Being Vegan, Vegan Being – Manar EL Mugammar – What Do Vegans Look Like?

I live in the beaches neighborhood in Toronto, Canada. I own and operate Candid Consulting a marketing & public relations consulting firm. I turned 30 this year, and I am absolutely loving it! I live with my dog, Audrey- AKA OddBall-AKA Chubsteroni, and my hubby, Hugh. I love to cook, entertain at home, travel, and work!

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

I think I always “struggled” with vegetarianism/veganism. Since I was a child I knew that meat wasn’t for me; I started eating more fruits and veggies and less meat whenever I had the option. I went vegetarian in high school, then vegan, then vegetarian again and fell off the wagon completely a few times. I realized I wanted to commit to veganism as my forever diet & lifestyle choice after researching the animal agriculture industry. Seeing the conditions we force our animal friends into was a very big eye-opener for me. I made the decision and never looked back since!

Why is being Vegan important to you?

Being vegan is important to me because it helps me hold onto my humanity and reconcile the way I eat with the way I feel about the world as a whole and all the beings in it. I think a vegan diet is really the key to a sustainable future. I am vegan for the environment, for the animals, and for my health.

Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?

Lately, I have been really into Minimalist Baker, I find myself missing dessert once in awhile, and I like not having to purchase a lot of specialist ingredients. I can make lots of recipes with what I have in my pantry.

Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?

@nomyourself on Instagram. if you’re into food porn this is where you want to be!

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

My favorite “vegan” documentaries are Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, and Vegucated. I think accessibility to vegan information is a must for spreading vegan awareness!

Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.

Depends on how you define “actively” promote. I promote vegan recipes to my friends and family and often share vegan content on my Instagram account (@manarthestar)… I think the best promotion is providing support and non-judgement to people considering a vegan lifestyle. For example, I have a friend who calls herself vegan although she eats fish. How I wanted to respond to that initially was to say something along the lines of “that’s not really vegan!” or “do you know what fishing is doing to our oceans?” – but instead, I decided to provide her with some alternatives to fish, recipes, supplements, general support so she can easily make the transition and eliminate fish out of her diet.

Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?

I used to miss cheese and eggs, but not anymore. I am really into fermented nut cheeses and tofu scramble!

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

What is your favorite Vegan stereotype?

That we’re all a bunch of “dirty hippies”. It’s amazing how many times I hear the phrase “you don’t look like a vegan” I always ask “what do vegans look like?”

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Live Organic Food Bar. Their food is so delicious! They have loads of raw and sugar-free options and some of their raw desserts are to die for.

What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.

I really like power balls… It’s very simple, delicious, nutritious, and calorie dense.
1 ½ cups of raw cashews, soaked and drained
¼ cup of raw cacao powder
½ cup pitted dates
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
1tbsp cashew milk or coconut cream
¼ cup shredded coconut

Blend all ingredients in a food processer until smooth dough forms, shape into balls and roll in shredded coconut. I like to keep them in the freezer because they hold their form better and taste so yummy when they’re cold!

What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?

That we are preachy and judgemental. It just isn’t true!

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

It gets easier! Start by “veganizing” recipes you already know and love and then tackle some newer and more complex recipes. Find a vegan food swap in your area!

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

I love Nude Eyeshadow by Essence. I think it is important to note that not all vegan cosmetics will cost you an arm and a leg. A lot of affordable products are actually vegan!

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need? Toothpaste, Deo, glue, etc..

Deodorant! You can easily find vegan options but the balance between finding something effective, vegan, and pleasantly scented is near impossible!

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

I often struggle with veganism while traveling. Especially when visiting with people from different parts of the world, and having to balance not offending anyone with maintaining a vegan diet. What makes it even worse is the lack of vegan options on flights! Longer flights require loads of prep ahead of time and I have to pack plenty of protein bars and snacks.

What is your favorite “vegan” moment?

Mine was taking my partner (a part-time vegan, and now full-time vegetarian) to a vegan restaurant that we both loved. I think seeing people enjoy vegan food and realize that a vegan diet is possible, attainable, and enjoyable makes me very happy!

Catch this Vegan Being online here:

Twitter: @ManarPR
Instagram: @manarthestar

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