My name is Lora, I am from a tiny town in the south of England and I now live in beautiful Los Angeles, I work as a model but also in animal rescue. I went vegetarian at the age of 14 because of a PETA video narrated by John Feldman who I still credit for all of this. I run an Instagram with my best friend Jessica Davis @two_vegan_girls which promotes all aspects of a vegan lifestyle.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I was vegetarian for many years before I went vegan, it was something I always wanted to do but I never took that step. I was sick a lot. I always had throat infections, I also had terrible crippling stomach pains when I ate. I went to the Dr’s over and over and they would just brush it off, finally someone told me to cut out gluten and I decided, instead, I would cut out dairy. I did that for a week and all my stomach pains stopped. After that week I tried to eat cheese, not only did it repulse me, it also, of course, made me sick and I never ate dairy again. Dairy is scary to me for so many reasons now. It is strange I went vegetarian for animals but it took my own health to push me to become vegan, I was strangely ignorant to the dairy industry back then, which is why it is so important to me to educate people about it now.
How long have you been Vegan?
I have been vegan for seven years, and I learn more about the lifestyle every day.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Whenever people ask what I think the best thing about myself is, I say that I am vegan. It is such a huge part of what makes me, me. I grew up apologizing for being the ‘annoying eater’, I hated going to eat at people’s houses because they would feel so flustered having to find something I could eat and I would always have to apologize, but now, especially after getting into activism, I don’t feel that. I actually feel the opposite. I am so proud to have compassion for animals, to understand my body and to be educated and brave enough to educate other people in the right way. I cannot wait to bring my children up as strong unapologetic vegans.
Any recommended Vegan books?
I love the Thug Life cookbook, I think I have given it as a gift at least 10 times now, including to myself. A great friend of mine just turned vegan, he loves to cook and has stocked up on wonderful vegan cook books and I am loving it.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
While on the subject of recipes, I recommend the Forks Over Knives app, it’s so easy to use and they have amazing recipes and a shopping list so you can add the items from the recipe you want to cook! It’s great! I’m sure you all already are but please follow @LAanimalsave they are such an amazing group! And @two_vegan_girls. Oh also Jane Valez Mitchell on Facebook – Jane Unchained – is amazing she will keep you up to date on all vegan related news! @jamesaspey watching his talks really helped me with answering all the questions about veganism intelligently and calmly.
Do you have a favorite movie or video or your own media that you want to share?
If you are reading this as a meat eater or vegetarian wanting to go vegan, please watch the following – Erin Janus ‘Dairy is Scary’ (that 5 minutes will change your life!).
Earthlings is so moving and has turned so many people vegan, and a lot of my friends, and also What The Health, for those people who won’t make the connection through animal cruelty, please watch this movie and understand what animal products are doing to your body.
Do you actively promote veganism? How?
I attend the Los Angeles Animal Save, an amazing group that will actually put your faith back in humanity. Amy Davis the organizer of the LA group started with vigils at Farmer John’s in Vernon giving water to the pigs as they pull in to the slaughterhouse, she has grown the group to chicken and cow vigils now too. I also work a lot with PETA, which I love to do, they stage amazing, effective demonstrations and I am so honored to be a part of that. I also try and promote a healthy lifestyle for myself, I work out a lot and get all my protein without even trying. Haha. I try and talk to people intelligently about why I am vegan and how much I love to be vegan and people do listen and take something away, even if it’s that they just cut out eggs or just start buying cruelty free products. That is something they wouldn’t have done if you didn’t have the conversation with them.
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?
That we are preachy, you can’t reason with us, that we push our opinions on people. When people feel guilt or feel threatened by their lifestyle choices, rather than listening to the point, they lash out and attack you. I understand that, but, at the same time, it is strange to me that vegans are considered ‘extreme’ because we don’t believe animals should be tortured and murdered.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Living in LA, it’s Crossroads, it’s so awesome to have a restaurant like Crossroads to be able to take all kinds of people to, to get dressed up nice and eat a totally plant-based meal. Everyone that comes to visit I make sure to take to Crossroads. I also love Doomies 😂 when I’m feeling bad!
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I need to get my Mum to write out her recipe for her vegan chocolate bread and butter pudding, it’s so good! Stay tuned…
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
I highly recommend you attend an Animal Save vigil in your town, there are Save groups all over the world. Not only are you showing compassion to the poor animals headed to slaughter, you will also meet some of the best people in your area. I feel so lucky to be in LA and surrounded by so many vegan activists. It really makes what you are trying to do so much easier knowing so many others are fighting for the same thing. Keep fighting the good fight and message me on Instagram if you need any tips!
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
How can anyone feel beautiful when they are wearing a product that either contains or was tested on an animal. There is nothing beautiful about that. Even recently I learnt that some toothpaste contains products made from pigs. It is often easy to misunderstand product labels – ‘cruelty free’ doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain animal products, it actually just means that it wasn’t tested on them! I even used to make that mistake, so when you are buying products please make sure to look for the cruelty free and also the vegan logo or read the ingredients. Some shampoos contain eggshells, honey, keratin, which can be derived from hooves, animal hair, horns, scales and other animal parts.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I love Kat Von D’s lip stains. I also use Liz Earle, which is an English Company, on my skin and it’s amazing! Please try the hot cloth cleanser. I use Vega Sport protein after I work out. I also love Matt and Nat! Too many great brands to list! This is why Jessica and I set up our page Two Vegan Girls because there are so many amazing vegan make up brands, fashion, cosmetics, everything you ever need you can find cruelty free and vegan.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Compassion? I wish more people had it.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I have honestly never struggled with being vegan, I used to dance and I toured around Europe a lot and even just a few years ago my only options were eating chickpeas and ketchup sandwiches, but that was nothing to do with me struggling with veganism, more struggling with society. What is great, now, is so many musicians and celebrities are becoming and speaking up about veganism that people are forced to expand their options and understand what ‘vegan’ even means. There were so many years when I travelled and my phone had google translate screenshots of ‘no meat, no fish, no dairy, no eggs’ in every European language.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.
Maybe it would be ‘why are you vegan?’
There are many different ways of being an ‘activist’ and I think, as a human being who has made the connection of becoming vegan, that it is also important in whichever way you choose, to keep spreading that message and helping people understand what is happening in the meat and dairy industry. So if you are vegan for the animals, tell people what happens to these beings. If it’s for health, then show the facts of what animal products do to your body. Please don’t be a silent vegan. My friend once explained that being vegan is someone seeing that something is wrong and not taking part in it, but being ‘active’ is seeing that it is wrong, not taking part in it and also trying to stop it.