Bron Mileham is our feature this week. She has an infectious positive attitude and a will of iron. Her foody posts are mouth-watering and her Crossfit shares are nothing short of inspiring. We are so happy to feature Bron – a beautiful example of what a vegan life can be – colourful, vibrant happy and full of love. meet Bron Mileham.
Name: Bron Mileham
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 went vegan overnight, one day I was eating all things animals and the next day I wasn’t.
What made you go vegan?
I was working with animals at the time, at a boarding facility and someone asked me a question, “if you love animals so much, then why do you eat them?” That was the first thing that got me thinking, what was the difference between the animals I was working with everyday, and the animals on my plate when I sat down to eat dinner? … absolutely nothing. The only thing that was different was my perception. About 10 days later, I was on holiday in Bali on my own, and I watched Gary Yourofsky’s “The Best Speech Youll Ever Hear” and that was it. Boom. Like my mind has been completely opened. Some people say they walk around with blinkers on…. I used to walk around with a blindfold on. I didnt want to know anything about where my food came from, I was blissful in my ignorance. And then it was like this blindfold has been ripped off! Once I knew better, there was no way I was going back to eating animals.
Has that reason changed?
Yes and no. I am still vegan for the animals. I believe that you go vegan for one reason but stay vegan for three:
I am now vegan for all three of these reasons. I also think that its easy to cheat on yourself. So if you were to go vegan for health reasons, its easy to go back to eating animals. But… when you see the impact it has on the environment and what actually happens to those animals in the factories… well once you know better you have to do better! You cant unsee or unknow these facts.
What was your biggest struggle during your transition?
I would say the biggest struggle was probably people around me. I am South African and form a very South African family, and I went vegan when I was living at home. So this was a big struggle, but I used it as an opportunity to educate my family.
What advice do you have for people transitioning?
Do your research. There is no excuse anymore, there are hundredddsssss of vegan brands out there now which make it super easy to transition. So dont give up. However be smart about what you are eating. Make sure you are eating enough and eating what you are supposed to be eating.
What do you love about being vegan?
EVERYTHING! My biggest regret about going vegan is that I didn’t do it sooner. I love how much fun I have in the kitchen, there’s always something new to try or to get creative with. I have always loved my food… always! Before going vegan I think I ate the same 4 meals on rotation, and now there are just so many foods out there I didn’t even know existed… like jackfruit! Such a cool ingredient that you can do so much with.
I love the community I have around me. In Dubai there is an incredible vegan community that is booming. It’s incredible to have people from so many different walks of life, all with the same ideals and morals, with a united front on creating a positive change in the world.
Have you learnt any lessons/insights as a vegan that you didn’t before?
Well the obvious one is where our food actually comes from. But on a deeper note, I have learnt a lot about people. I’ve learnt how people dont like change, or are scared of things that challenge their views. I’ve learnt how damn strong I am and how loyal I am to my morals and beliefs, which I never knew about myself before.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Veganism?
The biggest thing is that when you go vegan you cant eat anything! Haha! Before I was vegan I thought vegans were people that just hugged trees all day and ate carrots. I mean, I do those things but I also eat pizza, donuts, icecream and burgers!
What is your favourite vegan snack?
Where do I even start? Haha! I love all things finger food, so I love middle eastern dips and vine leaves and falafel! But, I also love the Field Roast wings and corn dogs! Oh and my new addiction to homemade kale chips! I can’t just choose one!
What’s your go to meal when you don’t feel like cooking?
Thai take away.
What’s a pantry staple you never go without?
Tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and eggplant. And oats.
Do you take any supplements?
B12 and an iron supplement.
Do you use any kind of superfoods?
What’s the biggest food – health realization you had? (for example you were not eating enough of a certain thing?)
Nothing I can think of .
Has a vegan lifestyle led to any other changes in your life?
Yes, I try to use vegan products as much as possible, in terms of cleaning products and beauty products. It has just opened my eyes so much. The fact that products are still tested on animals shocks me! So we buy cruelty free as much as we can.
What’s your advice on handling social situations?
In the beginning I guess you could have labelled me as an angry vegan haha just becuase I wanted everyone to know the truth! Now, I am all about trying to educate people and just open the conversation. I ask them questions rather than throwing information at them. I try to relate to people in terms of their interests… whether its the animals or health reasons or for the environment. I think it’s important to find some commmon ground. Pick your battles. Some people just want to argue with you and are never going to be open-minded enough to have an actual conversation, so dont get worked up over it, just walk away.
Were your friends and family supportive? Or did they take some time to come around?
It took a bit of time, I think they were more shocked than anything, they will tell you that I was the last person anyone thought would go vegan. A few months after I went vegan, my sister and her boyfriend did too. My parents are super supportive and always accomodate for us. Mom knows everything about veganism now, just need to get her over the line to our side.
How do you share your vegan lifestyle with others?
I wait for people to come to me. I have two Instagram accounts, one which focuses more on food and everyone loves food! So I guess that’s my way of sharing. I am part of a huge vegan community in Dubai as we are always having meetups and get-togethers. I try to bring people along to those events who aren’t vegan, so that they can learn a little bit more about it.
My other page is more focused on CrossFit and fitness, I like to show people that vegans can be strong. I love the saying ‘anything you can do, I can do vegan’ and that relates to food and fitness!
Quick Fire round
Fast food vegan or health focused vegan?
Bit of both.
Meat alternative burger or veggie burger?
Meat alternative, Beyond burger all the way.
What’s your favorite vegetables?
Eggplant and mushrooms
What’s your least favorite vegetable?
Cauliflower if it is not cooked right.
Support all vegan goods or boycott non vegan parent companies? (Why?)
Support all vegan goods – any demand for vegan products are getting us moving in the right direction.
Anything else you would like to share?
I’m not working on anything specific at the moment. It’s very hard to do any advocacy here at its illegal to protest etc. But i am apart of the Dubai Vegan Community ( @dubaivegancommunity ) and they arrange a lot of meet ups and talks to help educate people on veganism and bringing the community together.