This week we meet Andrew Miles or MeManMeVegan. Andrew transitioned to veganism and became deeply passionate about the movement as he uncovered the reality of the meat and dairy industry. He created a website devoted to veganism sharing recipes, health and insights. He also offers a free Vegan tool Guide fetaured below. His website and content is informative and unbiased. His commitment to animal welfare is centred in his stance and it shows through. Meet Andrew Miles.
Name: Andrew Miles
Where can people find you?
How long have you been Vegan?
Just over 2 years.
Were you vegetarian before? If so, for how long before going vegan? And what made you go further?
I slowly transitioned to veganism over an 8 month period where I removed animal products here and there. I think I was vegetarian for about 5 months before finally going vegan and don’t remember the day I went did, it just sort of happened.
What made you go vegan?
Initially, I was interested when I stopped eating meat as week challenge. I just felt good physically and wanted to know more. The reason I eventually made the decision to go vegan was after I watched various videos online and saw the reality of where meat comes from. I just couldn’t be a part of that anymore. I had two choices, go vegan or admit I am ok with and buying into animal cruelty.
Has that reason changed?
No, if anything I ’ve just become more passionate about the issue. The way in which animals (and humans) are exploited by intense animal agriculture is a very dark side of humans that most of us refuse to acknowledge – the truth is terrifying. The system of animal exploitation we have created and normalized for the sake of burgers and bacon is deplorable and needs to end. There is a reason animal agriculture is shrouded in such secrecy behind closed doors and protected by such strict laws. Fortunately, people are starting to wake up to it all.
What was your biggest struggle during your transition?
I can’t say I had too many struggles, my partner was already vegan so I had all the help I needed to be fair.
What advice do you have for people transitioning?
Don’t think you have to transition overnight. If you do then that is great however I’ve found most vegans I talk to transition over a short period of time usually going vegetarian first. Sign up to Challenge 22, it’s a great way to introduce yourself to veganism and give it a go.
What do you love about being vegan?
I think the huge positive impact the vegan lifestyle has on the world is fantastic. It’s the chance to significantly reduce the suffering of animals and reduce your carbon footprint. If you eat well it’s also great for your personal health. I’ve seen some amazing transitions in people’s health after they went vegan, it’s quite incredible really.
Have you learnt any lessons/insights as a vegan that you didn’t before?
I’ve learned a lot about nutrition. It’s actually scary how little we, as a society, know about the food we eat, where it comes from and the ingredients. You can see the result of this lack of knowledge in our current global issues with diet-related issues, illnesses, and diseases. Most of it is so easily avoided simply by eating healthier and understanding what your body requires to thrive.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Veganism?
That it’s unhealthy. Any diet is as healthy or unhealthy as you personally make it. A well managed vegan diet is one of the healthiest diets on the planet. I’ve met people through my website that have made incredible transitions from near-death to optimal health, fitness professionals that have moved to new levels and even people that have reversed diseases. There are unhealthy vegans out there of course but that’s down to a poorly managed diet not the vegan diet itself.
What is your favourite vegan snack?
What’s your go to meal when you don’t feel like cooking?
Mushrooms on toast.
What’s a pantry staple you never go without?
Do you take any supplements?
B12, Vitamin D3, Iodine, and Iron taken in an all-in-one oral spray. Those can be tricky nutrients to get your full RDA through food alone, vegan or non-vegan. There is a stigma within veganism against supplements that I don’t quite understand. For optimal health, everyone on the planet should be supplementing. We simply don’t eat enough of the right foods due to our busy lifestyles and lack of food variety and just because you feel healthy doesn’t mean you are healthy on the inside or that your body is functioning optimally. A lot of health issues with nutrient deficiencies are developed much later in life.
Do you use any kind of superfoods?
I have experimented with a lot of ‘superfoods’ but there are only a few I would actually recommend. I use chia seeds religiously and rave about them all the time. They seriously benefit your digestive system and improve your bowel movements. Ginger tea is also great for your digestive system, especially if you drink it before eating. Sweet potatoes for their Vitamin A content, very important for vegans. All legumes due to their high content of B vitamins.
What’s the biggest food – health realization you had? (for example you were not eating enough of a certain thing?)
How terrible dairy is for your body. Once you do some research and actually go dairy-free you will understand how incredibly detrimental it is to your health. The fact we give it to babies and small children is insanity. I’ve never met a vegan who hasn’t said their personal health significantly improved once they gave up dairy products. It’s the cause of so many avoidable health issues.
Has a vegan lifestyle led to any other changes in your life?
Many! I’m far healthier, slimmer, more active, I meditate, I appreciate nature more, I’m more productive, it improved my relationship with food and I drink a lot less alcohol nowadays. Veganism completely changed my life for the better and I’m very thankful for that. Most significantly, starting my own vegan blog has allowed me to help other people and opened so many doors for me helping me build a career doing something I genuinely love so I can’t complain.
What’s your advice on handling social situations?
Enjoy social situations the exact same way you did before you were vegan. One of the biggest fears people have about going vegan is that they will be excluded from social activities or alienated from friends. Prove everybody wrong and go enjoy yourself, it allows others to see how it hasn’t affected your ability to socialize. Never debate veganism whilst drunk though, it never goes well.
How do you handle negative people?
Don’t buy into it! Don’t let their toxic behavior get to you. Obviously, this is much easier said than done sometimes but you have to resist. That doesn’t mean ignore them but rather engage positively back. Negative people deflect their own personal issues onto you. It isn’t about you or your actions but more about their inner conflict with themselves.
Were your friends and family supportive? Or did they take some time to come around?
I am very lucky that all my friends and family are super supportive. When I created my own blog for vegan men I was incredibly nervous at how people would react. Would they mock me, laugh at me, think I’m an idiot…I felt very vulnerable. So, I was delighted when people respected what I was doing even if they didn’t agree with what I was saying.
How do you share your vegan lifestyle with others?
I just live it and enjoy it. I try to help people see veganism in a new light. People think it’s some crazy restrictive lifestyle but it’s actually really fun. I’ve found it to be the opposite of restrictive, you end up trying tons of new foods and the vegan cuisine is exciting. I hope people get a taste of that when they are with me.
Quick Fire round
Fast food vegan or health focused vegan?
Meat alternative burger or veggie burger?
What’s your favorite vegetables?
Sweet potato and carrot
What’s your least favorite vegetable?
Support all vegan goods or boycott non vegan parent companies? (Why?)
Always support vegan goods. Companies speak one language, money. If there is a demand and money to be made they will fulfill it. The result is more and more vegan goods and more people trying them. You can see this all around the world now, there is a new vegan product released every other day. Those vegan alternatives are essential to help people reduce the number of animal products in their diet and hopefully a stepping stone to going vegan one day.
Anything else you would like to share?
For those interested in going vegan or new to a vegan lifestyle, I recently created this comprehensive tool guide using the experience and advice of 30+ long-term vegans. I interviewed each person and asked them a number of questions about their transition, food, nutrition and lifestyle.