vegetarian, cheap & authentic Vietnamese deli.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
It’s not wrong to share our own recipe, is it? Because we’re in lloovvveee with our Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls topped with Pineapple Glaze. They’re soft, sweet, and fluffy cinnamon roll perfection. We daresay the best cinnamon rolls we’ve ever had!
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You’re doing great, keep it up! Don’t feel bad about taking a bite of your friend’s mac ’n’ cheese; if you slip up once a week, you’re still making hella progress. It’s all about that forward momentum, so no matter what, don’t guilt yourself!
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
Best in the states! Shout out to Los Angeles for always bringing its A game when it comes to accommodating vegans.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Well, I guess we don’t find it too crucial to meet other vegans. It may be hard on you if you’re the only one in your social circle switching up your lifestyle, but your actions will make a bigger impact on your friends than hanging out with a bunch of vegans will.
That being said, we all still need a few vegan friends, so hang out at a vegan restaurant or food festival for a day!
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Living cruelty-free doesn’t just mean buying Kat Von D makeup and wearing faux suede shoes, it means digging deeper into what you’re putting onto your body along with what you’re putting into it. Be aware that there’s more to a cruelty-free lifestyle than simply eating vegan, such as understanding that certain foods have unforeseen downsides. To give a couple examples, palm oil – depending on its source – ends up killing many orangutans by devastating their habitat. On the other hand, chocolate made in West Africa is usually farmed using child and slave labor, meaning workers aren’t paid or kept in healthy conditions.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know everything that has a subsidiary side effect, but living cruelty-free means adjusting your lifestyle – even when it’s inconvenient – to protect other beings.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Kat Von D for killer makeup. For comfy Vans-style shoes, Keep Company comes in clutch. Otherwise, we shop at relatively normal retailers and keep an eye on labels.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Because we’re always trying to elevate our food game, a good vegan pork belly, white fish, or steak would create hundreds of new possibilities.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Aside from traveling to places with little-to-no vegan options, we’ve struggled at the beginning of our journeys when it came to disciplining ourselves from eating our favorite delicacies- “it’s only once” is a very tempting thought.