Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Lydia Richter – Kindness is the Key to Understanding Others.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Hamburg, Germany. I´m an actress, art director, script writer, filmmaker and host of a vegan cooking show. Instagram: @lydia_shares  

What lead you to veganism? How long ago?

• Health issues (ulcerative colitis, diagnosis with 22 years, bowel problems)

• Bad conditions in the livestock farming and food Industry

• Animal friend and I want to make the world a better place

• Started in 2013 with a vegan life style

When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?

Food step by step, Frist vegetarian, then vegan about 80 %, then completely  vegan. I stopped buying leather items and clothes, I buy less and I try to buy from vegan  and sustainable brands

Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism? For example, how strict are you with your children’s veganism at school or at family gatherings?

I have no children (yet) but I accept it when my friends or my family eat meat, I don´t  make anybody wrong. I just want to be a good example. I cook vegan for my friends, they love it and I have a vegan cooking show. My mom cooked for me and my sister an  entire vegan Christmas meal. She’s not (yet) vegan, but I was  overwhelmed by so much compassion and love. 

Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?

Yes! 

What does being vegan mean to you? For example, does it extend to not killing bugs and bees? Does it include not patronizing vegan companies owned by non-vegan parent companies? Does it affect the way you treat other humans?

I think it depends how far you are willing to make your research. For me it’s step by  step. Don`t try to drive yourself crazy with researching. I think it’s a process, with time you  are becoming a more and more authentic vegan. I try to take care also of insects and I  still try to make a positive Impact with love. I think kindness and understanding other  people is the key to peace.

Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist? 

No, I’m too sensitive, I want to make a change with love, peace and kindness, but  everybody is different

How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans? 

I am compassionate, because I ate also meat in the past. Everybody is on their own  journey.

Any recommended Vegan books?

• Germany: Vegan für alle: Warum wir richtig leben sollten Jan Bredack (changed my  life)

Vegan for Fit – Attila Hildmann

• Oberlecker: Vegane Powerküche – Alexander Flor

• Vegan backen: Mit Liebe, aber ohne Ei – Nicole Just

Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?

YouTube/Insta: Vegan ist ungesund

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share? 

Keimling Kochshow YouTube (with me 😉

Game Changers

Cowspiracy

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Soul Vegan Coffebar (Hamburg, Germany)

Café Gratitude (Los Angeles)

Please share your favorite vegan recipe? 

Vegan Bolognese, for 3 to 4 people. Difficulty: easy-medium

What you need:

  • 500g any pasta without eggs

Sauce:

Preparation time: 15-20 min. Attention! Sauce should cook for about 2-3 hours (you can make it in the evening for the next day or in the morning)

  • 4 large canned tomatoes (or 7 small canned tomatoes)
  • 1-2 large onions
  • 5-6 dried bay leaves
  • 7-8 allspice seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 packs of tofu (there is also vegan chopped, can also be used)
  • at best a sip of red wine to sip,
  • (may also like to be drunk)
  • fresh basil (option) as a highlight for taste and decoration

Here we go:

  1. Peel the onions, cut them into small pieces and fry them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  2. When well fried (golden-yellow), deglaze with a dash of red wine and wait until the alcohol has evaporated. And drink a lot of red wine in between;)
  3. Add canned tomatoes, bring to the boil briefly and then simmer on a low heat for 2-3 hours (the longer, the better, then the acid from the tomatoes can be reduced), add allspice and bay leaves, salt as desired
  4. Cut the tofu into small cubes and brown it golden-yellow with a little oil. Salt the tofu well and then crush it with a fork in the pan so that it becomes crumbly
  5. After about 2-3 hours, remove the allspice and loorbee leaves (fish out with a spoon) and mix the tomatoes with a hand blender so that there are no more pieces left, if necessary remove the remaining acid from the sauce with agave syrup approx Add 1-2 tablespoons
  6. Don’t forget to cook the pasta, the cooking length depends on the type of pasta (see package)
  7. Put the fried tofu in the sauce, done!

Have fun and Bon Appetit !!!

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Go step by step. Start with vegetarian and cut out piece by piece. Be creative with your food and choices, start to love cooking and have fun. 

What is the vegan scene like in your city? 

Hamburg is a big town and step by step we have more and more vegan restaurants and  cafes. Supermarkets have great vegan choices. I have a great vegan Hair stylist. 

What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?

First of all, trust the universe. You will attract other vegans when you become vegan  automatically. Share on social media your vegan cooking and people will come to you. 

What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?

Sure, I’m for a peaceful communication and behaviour anyway.

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies? 

I have a new vegan bag, which I love from Pinq Ponq.

Fully plastic recycling, a German Brand from Cologne. 

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

Really cool fancy clothes sometimes 😉

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

Sure, between 2017-2018. This was a stressful time in my life and I was in surviving mode. I struggled to be fully committed to veganism. Not because I didn’t believe in it, but I was not my best me at this time. I was vegan with about 85-90 % so that’s ok I think. Nobody’s perfect.  

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