Everyday vegans

BECAUSE CHANGING THE WORLD IS A TEAM SPORT

We might have made our vegan promise, but we’re well aware we aren’t the first people to have the idea. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of vegans all over the world who have built a radical love for living creatures into their daily routine. Each of them is doing their own thing, finding their own unique way to express their veganism. They may dance to different tunes, but they do all have one thing in common: they show up for their values every single day.

So, we figured if enough ordinary vegans working together can make extraordinary changes why not take a moment to celebrate a few of them? Here are three women, who through their passion and integrity, are low-key changing the world.

Woman smiling

THE WANDERER

JOANNA IS ORIGINALLY FROM GERMANY. SHE WRITES ABOUT VEGANISM AND SUSTAINABILITY ON HER BLOG PLANET BANANNA

@planetbananna_

When I started out as vegan a few years ago I can remember being quite angry. I once had an argument with a man that ended with me shouting about falafel in a crowded club!

It wasn’t until I went travelling around the world that it put some of my ideas in perspective. It really opened my eyes to veganism in the context of sustainability. I learned so much about the environment from people who have dedicated their lives to protecting it. I saw for myself the relationships people have with food, the cultural and socioeconomic context. For example I met a man in South America who told me he was a lifelong vegan because he couldn’t afford meat.

Woman sat in the sun outside
Woman sitting outside smiling

‘I don’t like to focus on what’s wrong; I like to focus on what’s possible.’

Joanna

There is definitely a danger that veganism can be associated with wealthy white women who do yoga and eat quinoa. Away from the West, there are so many cultures that have a healthier relationship with the planet.

The way I like to share my ideas now is through writing my blog and educating others. I like to act with kindness, optimism and compassion. I don’t like to focus on what’s wrong; I like to focus on what’s possible. I find sharing food with people is always a great way to start the conversation. I also have a mac and cheese recipe that I am convinced could turn anyone vegan overnight!

Woman swimming underwater will crocodile

THE MERMAID

Bianca Molina is a free diver from Florida, United States

@biancavegana

I am a nature girl. I grew up around the water and we would go to Puerto Rico where my family’s from, being close to nature feels like home to me.

I had always said I was an animal lover but I can remember the moment my perspective on animals completely changed. I was sitting on a beach eating a grilled cheese sandwich and there were some beautiful cows walking up the beach with their babies. I saw them drinking their mothers milk and I had this realisation - ‘this isn’t my milk to take, it’s for them.’ Veganism for me is just about respecting nature.

Woman swimming in mermaid costume
Woman swimming in mermaid costume

“I realised this isn’t my milk to take - it’s for them”

Bianca

As a free-diver my favourite place to be is under the water, it’s so peaceful. I see a lot of incredible things in the ocean, recently an alligator came to say hello in Mexico. People ask me if I get scared in the ocean, but I never do. I feel like ‘Hey! I’m here, but this is your world.’

My heart breaks when I see people spearfishing. I take every opportunity I can to share my love of sealife and will do everything I can do to respect it. I’m even writing a vegan seafood cookbook.

Woman with pink hair and glasses smiling

THE ARTIST

Tanya is a bridal makeup artist from Oxfordshire, UK

@tanyawestley_hmua

I’ve been a vegan for about seven or eight years now. I was always aware of cruelty free beauty, but I came to learn that cruelty free didn’t mean vegan. So I decided to do something about it.

Not everyone I do makeup on is vegan but so many people are curious about what I do. They ask me questions about animal cruelty and doing makeup is a gentle way to get through to people.

One of the most moving things I have ever done was a wedding of a lifelong vegan woman who was getting married due to terminal illness. It was really important to maintain her ethical stance and also feel like a queen on her wedding day. When she passed away her daughter wrote to me to tell me how much it meant to her Mum to have been able to stay true to her ethics on her special day. It is an honour to be able to offer people that option.

People see hair and makeup and beauty as something frivolous to invest in, but I don’t think you should have to compromise on what you believe in to look amazing. It is just so rewarding I get to do it as a job.