Deni Kirkova is a relatively new vegan- she started her journey in June 2015 and has stuck with it ever since. We spoke to her about her reasons for following this lifestyle and the vegan foods and products she can't live without now.

Deni Kirkova

Deni Kirkova

Please tell us when and why you turned vegan.

I turned vegan because my friend told me how you get dairy and it rocked me to my core. That a two year old cow is strapped up to a rape rack, inseminated, goes through pregnancy, gives birth, her calf is taken away and killed or sold for veal, she mourns and bleats for days, looking for her baby. She's attached to a machine which takes all her milk, aka the growth fluid she is producing intended to help her baby grow, so humans can drink it instead. A process repeated every year over several years until she is exhausted and made into burgers. I began identifying with cows as a woman/feminist and a person who loves and respects their mother.

You recently posted on your own social media page a meal you made so what's your favourite vegan dish to rustle up at home?

I like baking tofu in tamari, ginger and garlic with sunflower seeds. I have this with quinoa or sweet potato and dark green veg.

Us vegans all need a naughty convenience food at home when we can't be bothered cooking- what's yours?

Vegan chocolate from Hotel Chocolat.

What do you do when you accidently consume animal products? What's your advice for others who make this mistake?

Don't feel guilty. It was an accident. You're doing so much every day and your bad feeling means you care and your conscience is alive. Good for you.

You write lifestyle pieces for the Metro, so does this ever include articles on the vegan lifestyle?

Around 50% of my work is on veganism.

How important is it for you to promote veganism over your personal social media channels?

It means almost everything. The animals don't have a voice.

What vegan beauty product could you not live without?

Lush soap bars, Arbonne, Color Studio Professional and B (Superdrug brand) makeup.

Where do you shop? Can you recommend anywhere for new vegans?

Ocado, Whole Foods and Holland & Barrett are excellent.

What do you find the most challenging aspect of the vegan lifestyle?

People doubting its brilliance.

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