Roxy and Ben started So Vegan in April 2016. In a year, their vegan food blog has grown to over 500k fans on Facebook, 40k followers on Instagram and over 50,000 monthly visitors to the website. They pride themselves on being enthusiastic 'home cooks' and are thrilled to be at the forefront of this food revolution. We caught up with Roxy to talk about her own reasons for ditching meat and what life is like as a vegan couple.
When and why did you decide to go vegan?
I decided to go vegan around a year and a half ago...but it wasn’t exactly a sudden decision.
I spent a couple of years slowly improving my diet, essentially reducing the amount of meat and dairy I was consuming.
And why? I decided I could no longer ignore the facts in front of me. Our insatiable appetite for meat and dairy means the animal agriculture is incredibly intensive, destructive and harmful. I no longer wanted to be a part of that.
What prompted you to set up a blog as a result of this lifestyle change?
Initially, I just wanted to play a part in changing society’s attitude to food. I realised there weren’t any video recipe pages specifically about vegan cuisine, so my partner and I decided to create So Vegan.
The blog is essentially a reflection of our personal journey; discovering the amazing possibilities with vegan food.
Luckily, we fell very naturally into our roles. Ben, my partner and co-founder, always had a passion for video production, and as a musician I’ve spent my whole life creating music, so turning my hand to recipes was simply another awesome way to be creative.
Why is home cooking such a vital part of being vegan?
A lot of people perceive vegan cooking to be boring and bland, which is simply not true!
We’re trying to show people how they can cook amazingly delicious vegan food at home, whether they’re vegan or not.
We create recipes that are quick, simple and packed with flavour, using ingredients that most people will already have at home.
Many big brands are introducing new vegan ranges and products- do you have a personal favourite?
It’s so exciting to see big brands introduce vegan products. It speaks volumes about how vital the vegan movement has become and how quickly things are changing.
We love cooking from scratch and we tend not to use a lot of vegan substitutes. But one brand we really can’t live without is Linda McCartney, especially the sausages! It’s not necessarily a ‘big’ brand, but the range is becoming available in more and more supermarkets, which is awesome to see.
You and your partner both have full time jobs so how do you make time for the blog at the end of a long day?
It’s hard work and no doubt it can be stressful sometimes! But when you know you’re contributing to a great cause and helping people make positive lifestyle changes, it’s totally worth it.
So Vegan isn’t just about us as individuals. It’s about supporting a movement which strives to create a fairer and more sustainable world.
Are you offended when some people assume vegans are serious, hippies and extremists?
No, I’m not the sort of person who gets offended easily! Veganism as a movement has changed a lot over the past few years and people are starting to realise that an extremist attitude isn’t always the best way to encourage people to use fewer animal products.
We started So Vegan because we realised one of the best ways to make an impact is through food. For a lot of people, veganism can be an intimidating concept so we’re trying to bridge the gap and educate people in a fun and accessible way.
You have a growing number of followers every day so why do you think that veganism has so much momentum right now?
I think it’s getting to the point where we’re making irreversible damage to the planet.
Similarly, the animal agriculture industry has become so destructive that people are realising we can’t just ignore these issues.
People are finally starting to consider what kind of a planet they want their children and grandchildren to grow up in. And with blogs like ours, we’re able to educate millions of people all over the world about vegan cuisine.
How much does it help to have a partner who is also vegan?
I’ll be honest, it’s been great to have the support and making the transition to veganism together definitely made it easier.
But the support doesn’t stop at Ben. All of our friends, family and work colleagues have been brilliant. When we became vegan, it was quite daunting and awkward asking for vegan options at restaurants, but our friends would always suggest vegan-friendly places to eat and hang out, which was amazing.
Do you have any tips for couples who are new to being vegan?
Have fun with it and don’t be afraid if there are a few hiccups along the way! I’ve honestly noticed such a huge difference in the way I think about food, my diet and other living things thanks to switching to a vegan lifestyle.
Oh, and make sure you check out So Vegan for awesome recipe ideas! Ha.
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