Job Title: Journalist, Media Coach and Author of Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business
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facebook.com/katrinafoxpage and facebook.com/veganbusinessmedia
1. How long have you been a vegan?
…………………….2016 will be my 20-year ‘veganniversary’! Aside from meeting my partner and soul mate, it was the best thing I ever did.
2. What inspired you to become a vegan?
I’d been vegetarian since the age of 11 when my mum told me the beefburger I was eating was made from a cow. I figured out that fish fingers were from fish and chicken was from a chicken and was horrified. Nearly 20 years later I was on an animal rights demo in London and offered the woman next to me one of my cheese and marmite sandwiches. She explained she was a vegan and told me about the cruelty involved in the dairy industry. I ordered a copy of the Vegan Society’s Animal Free Shopper and was stunned at how much we exploit and commodify animals. I pretty much went vegan overnight.
3. What is your favourite vegan dessert
I’d have to say chocolate cake. The more chocolate on it, the better!
4. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned to date about veganism?
I’ve learned that advocating for one group of marginalised beings at the expense of another group is not liberation and is not in line with vegan principles. So, when we talk about compassion to all beings, we need to include ourselves and other humans too. There’s no place for sexism, racism, homophobia or any other kind of discriminatory behaviour in any social justice movement.
5. Which vegan person do you most admire and why?
Philip Wollen, former vice-president of Citibank and vegan philanthropist. I admire him because he walked away from a massively successful corporate career as a merchant banker after having an epiphany around the treatment of animals and our planet. Since then he’s dedicated his life to giving all his money away to good causes that benefit children, animals and the environment. He’s eloquent, intelligent, passionate and not afraid to speak his mind.
6. What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your vegan experience so far?
In the early days when seeing treats I’d enjoyed before going vegan, such as Maltesers or Twix, I’d initially feel a desire for them and then felt guilty. Then I used a technique whereby I trained myself to see the cows bellowing as their babies were taken away from them and the mastitis cows suffer from in the dairy industry. So those products became associated with cruelty and the pangs disappeared.
7. What 3 tips would you give to a new vegan?
Read cool blogs (like this one!), books, watch Youtube channels, listen to podcasts and learn all you can about veganism, from nutrition to the philosophy behind it.
Have fun – don’t think of having to ‘give up’ or ‘sacrifice’ things. Instead focus on all the wonderful, positive aspects of living vegan.
Hang out – in real life and online – with other vegans. Having people who ‘get’ you can be a huge help if you have others in your life who give you a hard time about being vegan or don’t (yet) get it.
8. What’s the best vegan book you’ve ever read?
Vegan Ventures – by me! Haha! J I enjoyed The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle as I like his approach to spreading the vegan message.
9. What is your hobby?
I don’t really have any hobbies as I’m busy creating content and working with clients to spread the vegan message. I enjoy walks in nature and dancing around the kitchen. I don’t make a lot of food as I prefer to enjoy other people’s culinary creations. But I love dancing in the kitchen to disco music!
10. Which animal is your favourite
Cats. I’ve always been a cat person. I ‘get’ cats. They were worshipped and adored by the ancient Egyptians and many of them know and remember this. I appreciate their nonchalance and independent natures and their air of regality. I think I was probably a pampered cat in a past life.
11. What is your favourite vegan place to eat
It depends what city I’m in. In London, my original home town, I like 222 and Vantra a lot. In New York, I love Candle 79 and in Sydney I’m a fan of a new pizzeria that recently went all-vegan, called Gigi’s. I’m not one for making food so I do love to eat out and I’m a very good lunch and dinner guest! J
12. Where is the best place you’ve travelled to and why?
I love New York and Los Angeles for their energy, creativity and the fact they’re both vegan paradises. I also like Sydney where I’ve now lived for 14 years. It was a big thing, moving countries, and I feel like I was meant to be here to become who I am today. I love that veganism is really on the rise here and that I’m a part of something exciting and world-changing. I also love that the beaches and parks are close to the city. As I spend a lot of time at the computer, it’s good that I don’t have to travel far to hug a tree or stare at the sea.
13. If you could meet any vegan in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?
Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, UK. I’d like to shake his hand and thank him. I’d also like to listen to his words of wisdom over a cup of hot chocolate.
14. If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
All animals being granted personhood and legal rights and a shift in cultures across the globe where they are no longer enslaved, commodified, used or abused for human purposes. I’m hopeful that, thanks to the amazing work by American lawyer Steven Wise, to see the beginnings of legal rights for some animals in my lifetime.
15. If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
When I was younger, I often wished I could be someone else and live a different life. Nowadays I’m at a stage where I’m happy being me!