Kirly Sues Kitchen

Vegans of Interest 

Every week I interview an interesting vegan. Vegans come from all walks of life and can be found anywhere and everywhere around the world.     

Karin Ridgers 

Job Title:
Director for Veggie Vision TV

1. How long have you been a vegan?

OMG I have to think about this…. Some people even know the date and I could find out as I know it was the day I went to help the Vegan Prisoners Support Group for the day with some admin work and I know I had to be vegan. I was worried and thought “Can I do this?” as when I say something I really go for it and I thought “Can I live without my cheese and chocolate”?! Probably what all new veggies and vegan think! I even had nightmares and was quite stressed out! Looking back it is quite funny as its really all about making the decision. And after I made the decision I though ” Whats was all the fuss about” Its really easy and there is so much choice.
However this was around 20 years ago so there is much more choice now. 

2. What inspired you to become a vegan?

Knowing that people had such strong beliefs that some even went to prison I knew that I could not not be a vegan. 

3. What is your favourite vegan dessert
OMG – soooo many.
I would say vegan chocolate cake – YUMMY!

4. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned to date about veganism?

This may be a little controversial. When I first went vegan I thought vegans are amazing and I am going to love all vegans, they are great people, so kind and wonderful And then I realised that some vegans can be quite horrid. (!!!!)

5. Which vegan person do you most admire and why?

Hmmmmmmmmmm I cant pick one…….. I get to work with inspirational speakers, authors, I may interview them or film with them and I am so impressed with how they speak so passionately and knowledgably about vegan issues. I know some amazing vegans who run animal rescue places and are hands on saving animals directly, hands on. I know of undercover reporters and film makers who film real life horrors just to expose the truth. 
Juliette Gellatley set up Viva! And I ‘grew up’ veggie wise with them and knowing they were there gave me confidence in spreading the vegan word.
Tim Barford was the only person who replied to me when I first had the idea for a veggie TV programme -we have been friends practically ever since and he dedicates his life running the best vegan festivals in the world. I have the honour of telling the media about them all too. He is a super guy.
I love the inspirational peak performance coach Anthony Robbins and have seen him live twice in the UK too. I love love love his work and although perhaps not a full vegan as I think he may eat some fish sadly from time to time he talks about alkalising your body and when talking about not eating dairy products and meat in front of 10,000 people at his events the reaction is incredible. 
And vegan celebs too – they are just real people like you and I – they make mistakes too however they speak out for a vegan lifestyle and its helps to raise awareness. 
In fact anyone who is vegan and is actively spreading the vegan message in a positive way gets the thumbs up from me 🙂

6. What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your vegan experience so far?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm nothing.
Being vegan is easy – when you know the reason why you are doing it. Make the decision and then non vegan options are not even tempting. 

7. What 3 tips would you give to a new vegan?

Know your why and write it down. Stick it on the fridge, on your PC in your bedroom. If you do feel you may be wavering then you will have your why to hand.

Maybe you want to be vegan because of avoiding animal cruelty, maybe you want to feel healthier, fitter and slimmer, maybe you want to have a lower carbon foot print – and maybe it’s a mix of various things. Remember your why. 
Veganise your old favs – everything can be made vegan friendly.
Research online and chat with your local health food store manager. What lovely goodies do they have that are new for you to explore?!
Its an exciting vegan venture….
Enjoy and have fun!
You have made the kindest decision ever. 

8. What’s the best vegan book you’ve ever read?

Vegan Ventures by Katrina Fox. Katrina launched her book in London recently and it is all about setting up and running a vegan business. I am THRILLED to be in the book and worked directly with Katrina for her promotion.

I am also reading POD by the awesome Tony Wardle. I CAN NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!! It is incredible.  

9. What is your hobby?
No time for hobbies! I do excise, I love music (used to have my own radio show) I love eating out and reviewing restaurants for VeggieVision TV. I love presenting too. I love spending time with my son Callum and aim to show him the abundance of veganism. He loves being vegan however he is 9 1/2 going on 15 and rather independent. 

10. Which animal is your favourite

I don’t really have a favourite although I am drawn to wolves.

11. What is your favourite vegan place to eat
It depends on my mood really. I LOVE Vantra off of Oxford Street. I love La Raw Suite in Bayswater. The veggie pub in London is great for vegan fish and chips and I love The Loving Hut in Edgeware and in Brighton. The one in Brighton is run by my friends Helen and Ruth and you have never had cakes like this before. Ever. They are amazing!!! 

Sometimes I just want a nice big vegan burger and other times I want clean raw and organic. 

12. Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
You know I haven’t done as much travelling as I would have loved to as a vegan. I went away for a little holiday last year to Majorca and went for a half day tour as it was raining. We walked around the old town got lost and found a veggie café! There seems to be a lot of choice in Ibiza and I am aiming to go back there for a veggie tour asap. I do like New York – its just like London with an American accent! Great veggie places there too.

I am drawn to New Zealand and also I like closer to home Stratford Upon Avon was stunning. We walked around and saw a sign for a vegan paella! The Isle of Wight was great too. Plenty of vegan choices and some health food stores. 
13. If you could meet any vegan in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?

I think it may be Arthur Ling and Donald Watson. I had the pleasure of chatting a few times with Arthur Ling who said some lovely things about me. They were the ‘grandfathers’ of veganism and it’s a shame that we don’t have more of their stories noted down and even filmed. 
14. If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

The first vegetarian restaurant being opened or being at the meeting when the word vegan was invented! 
15. If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

No one. I love being me and wouldn’t swap me for the world. 

I do sometimes wish I could pause the rest of the world so I can catch up however happy being me 🙂  

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