“If we don’t stand up for animals, who will?”

Simon is a Canadian, for-the-animals vegan currently teaching English in Italy. He’s an Anonymous for the Voiceless volunteer, informing people about the hidden reality of animal exploitation.

Transitioning from vegetarian to vegan

Simon was “mostly vegetarian” for 15 years before becoming a vegan in February 2018. So, naturally, we’re wondering what inspired Simon to change his lifestyle to a vegan one.

Simon explains he realised this: “We can live healthy, happy lives without consuming animal products or exploiting animals in any way.”

“I realised there’s no way to use and exploit someone that doesn’t want to be harmed, used or abused.”

“I started by doing Challenge 22, the 22 day vegan challenge. It’s free to sign up for and done in groups over Facebook.”

“You get a helpful mentor, daily vegan meal challenges, access to trained dieticians who can answer any of your dietary health concerns, and lots of tips, info, encouragement, and support!”

“You get 22 days and then you can decide if you want to stick with it (most do!).”

Advocating for veganism, Simon asks: “Is there a humane way to kill someone who doesn’t want to die?”

“I started to understand veganism, thanks to the positive influence of some friends. They were persistent in sharing information about the cruel practices involved in the egg and dairy industries.”

“They demonstrated that veganism wasn’t difficult. And a necessary thing to do for the sake of the animals, for our health, for the environment and for the one billion starving people on this planet”

Coming to terms with how humans treat animals

“Humane slaughter or ethical farming are ideas we believe until we view documentaries like Dominion and Earthlings which feature the shocking truth regarding what innocent animals are unnecessarily forced to suffer through.”

“I would recommend anyone who is not yet vegan to watch Dominion.”

“Watching a few public outreach videos by vegan activists Joey Carbstrong, and Earthling Ed coupled with the life-changing documentary film What the Health were the final pieces of the puzzle for me.”

“The videos made veganism not only make sense to me, but made me realise I needed to get active and start doing as much as I can to help inform people.”

“Veganism isn’t a diet or a trend. It’s a liberation movement”.

He quotes the The Vegan Society’s definition of veganism: “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

“Vegans eat everything that everyone else eats”

As our chat turns to food, Simon’s in his element: “We just eat plant-based versions of those same foods; pizza, ice cream, fish n chips, tacos, Fried chicken, Korean, sushi, curries … ” Like so many of us, Simon clearly loves food. And who can blame him?

“We can eat as healthily or as unhealthily as we choose.”

“My current favourite recipe to cook at home is a chickpea curry from BOSH.TV. It’s one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever cooked and also one of the most delicious!”

“Most vegans will tell you they eat more delicious food now than they did before they were vegan. But now it’s without all that cholesterol and other baggage that leads to some of the top preventable diseases known to kill humans, such as the number one killer; heart disease!”

(Curious about what Simon means when he talks about heart disease? We’ve got you covered with this handy link about nutrition and heart disease. Be prepared, when you click, you’ll be transported from chatty interview to full-on science.)

(Photo from The Loving Hut Vegan Cafe, Rimini, Italy.) “We have so many alternative options to meat, eggs, and dairy available to us in 2019. Why wouldn’t we choose those that don’t include using, exploiting, and harming animals?”

“It’s important to share information with others so they can make informed choices”

“Changing what we eat three times a day is the easiest and most effective way we can make a positive difference.”

“Most people honestly just don’t realise how much harm and suffering their choices are causing.”

“As the demand for plant-based food increases the demand for animal products will continue to decrease, and with that, so too will the amount of exploitation and suffering!”

“Think of how much you would want people to speak out for you if you were in the vulnerable position animals are in! They want to escape from harm but they can’t.”

“It’s up to us. If kind, compassionate people don’t stand up for them, who will?”

“Becoming vegan is not as difficult as people imagine.”

“It’s way more fulfilling, and it is wonderful knowing you are doing everything you can to create the more peaceful world you want to live in.”

If you ever bump into Simon, you can expect him to be as enthusiastic as he is compassionate. He asks us to pass on this (very lovely) message. Here you go: “If you’re considering going vegan, thank you! Veganism is the least we can do for the incredible animals we share this planet with.”

Ideas for defending animals (beyond being a vegan…)

Simon explains to us that he believes adopting a vegan lifestyle is only the first step: “The billions of land and sea animals need people to not only go vegan but become active in defending them.”

So, how do we do that?

If you’re looking for ways to get involved, Simon recommends:

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