Duane Licudi

From Broccoli is bargain:

1) How long have you been vegan for?

I became vegan around August 2015.

2) What made you become a vegan?

Coming across a video on facebook showing a pig being forced into slaughter really did do it’s job in making me see that connection between what we eat and the pain and suffering of animals. Although I only watched the first 10 seconds of this video clip it was clear how distressed and aware the animal was of it’s impending death.

A friend also sent me the link to a video of one of Gary Yourofsky’s lectures which further cemented the idea of going vegan.

3) How is it affecting your lifestyle?

Being limited in choices of places where to eat I’ve felt is only a minor inconvenience in comparison to what animals have to go through as products of convenience such as meat and leather.

Going vegan by nature tends to be a healthier lifestyle and I’ve noticed this first hand with my weight going down and energy levels go up. This has resulted in feeling more motivated to exercise.

It has also changed where I may eat. I’ll try to avoid places in Spain that might not cater for special requests, something simple such as chips and pisto might not be served in a place that is only a set menu on offer. And for looking for vegan friendly places to eat etc.. there’s an app called HappyCow which provides nearby listing and map based info of places that have vegan options.

4) What is the greatest prejudice about vegans in the western world?

I would say that many people find that veganism is not normal and could be considered by some as extreme simply because it deviates so much from the majority. People are so conditioned to see animals as here to serve us, as objects that the idea of animals being sentient beings is not understood by many.

5) What are the benefits of being vegan?

For me, the fact that I am no longer complicit in animal exploitation by no longer consuming or using animal products is the biggest benefit in itself of going vegan.

As a result of going vegan I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders as consuming animal products was in direct conflict with my principles.

It’s almost always going to result in a healthier diet as most junk food is no longer an option and plant based foods are definitely much healthier. With meat/dairy/eggs there is a wealth of evidence showing very correlation with heart disease and many types of cancer.

It’s likely that if you are overweight going vegan will help with weight loss, as there is hardly any fat in a vegan diet.

You are also helping the environment enormously as the meat/dairy industry has been shown to be responsible for more global warming gases than the entire transport industry.

6) Can one be vegan but not environmentalist and vice versa?

They both come hand in hand to an extent as not being environmentally friendly also is detrimental to animals in the wild. And since the meat/dairy industry is contributing to more global warming than the entire transport industry as a whole, you cannot claim to be an environmentalist if you have not made the step of going vegan.

7) Do you wear garments made of wool? Cotton? Linen? Leather shoes? Plastic? What would you reply to the objection that plastic shoes don’t kill animals directly but are pollutant?

I avoid clothing derived from animal products. For work, I’ve been able to find shoes and belts from www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk that are made from a synthetic leather.

Plastic are a pollutant and also responsible for killing animals directly as it can be ingested or otherwise end up being a physical hazard.

8) What’s your view on veganism in Gibraltar compared to the rest of Western world?

Veganism doesn’t seem to be as prevalent in Gibraltar as in other places.

9) High holidays: how does a vegan cope with Christmas and Easter?

There’s plenty of food to eat during festive periods. Roast potatoes, roast vegetables, nut roast and other substitutes, vegan christmas puddings with coconut milk based custard, vegan mince pies, halal polvorones which use olive oil instead of butter.