Today we’re chatting to Tiffany, an illustrator, artist and vegan food enthusiast who also has an interest in acting and voice acting. She manages Adventureshop, an Etsy shop that sells a variety of handmade cards, bookmarks, and prints.
She also tries to draw on a daily basis and takes portrait commissions when time allows. Last year, she started a series called Live & Let Live, which you can check out on her website.
How long have you been vegan?
I’ve been vegan since January 2015, so 2 years and ongoing as the months pass by.
Why did you make the transition?
The first thing that struck me was the health aspect. I think Freelee the Banana Girl’s Youtube account was what got me interested in veganism, but it was a few months before I decided to actually transition. It started as something really loose, I wouldn’t mind it when family or friends ate meat or it touched my food. I was eating mainly whole foods and avoiding processed foods to avoid animal products.
Towards the second month, I started watching animal cruelty and slaughterhouse videos. I began to get very emotionally attached to animals and even dreamed about them. It was then that I realised that veganism would be part of my life forever.
Did you do much research beforehand?
Definitely, and I will continue to. There is always something new to learn. I’ve changed a lot of my views from when I first went vegan till now.
There is always something new to learn.
What most surprised you about being vegan in the first month?
I couldn’t believe how excellent my digestion was and I could eat to my fill without feeling sick. Tmi but I used to have so many constipation issues and going vegan made me into a poop machine! I’m sure others can relate haha. I also couldn’t believe how concerned people were about my health. Suddenly, everyone became health experts, especially in protein.
Did you have any accidental or purposeful slip ups in your first month?
Yes, there was a time I was eating these nutty flavoured cookies from an asian bakery that my mom had bought. I was so hungry, I just decided to snack on some. Suddenly, my aunt stopped me and told me I shouldn’t eat those, as they have pork/pig fat in them. I was so grossed out, I actually threw up afterwards! I’ve had to learn that it’s fine and that I shouldn’t stress over it so much. We all make mistakes and we can only learn from it. When something like that happens now, I just spit it out and remind myself to be careful. That’s actually a huge factor to why I started cooking.
What did you find easy and what did you find hard about the first month?
I learned that eating vegan was easy. Pasta is my favourite food and I was so happy eating huge amounts of carbs every day. The hard part was the constant taunting and bullying by family, friends, relatives and peers. After so many uncomfortable repetitive jokes and false facts being thrown at me, I learned to stand up for myself and let go of unwanted relationships. I even realised tv shows and movies (including those for kids) sneak bits into the script, making vegetarianism and veganism a bad thing. It’s ridiculous!
What did you wish you’d known then that you know now?
Animals don’t care how you go vegan, they just don’t want to get harmed. You can be vegan and have any type of body size. Going vegan is not just helpful to our own health and the animals, but it’s beneficial for the whole world.
You can be vegan and have any type of body size.
What would be your advice to anyone thinking of going vegan?
There will be slip-ups and you’ll have to forgive yourself. You can start by dropping red meat, then white meats, then seafood, then dairy and eggs. It can be hard to do it at once. Sooner or later, you’ll discover it’s not just a diet. It’s also important to research the vitamins you’ll need and where to get vegan sources, like vitamin B12.
You can be a vegan that only eats whole foods, or someone who eats heavily processed dairy and meat substitutes and deep fried foods. I suggest eating a whole foods plant-based diet or try your best, just because it makes you feel amazing! From personal experience, there may be times when you’ll feel so emotional about the animals, the earth, etc., but the great thing is that vegans are increasing and more people are coming to accept it.
There are plenty of documentaries you can watch; like Earthlings, Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy. There are also super helpful support groups online and even apps nowadays that can help you out. Make sure to seek out lots of vegan restaurants and recipes to make transitioning fun!
And if that wasn’t enough links then here’s one to vegan kebabs – you know, just because.