Olivia Jordan is the Media Officer at PETA so we caught up with to talk about her journey into veganism and her role in spreading the world about plant based living.
Please tell us what inspired you to go vegan and when.
I was a vegetarian for years, but in 2015, I went on a retreat where I learnt that health and vitality really do start with what you put into your body, and a vegan diet is optimum.
I believe every being with a will to live has the right to live free from exploitation and unnecessary suffering - and after reading Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, it's clear that being vegan is the only way I can ensure my personal choices reflect this.
Why are you so passionate about driving ethical lifestyles and choices more directly in your new role?
Some people have never considered what - or who - their food or clothes are made of. I am sure a lot of people would switch to vegan leather if they knew that animals are castrated, dehorned, and even skinned alive to make a leather bag or a pair of leather shoes. I want to get people to think about the choices they make.
You used to work at Vivienne Westwood and before that with Shrimps- so why did PETA feel like the next natural step for you?
Shrimps led the movement for faux fur in fashion, and Vivienne is a vocal vegetarian and environmental activist. Working with both inspired me to take a stand for what I believe in, and PETA allows me to do so.
In your first few weeks as a media officer, which issues/stories have shocked you the most?
Many people who would never touch fur continue to wear wool because they mistakenly believe animals don't have to be killed in order to make it. It has been a real eye-opener to learn that the wool industry confines, mutilates, and kills animals in many of the same ways the fur industry does.
Do you think having a thick skin is important to the job given what you see in exposes and pictures from the undercover investigators?
You have to take the anger at what you see and turn it into fuel for spreading the news far and wide.
What are your top tips for going vegan?
Remember that vegan eating isn't just about going without meat and dairy foods - it's also about nurturing your body through a nutrient- and vitamin-rich diet.
What is a typical day like in your world?
I am responsible for ensuring PETA's vital work is visible in the media. A typical day would include issuing news releases about our campaigns, sending statements to journalists, and organising media interviews. I also work on longer-term media projects - for example, this week I organised an interview with Pamela Anderson to highlight the benefits of her vegan lifestyle.
What is your go-to vegan meal?
I couldn't live without vegan Japanese food
How does it feel to have your personal life choices extend into your professional life?
I have been lucky always to work with companies that have similar values to my own - but with PETA, my values are my work, and that's an extremely energising position to be in.
What would a perfect world look like to you if PETA could achieve everything it wanted to?
It would be a world where animals and humans are treated with equal freedom, respect, and value.