Round 2 of meet a vegan sees Benjamin Forsyth. I have been following him on Instagram for some time and enjoy his sense of humour in a serious world. His recipes are easy, healthy and delicious. He is also a dedicated dad and is a great example of how being a vegan parent is possible and your kids can thrive. Read on to see what Ben has to say about his vegan life.
Name: Benjamin Forsyth
Where can people find you? @vegan.dad85 on Instagram
How long have you been Vegan?
Just over 2 years
Were you vegetarian before?
No I wasn’t.
If not, how long did it take you to become fully vegan from the moment you decided to initially?
About 2 weeks
What made you go vegan?
Initially philosophical beliefs, as I believed and still believe that humans are not ment to eat meat or any by products from another living species. Then it soon became apparent the horrendous way animals are needlessly treated, for people’s own convenience not because they need meat in order to survive.
Has that reason changed?
No, however I’ve become more eco-conscious and trying as much as possible to reduce unnecessary waste.
What was your biggest struggle during your transition?
The naivety of family members, especially with having 2 young children. They’d make comments regarding not getting the right nutrients ect. (although they could never confirm which nutrients they were referring to when I challenged them). Another initial challenge was that the kids loved cheese, this was a struggle for a short time but soon forgot all about it once we found a good vegan alternative.
What advice do you have for people transitioning?
Stick with it and don’t give up. The cravings for things like meat and cheese will go, there’s so many great alternatives in every supermarket now.
What do you love about being vegan?
That I’m contributing to reduction of the number of innocent animals that are unnecessarily killed for the meat industry. Also helping to slow down the damage to the planet that humans have inflicted on it. And the new relationship it gives you with food. You try so many things that you hadn’t even heard of before going vegan, and you ask yourself why you’ve never tried these things before.
Oh and the amazing vegan community – online and at different vegan festivals. I’ve connected and made friends with some amazing like minded people from all over the world.
Have you learnt any lessons/insights as a vegan that you didn’t before?
I learnt that you definitely don’t need to eat meat and drink the lactation of another species in order to survive. Also I learnt how to eat right and what different nutrients we need on a daily basis to keep our bodies functioning correctly. I also strongly believe that more needs to be done to teach this basic nutritional knowledge to children from a young age.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Veganism?
Definitely that you can’t live a healthy lifestyle and consume enough nutrients without supplementing.
What is your favourite vegan snack?
Medjool dates for super quick snack.
What’s your go to meal when you don’t feel like cooking?
Hummus and vegan cheese sandwich or a bowl of roasted chickpeas although that’s a rarity as I hardly ever don’t feel like cooking.
What’s a pantry staple you never go without?
Maple syrup and peanut butter. These make up the core ingredients to nearly every sweet, treat or pudding I make. They also feature in breakfasts and lots of savoury dishes.
Do you take any supplements?
No, I believe if you eat correctly then supplementation isn’t needed. Even B12. You can get more than enough in fortified foods like marmite, nutritional yeast and plant based milks.
Do you use any kind of superfoods?
Yes matcha, spirulina, hemp seed, flaxseed and maca powder. Mainly use them as ingredients in baking or as a topper for porridge.
What’s the biggest food – health realization you had? (for example you were not eating enough of a certain thing?
Just how much fat non-vegans eat resulting in the body developing an unhealthy amount of cholesterol. I also saw how we don’t eat enough essential vitamins and minerals from fruit and vegetables before becoming vegan.
Has a Vegan lifestyle led to any other changes in your life?
Yes weight loss, increase in energy and focus. A greater connection with what food I eat, and the changes I need to make to slow down the decaying of the environment.
What’s your advice on handling social situations?
I try to avoid social situations around carnists by only eat at vegan restaurants ect.
How do you handle negative people?
Let them put their point across, then put them straight with facts. I’ve yet to hear a valid point as to why being vegan isn’t viable.
Were your friends and family supportive? Or did they take some time to come around?
Took some time, and some still haven’t really come round. I feel like some people never will.
Do you encourage friends to try vegan food or do you keep it to yourself?
Only encourage if they show interest. I try to plant seeds where I can.
Quick Fire round
Fast food vegan or health focused vegan?
Meat alternative burger or veggie burger?
Meat alternative in moderation
What’s your favorite vegetables?
Roasted broccoli, asparagus and aubergine
What’s your least favorite vegetable?
Support all vegan goods or boycott non vegan parent companies?
Boycott as much as possible. I personally do not believe that offering vegan options in fast food chains will show consumer demand for vegan food. There is also a case for ethics when it comes to fast food chains beyond just animal rights. It should be a consideration of vegans and non-vegans alike.
Anything else you would like to share? (this is an opportunity to share any information or cause that is important to you (competition your in, animal rights campaign you like, a charity you work with, patron, your own website/business etc..)
I am have a instagram account @vegan.dad85 were I share my meals and ideas. I try to show a balance of healthy food and vegan “junk food” (that’s still pretty healthy) mostly simple minimal affordable ingredients.
Head over to Ben’s page and enjoy some wacky instagram stories and delicious food ideas. Thanks to Ben for being a participant and supporting animals rights.