World Vegan Day (WVD) was a fantastic success, with a total of 66 people attempting to be vegan or vegetarian for the day. Being vegetarian saves at least one animal per day so…

67animals.jpg

On an equally positive note, only two people said that they didn’t want to participate. That means that 97.1% people, that I spoke to, wanted to take part. What an amazing bunch of people I have around me!

Here is the amazing feedback I got from everyone about their experiences on WVD. 

Mega cousins Tabitha (1) and Verity (2) jumped straight into WVD with the help of their super-mum Zoe (3). The night before, they even attempted to make a vegan banana loaf… and then added eggs 😆! On the day, they had a lovely breakfast of organic porridge & homemade organic almond milk with apricots and chia seeds. For lunch, Zoë made a mega vegan packed lunch for the girls and for dinner they all had pasta with vegan cheese. Unfortunately the vegan cheese wasn’t to their taste (I am also not a fan of vegan cheese unless it is homemade). A wonderful and unexpected surprise was that my cousin Jason (4) (dad to Tabitha and Verity, wife to Zoe) decided to also be vegetarian for the day. The day before he wrote a message saying “OK… I’ve thought about this and going vegan for a day is maybe a step too far…the lack of chocolate alone could cause some serious damage! However, in order to do my bit to support you, I will commit (starting now) to doing a day of being a veggie. Hope this helps the cause.” I was so happy! Jason’s summary of the day was Still alive” which I personally take as a huge success haha!

One of my oldest friend’s Marc (5), his wife Carla (6) and their children Joshua (7) and Eloise (8) are another lovely family that were happy to take part. The day did not differ from a regular day for them as they tend to eat vegetarian sometimes and Carla often cooks from scratch. Marc had a baked potato with cheese and beans for lunch whilst Carla cooked a delicious pasta dish for everyone at dinner. Check out the photos, Carla looks like a pro!

Amazing Uncle Len (9) almost backed out of the day saying that he needed to go away for work “Full English, it’s the law when you’re in a hotel”. I put my foot down (as favourite niece’s can) and told him that he had to suffer for the day without bacon! Uncle Len took it on the chin and had a cheese panini on the way to his conference and then omelette and chips for dinner. Uncle Len’s son, Cool Cousin Jake (10) also insisted on redoing  vegan day on Thursday after he forgot on Tuesday. He refused the bacon sandwich his mum had made him for breakfast and asked her to make pancakes instead. For dinner he ate pasta. I thought this was super thoughtful of Jake 💛 Uncle Len’s girlfriend Jas (11) also showed her commitment to the day by eating cereal for breakfast and then lovely veggies with pasta for dinner. Jas even got a friend (12) to take part in World Vegan Day with her!

Mega friend Dean (13) had reservations about taking part in World Vegan Day whereas his wife Mari (14) and daughter Rubi (15) were very happy to. Dean is a huge lover of meat and wondered what exactly he was going to eat all day. As he is such a good friend, he survived the day. For lunch he had fried rice from the night before and for dinner he had pasta. The next day he was very honest and said tbh i dont think i do want to (give up meat)…not completely anyway but i would consider reducing the amount”. Dean is so lovely! I also had a great conversation with Mari about how she doesn’t like the taste of milk. She had visited a dairy farm near where they live and she didn’t like how they treated the cattle. Unfortunately soya milk does tend to be more expensive than cow’s milk which makes it harder for people to make the switch. Hopefully in the future, companies will do more to make alternatives to cow’s milk more available to everyone, especially large families.

My Most Gentle Friend Andrea (16) is vegetarian and so opted to be vegan for the day. His account of the day was “the most tricky meal was breakfast as i had not realized how many seemingly innocuous products are not vegan (biscuits for instance)… for the normal meals it was simpler!” I absolutely agree with Andrea’s statement. One thing I love about being vegan is that I am more aware of what ingredients are in my food. I really appreciate the effort Andrea went to to make sure everything was vegan for the day. He even got his brother Giovanni (17) to take part in the day too!

Super sister-in-law Steffi (18) wasn’t able to take part on the actual day as she was away from home, but insisted that she have a vegetarian day when possible. I was very grateful. Her plan was to make cauliflower rice, but her busy day meant she didn’t have as much time. So instead she had ratatouille and a mushroom pizza. Excellent veggie choices! I am still looking forward to hearing how cauliflower rice turns out though 😀

Lovely Auntie Lynne (19) and Uncle Pat (20) were happy to support me by being vegetarian for the day. Auntie Lynne took a packed lunch into work: veggies, cheese and a small chocolate bar. After checking whether the chocolate bars were vegetarian, we learnt that wagon wheels were not because of the marshmallow. For dinner Auntie Lynne made spaghetti bolognese using Quorn mince (for the first time!). She said that it was “quite bland but I put garlic and chilies to make it more tasty”.

lynne-bolognese

Cool couple Tania (21) and Mark (22) were very happy to go along with WVD. Tania is an incredibly open person when it comes to food and in the last few years has become pescatarian. For dinner they made homemade leek and potato soup and even incorporated Mark’s mum’s chapatti as a vegan side dish. Thanks Mark’s mum!

tania-soup

Lovely Tohier (23) (which autocorrects as thief!) had been persuaded to join in with WVD by Lovely Mum. Thief (… sorry Tohier) had potato samosa with potato and onion pakoras. Thanks Tohier!

tohier-pakora

Lovely Mum (24) and Step-Dad Paul (25) had come to stay with us in Spain just before WVD so after a long vegan weekend they were ready for a vegan day of their own. For lunch they had mushrooms on toast (without butter) and cooked a lovely dish of gnocchi, mushrooms, asparagus and brussel sprouts for dinner (recipe here). The both of them have commented that they would like to incorporate more vegan meals into their diet both for the animals and health reasons 💛

mummy-gnocchi

Mega friends Vera (26) and Andrew (27) were super keen to take part in WVD as their daughter is also vegan, so they were very familiar with the dishes. Their plans changed when their day got super busy. Instead they made sure they had a vegan dinner the next day: bubble and squeak. How lovely of them to keep their word!

Super friend Mark (N) (28) (like many other people who eat meat) has always had the impression that he will feel hungry if he doesn’t eat meat with his meals. Lucky for me (not so much for him) he suffered a bad bout of food poisoning from a dodgy chicken sandwich the weekend before WVD and so he was more than happy to keep meat off the menu for the day. Mark went to a street market to get vegan paella for lunch (which looked yum!) and for dinner he had a huge fry-up which included Quorn sausages. He said “Flavours weren’t tooo bad actually. Not sold on the texture though. I will try the burgers one day”. I have to admit, I also didn’t like the Quorn sausages but I have suggested Mark to try the Quorn chicken pieces or escalops which are some of my favourites.

Wonderful Husband (29) did an amazing job of being vegan for the day along with our Nutty Dog (30). To be fair this wasn’t going to be a challenge for either of them as Wonderful Husband is vegan most of the time and Nutty Dog is happy to eat anything I give him. For lunch we had pasta and for dinner Wonderful Husband made stuffed potato skins (yum!). Nutty Dog enjoyed sweet potato, broccoli and carrot mash with black beans for dinner. I don’t normally eat black beans so I wasn’t aware the effect they had on a person… Safe to say I won’t be feeding black beans to Nutty Dog again any time soon 😉

Nutty friend Ravin (31) and his lovely sister Samanthi (32) both agreed to go along with WVD. Ravin’s job is great as they provide him with lunch, so he had to have amazing o avoid all the non-vegetarian foods. This meant he feasted on many vegetarian pizza’s haha! On the other side of the World, Samanthi had a very healthy day eating porridge with maple syrup and cashews for breakfast, rice and chickpea curry for lunch and vegetarian lasagne for dinner. I also had a great conversation with Samanthi about the vitamins that a vegan or vegetarian should be taking. People will commonly accuse vegans of not being healthy because they don’t naturally get the vitamin B12. It is now becoming common knowledge that neither do meat-eaters as vitamin B12 is fed to farm animals before they are slaughtered. Nutritional yeast and marmite are great sources of B12 if you’re not a fan of taking supplements. I plan to talk about this more in a future blog post – thanks Samanthi for making me think more about this topic!

Lovely Mona (33) was one of my most enthusiastic participants of WVD and we have been swapping recipes ever since. Mona was my graduation and wedding photographer and recently she has been nominated for a regional award. On top of being an amazing photographer she is also a very enthusiastic foodie. Mona ate porridge with almond milk, blueberries, ground linseed, toasted linseed and toasted hazelnuts for breakfast and then for lunch she had stripey organic stuffed pepper (rice, mushrooms, courgette, tomato, parsley & sun dried tomatoes) with a salad of steamed beans, feta (vegetable renet) & toasted almonds. Not only did Mona also get her friend Yana (34) to participate but as she only managed to eat a panini for dinner, she also insisted on doing an extra meal the next day! The next evening she had roasted aubergine with feta and roasted veggies with rosemary and garlic. Not only did the food sound delicious but her photos were amazing… Take a look for yourself.

Relaxed friend John (35) has recently become pescatarian and was very happy to do WVD – even discussing with me different recipes that he could make. John is based in San Francisco so WVD was super easy for him, there are vegan restaurants everywhere! John had fruit for breakfast, a vegan deconstructed samosa with rice for lunch and a salad for dinner. Although he didn’t have time on the day, John is super keen to try a recipe for coconut noodles in the near future. 

Grannie Annie (36) and Grandad Nip (37) said that they were happy to take part in WVD as this would not be much different to a regular day for them. Grannie Annie made a yummy cannelloni for their dinner. Everything was vegetarian except for the grated parmesan on top as parmesan includes animal rennet which is traditionally sourced from the stomach of slaughtered newly-born calves and is therefore deemed non-vegetarian. However most people don’t know this and I was very grateful that Grannie Annie was happy to talk about the topic with me. Some cheeses aren’t vegetarian so please check the label if you are unsure. 

grannieannie-cannelloni

For days before WVD, Clever Friend Gregor (38) kept telling me he planned to have wraps on the big day. He really craved wraps. On the day, I awoke to several funny gifs (shown below) – Gregor was clearly excited about eating his wraps… However, Gregor didn’t have a single wrap on WVD 😂 and instead he ate a very tasty bowl of penne with a white truffle sauce, Quorn chicken pieces and mushrooms with garlic bread. This is the kind of dish that I love! Gregor recently said “I’m considering going veggie for real though. I dont really have a use for meat.” This is music to my ears!

Lovely Inna (39) and her husband Martin (40) are already vegetarian and so were happy to be vegan for the day. They had cereal, black coffee and a fruit smoothie for breakfast and had the most wonderful lime and chilli stir fry with tofu for dinner. I will have to get the recipe! 

Mega Itzel (41) and Andrew (42) had a very easy WVD. They really like cheese but detest milk so simply avoiding cheese for the day was not difficult. They had a lovely fruit salad for breakfast, bread with tomato (a typical Spanish dish) for lunch and then vegan tacos for dinner.

Lovely Auntie Alison (43) and Mega Cousin Jack (44) took the day on with full force, despite Jack having the flu! They both enjoyed toast in the morning and then a nice roast for dinner (minus the meat). Auntie Alison even made sure that the gravy was vegetarian. They both commented that the food was delicious (I think that has to do with Autie Alison’s cooking) and were happy with the day.

My lovely dog-saving friends Dawn (45) and Nilda (46) were both open to being vegan for the day although Dawn did threaten to eat chips all day haha! In Spain WVD happened on the same day as a national holiday and so all the supermarkets were closed. Regardless of this hiccup, Dawn still stuck to the plan and remained vegan all day. She had mushroom pate on toast for breakfast, chips for lunch (only once!) and chilli for dinner. Nilda had toast with jam for breakfast, risotto for lunch and had a lovely vegetable soup for dinner. 

Lovely Step-Mum Cindy (47) didn’t mind being vegan for the day as she spent many years being vegetarian. Cindy went to a lot of trouble to make homemade lentil hamburgers and even convinced her mum Jenny (48) to have some as she was joining her for dinner. Cindy said “(Jenny) was a tiny bit hesitant but woofed all of hers”. This was great news. Vegan food can be so yummy if you give it a chance!

cindy-lentilburgers

Good Friend Ali (49) has recently shared many conversations with me about different diets including veganism. Ali likes to eat very healthily and spends a lot of time at the gym, so his one concern about being vegetarian for the day is that he would lack protein. After some discussion he was happy to go ahead. For breakfast Ali had mushrooms, red bell peppers, four egg whites, halloumi cheese, green olives and a wrap. Then for the rest of day he had two protein shakes and some veggie hotdogs. Lots of protein!

Dear Friend Harjit (50) was the only friend to not commit immediately to WVD as he has meat with every meal. In particular he was worried about upsetting me incase he forgot and by accident ate something non-vegetarian… So I used my friend authority and said he had no choice 😉 I was worried he would just starve all day to make me happy but to my surprise he sent me a great selfie of him enjoying a vegetable samosa. He even politely refused to eat a lamb curry when out with friends on the day. I have such lovely friends!

mini-samosa

Awesome Friend Adriá (51) is one of my most forgetful friends. Adriá thought that WVD was on Monday (even after several reminders) so he ended up being vegan on both Monday and Tuesday for me! Adriá eats vegetarian for most days so this was not too dissimilar from a regular day for him. He did go to extra effort to take photos for me though. Whilst eating dinner (onion soup to start and pasta with carrots, peppers, olives, garlic and oil for his main) at a table with work colleagues, Adriá took photos of his food. However no one asked him why he was taking photos nor did he bother telling them. This much have seemed very strange haha!adria-pasta

Lovely Friend June (52) is a huge foodie, cooking from recipe books all the time and has also done courses on nutrition. Whenever we get to talk I value her opinion dearly with regards to nutrition and vegan diets. June was more than happy to be vegan for the day as it did not deviate from her usual healthy recipes. For lunch June had homemade tomato and beetroot soup, lentils, cous cous, squash, fruit, nuts and seeds (that would last me a whole day) and for dinner she ate pasta with a homemade tomato and balsamic sauce. She took the most amazing photos and I am hoping she invites me round for dinner one day!

Mega Nish (53) was very confident he could go along with WVD as for religious reasons he is vegetarian every Tuesday, so this wouldn’t be too much of a change. He mainly stuck to fruit and vegetables all day, so a very healthy day for Nish! 

nish-salad

Jayyyyviss (54) gave me a great insight into how some people view vegans and vegetarians. He was happy to take part but when I asked him what he would be eating for dinner, he seemed to have trouble thinking of anything and eventually came up with “Maybe rice and broccoli?”. It’s normal for people to think that vegetarians and vegans don’t have a lot of variety in their diet so I am super thankful to Jayyyyyyviss for reminding me of this. If I can show that vegetarians and vegans have a very healthy and diverse diet then maybe more people will be open to transitioning. I suggested that Jayyyyyviss could have vegetarian pizza for dinner and he was very happy with this. 

Mega Cousin Luke (55) is always happy to go along with most things and WVD was not an exception. He had preplanned a vegetable stew for dinner and univeristy would provide some sort of vegetarian lunch so his day would be easy. He had Moroccan cous cous for lunch but when he came home he realised it was a beef stew and so instead he had a potato curry. He said “Wasn’t that hard actually for the day anyway. I’m sure it would get hard lol but I was quite proud of myself not gonna lie.” Luke was completely vegan for the day!

My amazing friend Sam (56) said that she would join in with WVD and proceeded to send me a photo of her steak and guiness pie with chips the night before. Typical Sam haha! But she stuck to her word for WVD and had a lovely chicken casserole without the chicken for dinner. It looked yum!

sam-casserole

Lovely David (57) and Shirley (58) were my neighbours back in the UK. David is already a vegetarian and therefore tried to be vegan for the day. Unfortunately they came up against a lot of issues for the day and weren’t able to be vegan but they did try their hardest which is all I can ask of people. I’m really grateful for the effort they put into the day.

Ivy (59) is Lovely Mum’s colleague and, under the duress of Lovely Mum, agreed to try out being vegetarian for the day. Unfortunately without Lovely Mum’s reminder, Ivy forgot but has spoke about trying it another day. Even just the day itself is a great reminder of what we can do for animals.

Lovely Jennifer (60) is a lovely lady also living in Dénia that cares a lot for animals. She is vegetarian and looking to become vegan in the future so she was very happy to participate in WVD. For dinner Jennifer had (the very Spanish) lentils with chorizo (without the chorizo!). 

Mega Friend Jonathyn (61) had an advantage over most people taking part as his fiance is vegan. He was very confident that this ‘would be a walk in the park’ and to be honest it was. He had peanut butter on toast for breakfast, jacket potato with beans for lunch and then lovely fajitas for dinner. All of his food sounds yummy and all without animal products!

jonathyn-stirfry

Mega Mark (P) (62) decided not to be vegetarian but to go the full way and be vegan. He even tried soya milk for the first time but said It’s awful. It just tastes weird. It tastes like off milk.” I personally love soya milk so will be keen to hear if Mark tries any of the other milk alternatives. Mark has a lovely lentil bolognese already prepared in the fridge ready for dinner but instead decided to have an Indian takeaway meal. My heart sank when I thought that he hadn’t stayed vegan but without asking, he confirmed that the food had been vegan, what a star!

One of my newest and loveliest friends Carma (63) was a late addition to WVD but didn’t need much time to prepare as her diet consists of mainly vegan food and lots of veggies. Carma made the biggest breakfast I have ever seen of porridge made with water, sweetened with grated apple topped with seeds and nuts. Carma and her sister Dubheasa (64) also attempted to make vegan French toast. This recipe normally turns out lovely however Carma tried it with gluten-free bread with not as much success, so instead they used the batter to make pancakes the next day – so resourceful! For dinner they had a beautiful lentil curry and Elodie (65), Carma’s six month old, had a piece of banana (totally vegan!). 

My Lovely Auntie Mel (66) does a lot for people less fortunate than herself and was very happy to take part in being vegan for the day. For breakfast, Melanie had Crunchy Peanut Butter and Banana for breakfast on my fav Harry Potter plate!!! and for dinner she made winter vegetable soup with lentils, split peas and pearl barley (with lots of red chilli!). It sounds yum and super healthy!

Thank you to everyone that took part in WVD 💛