I thought I’d have a bit of fun with my latest article, and ask ten tree-hugging, cardigan-wearing, rabbit-food munching, vegan-weirdo extremists a few questions about how they were brainwashed, why they decided to join a cult, and what it’s like to live as a protein-deficient anaemic…
I trekked into the forest, listened out for wind-chimes, and found the skinny, plant-based herd, huddled in tie-dye apparel, singing with their eyes closed, sitting around a communal campfire. The long-haired, weed-smoking hippies were barbequing stuffed peppers and tofu burgers, whilst drinking homemade elderflower juice, infused with pine-cone coulis, through straws made from dandelion stalks.
I approached the first plant-chewer with caution, and then asked each of them the same five questions, to hopefully get an insight into their frail, confused minds…
- Why did you become a vegan-weirdo extremist?
- But what about cheeeese? How do you live without cheeeeeese?
- What’s your favourite meal? Leaves?
- What if you were in a rush, and needed a quick 5 minute dinner?
- What’s the one thing you’d recommend someone watch, if they wanted to understand why you’ve ‘willingly chosen’ to become a plant-eater?!
… only, turns out they weren’t the vegans after all. How can I have got it so wrong? So I left the forest, and headed to the city, then to a fire station, a body-building gym, and a theatre. FFS. That ruined the beginning of my story…
- With a little nudge in the right direction, I made the connection and didn’t want to participate in an industry that exploits and causes suffering – because I give a shit. That sums it up – I went vegan because I give a shit.
- Don’t get me wrong, I liked cheese, not all cheese, some of it was quite smelly, but there are very good alternatives out there. I wish there was another name for this.. but errr… nut cheese. Nut cheese is very good. I now regularly buy nut cheese and I’m not ashamed to say it. In fact, I tell people all the time. I love nut cheese. I also don’t know why people feel the need to put cheese all over everything, it’s excessive to put cheese everywhere, especially when you consider what it is and what it’s made of…
- Chili. A nice vegan chili is my favourite. When you think about everything you put in chili, all the flavours you put in never came from the meat, it’s everything else. I’ll make a large chili on a Sunday and that will do me for the rest of the week. I can have it with nachos, with jacket potato, with rice, or with salad. It’s easy and so cheap.
- I sort of answered this in my previous excitable answer about chili, if you plan your meals, it’s really easy, but then fruit is easy, nuts, dates. I love dates now, I never used to eat them before! They’re amazing! It’s like having a little mini Mars bar – without the death!
- Good question. I think if you KNEW someone would actually watch it then ‘Earthlings‘ because it’s just so powerful and highlights the extreme ways in which we exploit animals. But I guess many people wouldn’t watch it because they know it’s going to be distressing and they’d rather turn a blind eye – ignorance is bliss. I’d ask people to watch how their children interact with animals and to remember a time they were children when no part of them would want to cause an animal harm. What changed from being naturally compassionate to then taking part in an industry that is absolutely horrific?
- I turned to a plant-based diet because I was desperate to feel well again! And it worked!
- I just see cheese as congealed bovine mammary secretions now, and it makes me feel sick!
- So hard to choose! I love chips, curry and pakoras the most. Oh and colcannon puffs… and mac n cheese.
- A quick meal, maybe Mesa sunrise cereal and oat milk, or cook a load of veg in a steamer tray and then served with Nandos hot sauce.
- I would recommend that everyone watch ‘What the Health’. It explains the benefits of a plant-based diet but more importantly why this isn’t common knowledge.
- ‘Cause my Missus is a weirdo-vegan extremist! Okay, despite popular belief, she didn’t make me! I didn’t really know what a vegan was when I met her, so decided to do my own research. I already had a big interest in fitness and health, and so when I learned about the damage animal products do to our bodies, it was a no-brainer.
- It’s just a mind-set. I know cheese is no good for me. Plus, Violife cheese exists, and that’s pretty awesome. There are plenty of substitutes.
- Leaves! Obviously! But in second place, my favourite is roast dinner, with rosemary and red onion sausages, roasted veg: butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potato and garlic, roast potatoes, broccoli, carrots, stuffing (not shoved up another animal’s ass) and a thick vegetable gravy. Amazing! The majority of a roast is vegan anyway.
- For a quick dinner: Rice, mixed beans and chickpeas.
- I had zero idea that in the egg industry we kill baby male chicks, grinding them up alive on day one of their life because they don’t produce eggs. I hadn’t made the connection with dairy cows being kept constantly pregnant so they continually produce milk for baby calves that once born, are quickly taken away so that they can’t drink their mother’s milk. I didn’t know that the mothers cry out for their missing calves, sometimes for weeks. If the calf is female it goes on to endure the same suffering, and if male – shot. I didn’t know that the mother is then sent for slaughter and becomes meat, at just a quarter of her natural lifespan, because her body gives up on her. When I found these things out, I was heartbroken. For me, no slice of cheese or fried egg was worth this suffering. So I hugged a tree, bought a wind-chime and joined a cult to become… AN EXTREME PLANT-EATER. Mental.
- There are loads of cheese alternatives. Some… are rank. So whatever you do don’t try the ‘blue cheese’ substitute unless you like the taste and consistency of festering plasticine. But if you want cheese for your pizza, grated cheese for your jacket spud, get involved with Violife. If you want cheese slices to go on top of your Linda McCartney quarter pounders… get Violife slices. Delicious!
- My favourite meal is pumpkin (or butternut squash) and chickpea Thai curry, with lemongrass, served with rice, vegetable spring rolls, and sweet chilli dip. Perfectly marvellous with a nice cold beer!
- A quick meal, probably a jacket potato with baked beans and salad. Only takes 5 minutes in a microwave. I especially love a sweet potato jacket potato.
- The meat industry tells the public that gas chambers are a ‘humane’ slaughter method for pigs and wants us to believe that they gently fall asleep. Nothing could be further from the truth. For a quick 5 minute reality check watch ‘Pig Truth‘. This footage was taken in Australia but is the same here in the UK. Whether pig meat is from the supermarket, or a local ‘friendly’ farm – they all end up at the same slaughterhouse. If it’s not good enough for your eyes, why is it good enough for your stomach? What’s really more extreme, a human that pays people to do this to animals, or a human that says ‘This isn’t necessary.’?
- To quote the former president of the American College of Cardiology “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want it to be my fault!”. It seems the major reason people die in the developed world is because of our love of eating corpses and animal secretions (gross right?!)
- Dairy is the number one source of saturated fat in most people’s diets and saturated fat causes heart disease. So my question is, how do you live WITH it?
- My favourite meal is a mixed bean burrito – all the taste of this delicious Mexican favourite – sans the murder.
- In 5 minutes… A can of beans, microwave rice, steam in the bag veg and hot sauce!
- Gary Yourofsky’s ‘Best Speech You Will Ever Hear‘ on YouTube. Covers all the major points with some humour, whilst never pulling any punches!
- I was a vegetarian for a long time and thought vegans were weird and extreme. Then I looked into dairy and discovered it is just as bad, if not worse, than meat. I’ve always said, if you wouldn’t do it to a human, it shouldn’t be done to an animal. Plus vegan food is awesome!! Healthy and tasty, premium fuel.
- I eat cheeeeese. Just cheese which hasn’t required the stealing of milk from baby animals. There are so many alternatives, and although not all of them are great, this is the one major product being worked on right now. Sainsbury’s and Tesco both have their own lines of vegan cheeses, not to mention the amazing independents. Lastly, Violife on chips is life!
- Fajitas. Me and my girlfriend go crazy for fajitas. Soya mince with peppers and onions and courgette, served with salsa and Oatly creme fresh as sour cream. Mmmm! I’m hungry now!
My mum makes incredible Tofurky maple bacon toasted sourdough sandwiches with rocket and tomatos and vocado. It’s a quick meal. Or Tofurky in a toasted bagel with spinach and tomato and vegan mayo! Also M&S do quinoa pots which you just pour boiling water into. I add avocado and lots of nuts and seeds. Beautiful.
- There are so many good ones! I guess the first long one I watched (instead of trawling through hundreds of disturbing YouTube videos) was Cowspiracy. It was absolutely fascinating, I watched it over and over and talked about it constantly. My biggest driver is ethics, but have only managed to watch 20 minutes of Earthlings.
- Simply to annoy the other firefighters I work with! I thought it would be fun to prove a wimpy vegan could be fitter, faster, and stronger than they are!
- l honestly do not miss eating concentrated breast milk.
- It’s always a struggle. 20,000 edible plants just isn’t enough!
- A quick meal?! Vegans love food. Everything else can wait!
- I would say, just watch the world go by… it’s full of disease infested people, on a dying planet, eating tortured beings. #govegan
- To eat animals and animal-derived products in this culture is to support the most atrocious and hellish system. The meat and dairy industry is the stuff of nightmares, but even that is besides the point. Animals have as much right to life as we do.
- Cheese is delicious but contains cow puss and blood, and contributes to unimaginable suffering. It’s also just addictive and once you’re out of the cheese-detox, you don’t miss it one bit. If you’re after an alternative, vegan cheese is often hit or miss (and can sometimes taste like sick), but a good cashew cheese is DIVINE! So many exciting and glorious alternatives.
- My favourite meal is some kind of Mediterranean meze because that way I can have a bit of everything. Different salads, beany dishes, pies, bread, hummus… all of that. Then cake, please.
- Pasta and pesto! Forever!
- Being normal and supporting baby animals being ground up alive or having their throats slit becomes kinda boring after a while. Too many people were supporting it and I just like to stand out from the crowd. Slicing apart vegetables is so much more satisfying, particularly since my meat-head friends keep telling me the plants have feelings now too!
- How do I live without cheese?! I don’t, I am dead and writing this from Hell. Everyone knows you can’t live without churned cow tittie milk.
- Usually just grass, the same as the largest land animals on earth. I want to be like them. In summer if there is a hosepipe ban then good grass can be in short supply so I just go hungry. But I’ve been dead for 37 years as everyone knows you need meat to live, so the grass being in short supply is semantics.
- The things I could do in 5 minutes!
- 2 Girls, 1 Cup. Totally grossed me out. I vowed then to never eat shit, or to eat anything that shits.
- I don’t think I need to sacrifice a life for my meal, seems somewhat sadistic…and not even good for you! What do doctors tell you when you have things like high cholesterol or blood pressure? More whole foods and less animal products. Unless dying prematurely is the aim?
- Vegan cheese! It’s good if not better! I suppose that’s subjective, but most people I find that are ‘against’ the idea of a cruelty-free cheese haven’t tried it. Change is scary, right?
- I love leaves! Leaves are some of my favourite foods as it goes, whether it be Rocket or Spinach etc, but yeah man.. leaves!
- For a fast meal, almost anything, I’m a grazer. Just give me a bag of spinach and walk me to the door! Thank you!
- Any of Dr. Michael Greger’s videos, from a purely scientific basis he takes 1000s of published studies every week, has teams of people read through them and then consolidates them into small videos quickly going over all of the results from the papers. Sorry animal-product eaters, the science is in, and your diet just isn’t healthy.