“…they are more than just meat puppets, they’re real. They feel. Have an interest in their life, in the world. They have as much right to life as I do. A life of their own choosing, not the one we choose for them.”
This time I am interviewing my husband! Liam has featured here as a guest recipe contributor, and he is a huge influence in all my own recipes of course- as my chief tester! I realised that my Vegan People series was predominately, well only women so far, so who better to represent men for the first time but the other half of The Balanced Vegan (Liam is responsible for all the IT stuff I can’t manage ). We met 26 years or so ago and have been married for almost 19 years. I was vegetarian when we met but Liam was not. It wasn’t until I became vegan myself that I really had much influence on Liam and he transitioned to veganism soon after I did. We both love cooking so our house is pretty well stocked all of the time and we can both bang out some awesome, wholesome and delicious food. Liam is a Dad to our teenage daughter, also vegan, and two rescue cats!
How long have you been vegan? Did you transition slowly or fairly quickly?
I’ve been vegan 3 and half years and yes, once the decision was made it was very quickly.
Can you tell us what the biggest contributing factor was in your decision to go vegan?
The socio-economic vegan argument was what first compelled me but it became something else later.
What’s your current favourite vegan dish?
I really like your raw vegan chilli.
Best Vegan Cafe or Restaurant where you live?
Best Vegan eatery you’ve ever been to?
The Black Cat Cafe in Hackney, London. I’ve been there twice, for breakfast and for a special event evening meal. Both were outstanding. We still remember the soy latte, our daughter loves the chocolate milkshakes and the Portuguese night was hands down one of the best meals our family has had anywhere. April is a gluten-free vegan and still enjoyed great food. They are absolutely worth visiting.
Are you on a tight food budget? Is veganism affordable for you personally?
Food would probably be one of my main expenses and I am generally able to buy what I need, so I have not noticed any difference really. If anything, possibly we spend less.
What do you tend to eat as staples on a daily basis and why?
Sweet Potato, quinoa, beans, berries, other fruits, greens, nuts, seeds and tofu. It varies but I roughly follow the daily dozen from Dr Greger and more from each. We are quite balanced and eat seasonally using a local delivery box for produce.
What is your favourite post-exercise food?
Oats with lots of berries and your date syrup. Oh, and a strong coffee.
Have those around you generally been supportive of your veganism? Have you managed to influence anyone?
I am not sure I have turned anyone vegan, but I have encouraged people I work wth to make different choices. I haven’t had anyone around me be negative about it either, and my family are vegan of course.
Is it difficult to find vegan products, fashion, beauty etc ?
I am very lucky, my wife buys all the house products and sources vegan things we need. At cafes and places at work, there are a lot more vegan options now. It’s all the rage.
What is your favourite vegan wardrobe item?
My trouser belt from Wills Shoes.
Whats your best Vegan Hack?
Nutritional Yeast, or Savoury Yeast Flakes. It adds incredible flavour to almost anything.
You have some companion animals. What do you think they have taught you about animals and their place in our world?
That they are more than just meat puppets, they’re real. They feel, have an interest in their life, in the world. They have as much right to life as I do. A life of their own choosing, not the one we choose for them.
Do you see a vegan world in the future?
I see a predominately vegan world as the only future possible. Which is my main reason for starting in the first place. So we may be forced into it, some of us anyway.
Finally, can you sum up why you don’t think we should use animals?
Because I think they have a right to their own life, and bodily autonomy. If human beings, in theory at least, have those rights, I see no good reason for animals to be deprived of the same. If it is within our power to easily grant them those same basic rights to life and ownership of it, then we should. For me, it definitely is easily granted. It is the least I can do.