Talking Veganism With Comedian Carl Donnelly
Veganuary seems to be the biggest it's ever been this year, its great to see so many people wanting to give the vegan diet a go. Last year there were so many new vegan options emerging from restaurants and supermarkets and its still increasing which is fabulous. As with any challenge of giving up something or trying something new, it can be tough. Especially when you're cutting out something that you loved like cheese or a steak, but that does pass I promise. The reason you've decided to give up those things is far more important and that may be for your health, the animals or the environment or something else.
I got the chance to interview comedian Carl Donnelly about his reasons for turning vegan and his journey along the way. I actually interviewed him some time ago but for one reason or another my blog took a bit of a back burner for a while. BUT, it has now had a revamp and I thought now would be the perfect time to put this interview up being when people are trying Veganuary.
What made you go vegan/start looking into veganism?
I was tired of justifying my old lifestyle to myself. I felt guilty about such a huge chunk of what I was eating/ wearing/ using that I simply couldn’t turn a blind eye anymore. I realised that the amount of energy I was using to ignore my guilt and avoid thinking about the reality of the situation massively outweighed the effort needed to make the move to a cruelty free life.
What helped you go vegan?
The biggest help came from the vegans I knew. I know a few long standing ones who gave me the good tips that only come with experience. I also had a few friends/ acquaintances who were new to it so we went through the transition together.
What has been your biggest struggle along the way?
None. It’s strange to say it because one of the most common questions I get asked is “How difficult is it being/going vegan” and the fact of the matter is that it is incredibly simple. We live in a time where suitable replacements for everything in the non vegan lifestyle is widely available. It’s not even a case of having to find specialist shops anymore. There are vegan options available in all supermarkets and high street clothes shops so the excuse “It’s too difficult” just isn't true and is just a person trying to justify their laziness.
What has been the stupidest or most bizarre comment you have received about your vegan lifestyle choice?
My mum is a constant source of entertainment when it comes to my veganism. She is an old Irish lady so veganism is not something she has experienced much in her life. She constantly asks me if obviously non vegan items are suitable. She has asked me if ‘Tuna’ is vegan maybe 20 times over the last four/five years.
What is your favourite vegan food?
I’m not hugely into fake meat and dairy etc (I have the odd bit if I’m at a festival etc). I’ve discovered fruits and vegetables I’d never tried in the old days though which is amazing. Jackfruit now makes a regular appearance in my diet which I’d never even heard of four years ago.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about going vegan?
Stop putting it off and thinking about it, just do it. It’s easy and will make you feel physically and mentally healthier than you ever have. If you start finding it difficult then you’re doing it wrong so ask a couple of other vegans who don’t struggle and they’ll get you back on the right track.
Some great pointers from Carl there. I definitely have had similar silly comments like the tuna one and on a comment subject - don't let the negative comments put you off. Some people always feel they need to comment and miraculously some people turn into nutritionists as soon as you say you're going vegan. You can easily power through those comments, you know why you're doing it and its pretty irrelevant what anyone else thinks. If you are trying a vegan diet for this January and you are struggling or want advice, regarding anything around veganism, absolutely reach out to friends and social media. I found there were LOADS of nice vegans on twitter, I still talk to lots who helped me initially - such a friendly bunch! There's always people with great tips and words of encouragement only too happy to help. Keep going!