Hello SGVegan readers!
Its been 2 years and a month since SGVegan was started. I thank you all for your support. SGVegan strives to share with you reviews on organic food, health and beauty products. Not forgetting, reviews of wellness procedures too, such as facials. I wish you all a pleasant happy year ahead. Do watch out for upcoming giveaways! *hint hint*
I would like to share an interview I did with Angela from Vegeasian.com. My interview is Part 4 of a four part series, conducted last year at the end November, the World Vegan Month. This interview with Angela is on how veganism extends beyond food and into everyday products. I am grateful that Angela gave me the opportunity to share more about how being vegan extends beyond the food aspect. Thanks Angela!
I hope the below excerpt of the interview is useful. Do head to Angela’s blog (link at end of article) if you’re interested to hear the podcast, and if you have any queries, please do leave a comment below! 🙂
Interview With Amanda Teng
Angela: Hey Amanda, veganism seems to go beyond food and into customised products such as shoes and hair products. Tell us more about this.
Amanda: Well veganism is a whole lifestyle change. So by going vegan, we cut out the use of animal products. For example, most people will know that vegans do not take any dairy products or any products that are from animals such as milk, cheese, eggs and maybe also even honey. Since veganism is a whole lifestyle change so it basically means we do not use any products that are from animals, for example, leather products, we also do not use products that have wool inside because there are industrial practices that are actually cruel to animals. So by being vegan, we actually choose to eliminate these cruelty practices as much as possible so we do not drive and promote the industry for these products.
Angela: It’s very interesting. So do you think it is possible to be 100% cruelty free?
Amanda: Cruelty has two forms like what I have mentioned. There’s the one we most commonly know, which is the animal form of cruelty. But there are also different forms of cruelty, for example, child labour in the developing countries. So for me, I would say it is not possible for the average consumer to be `100% cruelty free unless the consumer decides to put in a more conscious effort and be more mindful of the choices that they make in their daily lives and how it impacts on the environment. Then, in that way, by making a more conscious effort, it is and it may also be possible for the average consumer (to be cruelty free).
Angela: What are some small conscious steps where vegans can take to have a healthier lifestyle?
Amanda: Actually by being a vegan, you are already on a healthier lifestyle but maybe if you are a vegan and you’re taking more processed foods, for example mock meats, it may be a good idea to try to eliminate these stuff and go for a greener diet , maybe a raw food diet, eliminate more of cooked stuff from your diet go for raw food cuz it has more living energy.
Another small conscious effort that vegans can choose to take is by opting for products that are fair trade. By opting for fair trade products, it means your money is going towards people who are being paid fairly for what they have made or produced, rather than a cheap product that has been factory mass produced and it costs very cheap to make and therefore it makes it very cheap for us to buy it, but some child or some family out there may not be getting the amount of money they should get for the labour they provide. So by making a more conscious effort, by opting for more fair trade products, well it may be expensive but you opt for something that will not wear out so fast, like maybe your bags, your wallets, these kind of products where you can use for a period of time.
Angela: Yea it is important to pay people fairly so that they can be able to feed their families.
Angela: How about non-vegans? How can they opt for a healthier lifestyle?
Amanda: For non vegans, I would say one thing they can do is opt for more greens in their food instead of going for another diet that is meatish. Maybe they can opt for maybe one meal a week, choose to be vegetarian, opt for more greens, and let’s say ten people would opt for just one vegetarian meal a week, there’s a huge impact that you can make for the environment and also for their bodies. Because, usually, most people won’t opt for vegetables.
Angela: Do you think organic meat or milk are good alternatives for people?
Amanda: Yes it’s definitely a healthier alternative. However, even in organic meat, ultimately the animals have to be slaughtered against their own will. And at the same time, if you’re talking about cow’s milk, the cows have to be pregnant for you to get the milk from there. After they give birth, they are re-impregnated again by the dairy industry to ensure they have a constant milk supply and I’m not sure how you will call a cow who have never grazed freely on the grass or frolicked about in the fields. I’m not sure how to decide if their milk is healthier because the dairy industry pumps a lot of hormones into their cows to get them to produce more milk than usual. So the usual lifespan of a cow is probably about ten years. However, around three to five years, the cow is just sent to be slaughtered because the body of the cow has already been wearied out and it can’t produce much milk as before.
Note from Angela: Organic meat or milk can be healthier than average meat or milk found in supermarkets as animals are not allowed to be fed antibiotics or bovine human growth hormone(rbGH).
Angela: Well organic meat or milk is a choice(or option for some people) and may or may not be necessarily cruel.
Angela: What advice would you give for people who dislike vegetables and tofu to include them in their diet?
Amanda: If you don’t like vegetables or tofu, you can start getting creative by sneaking some of these into your diet. For example, let’s say you don’t like eating lotus root, you can mince the lotus root and put into a meat patty. And you can have it in your diet. But frankly speaking, once you have started on a cleaner diet, where you eat less meat and opt for more greens, your body will actually be cleansed and you won’t dislike the vegetables and tofu like before.
Angela: So the key is to get creative!
Angela: Finally Christmas is around the corner. If you were to create a vegan Christmas basket, what will you include?
Amanda:Actually I don’t think I need to make a vegan gift basket…. I know there is a Stephen James hamper which has come up for Christmas. So for $50, you can actually get Pili nuts. These are really good to go with wine. They have won an award. These nuts are actually raw, dehydrated, and pre-sprouted. So they are filled with the highest amount of living energy. And they really go well with wine. So if you opt for a celebration, you can have vegan wine, and have some Pili nuts together.
Angela: Wow, sounds like a great idea! And you get the essential nutrients at the same time too!
Angela: What advice would you give for someone on a low budget to adopt a vegan lifestyle?
Amanda: if the person is on a low budget, I would suggest cooking at home. If the person is on low budget and has no time to cook, an option would be to go to vegetarian stalls that are out there and opting for greens. Opt for brown rice. Then opt for things that are vegetables rather than mock meat and sometimes, there may be a lot of vegetables but there might also be a lot of oil as well. So it may be good to mention to the server to take the vegetables from the top so that the oil is minimised as much as possible. And just to add, opt for stalls that do not put MSG inside their foods.
Angela: Well we’ve come to the end of this interview. Hope you learnt a thing or two about how veganism can go beyond food and become a whole new lifestyle