Natasha States

From Broccoli is bargain:

1) How long have you been vegan for?

4.5 years

2) What made you become a vegan?

I did my research into farming after I saw some of my vegan friends posts on facebook (Andy). Initially, to prove him wrong and it wasn’t as bad as the videos he posted. I was wrong and had to admit my hypocrisy, that I couldn’t say I was an animal lover but would still accept the terrible conditions some are kept in for us to feast on their flesh, which we don’t in fact even need. I went vegan on my 43rd birthday, best birthday present I have ever had!

3) How is it affecting your lifestyle?

Many, many positives. Parents however think it’s a faddy diet and I’m mad and it’s embarrassing to go out and eat with me. However, it can in fact be quite simple. I ask for items on on the menu, grilled veggies, everywhere can pretty much cope with, just don’t grill where the meat or fish has, I can taste it and it makes me want to chuck. Most places will do veggie options which can be adapted to vegan and there is always ‘salad’. However, rarely is there a lot of choice. It is great to go into vegan restaurant and be able to have anything off the menu.

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

Weak and feeble hippy tree-huggers, shoving the veganism in everyone’s face. I don’t, all the time but most people ask why you’re vegan when you’re eating.. I’d dearly love to show them Meet Your Meat at the point but haven’t thus far.

5) What are the benefits of being vegan?

There 100s, generally healthy (but you can get vegan junk food, oreos!!! ), I feel a lot better in myself, more energy, better skin, hair, nails etc. I feel closer to my pets and animals in general, my consciences is clearer.

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

The reason for being vegan is different for people. Mine was for the animals, I then learned more about the affect factory farming etc has on our planet, so I have a more far reaching reason to be vegan. I think you can be vegan but not an ‘active’ environmentalist, but you would be aware of the impact no vegans have. To be an environmentalist and not vegan I think is a contradiction, how you can you say you want to protect the planet when you’re part of a system that is the biggest perpetrator of its destruction?

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 do, but these are items I bought before being vegan. To get of them and then buy more vegan items to replacement would be a waste and serve no purpose. Cotton I wear, plastic bags etc can have animal fats in them but it is impossible to know all the ingredients of everything everywhere, you just do what you can with the knowledge you have and try and educate yourself more about the world and what’s used where. yes plastic is a pollutant but i can be recycled, however there are other materials which would do the job just as well.

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

I think Gib has quite a healthy community of vegans and veggies. There are more places offering more choices in food and plenty of people in the veggie facebook groups.

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

Christmas, I went to someones house this last year, they enjoy cooking and having a vegan there was challenge they enjoyed and the food was divine! Easter not something I really celebrate, vegan chocolate pretty easy to find, dark chocolate usually is and I prefer that anyway. BBQs parties etc.. easy enough I take my own food and some dips etc. which most people love and I have to fight them off my vegan sausages and burgers.