Bringing Vegan into Vogue is the strapline for Vegan Life Magazine, which launched in September this year, and from the first two issues I think it might do just that. Always keen to hear about new ideas, products and movements from within the vegan world I was incredibly excited to see that this new publication does just that and more; it’s taking the simple reality of our lives and choices to the mainstream. Vegan Life is engaging, relevant, useful and beautiful.
So I’m really honoured (not to mention thrilled!) to be a member of the Vegan Life Blogging Community, which means you’ll be reading my thoughts on something that’s caught my eye from each issue. Which in itself may well prove to be the greatest challenge – what to choose?!
Issue one is fit to bursting with tempting recipes (raw apple walnut cake, anyone?), new beauty products to the market and some really inspirational stories. What really resonated with me the most however was an interview with Tamsin Robinson, who is raising her two sons as vegans. Now this might seem an odd choice, seeing as I’m not a parent myself, but her approach, honesty and personal experience really struck a chord.
It’s the ‘justification issue’ that I’m sure all vegans face at some point (if not on a daily basis, depending on the politeness levels of their colleagues) that really had me nodding my head in agreement as I read the interview. Just like Tamsin, as a quiet vegan I tend to avoid even mentioning the V word out of anxiety, and quite often have some emergency snacks for work or social situations where I might stand out if I’m not eating along with everyone else. But I only have myself to consider – what if I were to take on that responsibility as a parent, too?
Even as a non-parent, you might be surprised at how many people want to tell me I can’t bring my (non-existent) children up as vegans. It’s selfish. It’s wrong. It’s unfair and they’ll have no friends. Why would I do that? These are just a few choice opinions that have been ‘shared’ with me, along with all the other wonderful thoughts people have about why my choice to eat plants is unsuitable.
What Tamsin’s experience has brought home to me though is that, actually, being considerate to others (offering to take food to parties and dinners), planning ahead (arranging school meals) and being assured of your own beliefs, choices and values is all as much a part of being vegan as an individual as it is a part of being a vegan parent. Reading this interview reminded to be confident in my choices, and that it’s perhaps not so scary after all to give that compassion, understanding and wonderful food to children, and be humble about it, too.
Issue two, I was pleased to see, is similarly packed with interesting, informative and entertaining content. Here’s a round-up of my favourites:
Tips for a cruelty-free Christmas: A really great introduction to some of the things new (and the not so new) vegans might want to start thinking about in the run up to the festive season, including a range of recipe ideas from simple to complex, cooked to raw, canapés to desserts. Most interestingly, however, were the thoughts on how you can be a good guest at a non-vegan Christmas – it’s all about being just as considerate to other people as we are to animals.
Veganuary: Now, as you may know, I have a vested interest in this one! As a contributor to the Veganuary campaign I was delighted to see a two-page spread in this issue outlining what it’s all about and how you can get involved. Will you be encouraging anyone you know to become vegan for January? Or how about volunteering yourself, to support the campaign?
What’s New?: I know, as a vegan, I’m lucky to live in London. But even so, there are always going to be delicious new vegan products out there that I haven’t heard of, so I love this feature. In this issue, I’m particularly excited about the Hodmedod’s British roasted peas (a tasty-sounding alternative to crisps or peanuts) and the intriguing sweet spreads made with carob and tahini, by Savvy Foods. I think these might just make it onto my festive food order…