Interview: Vegan Fitness (Darren) talks about veganism and social media
Some of the team are spending January living life as a vegan, and we’ve been catching up with some of the leading vegan social media content creators, to hear about their experiences.
Darren is one half of Vegan Family TV, one of the UK’s top vegan YouTube channels. He kindly shared his thoughts:
How long have you been vegan?
We went vegan in the middle of January 2012 after we watched the documentary Earthlings. I told Georgie about how horrific it was and we instantly decided to go vegan but because we have a young family we had to figure out how to get optimal nutrition without eating animal products.
What have you found the biggest benefits to be?
It actually turned out that it’s not just possible to be healthy while being vegan, but that you end up actually feeling the healthiest you’ve ever felt! The science proven benefits are dramatically reduced incidences of heart disease and cancer, but also on a personal level you feel bright, sharp, light and vibrant. We recover quickly from exercise and our minds feel clear.
What’s the most surprising benefit compared to when you began?
It’s amazing how fast it is gaining traction, everywhere we go has so many vegan options! We have traveled lots and we’re never stuck without options.
What’s the worst thing?
On the rare occasion when you get invited to eat somewhere and the restaurant has limited options. However we’ve learned to simply make a meal out of side options, simply order 3 or 4 side dishes and then you have a mini tapas feast. There’s always a way to make positive of any situation and just the fact we get to eat anything which means no harm is being caused to animals or our own bodies is always a winner with us regardless!
What’s your biggest frustration?
There was a slight learning curve in the beginning as a whole new world of foods opened up to us, but we viewed it with excitement instead. Now it all feels like second nature and we eat a significantly wider variety of foods than when we were omnivores.
What role does social media plays in your veganism?
Social media is huge for connecting humanity in general. It helps keep not just vegans connected but also it helps show the human element to everybody without the imaginary walls between us, regardless of religion or nationality etc.
What motivated you to start creating content about veganism?
We felt compelled to share how amazing we felt as family and friends wanted to know how and why we had made the changes which we had. Then it just started to gain so much traction that now we have a huge group of friends who watch us from all around the world.
What share of your audience are vegan themselves?
Now that we are growing so much we’d estimate that a smaller and smaller section of our audience are vegan. Probably about 30% nowadays, but we’re forever receiving comments saying we inspired others to go vegan!
What’s been your most successful content?
Our most successful content is showing our children since most who aren’t aware that a plant-based diet can be healthy for all ages always want to see what the children are like, whether they are unwell or wasting away! We manage to shatter those incorrect old stereotypes.
Have you seen an increase in non-vegans being interested?
Yes massively so! So many people are discovering the world wide benefits of veganism.
What are your thoughts on what’s next for veganism?
It’s going to continue growing and growing, which is good news for the planet and all of its inhabitants.
How do you find eating out, and the more social side of food?
Absolutely easy, 99% of places have vegan options and cooking for friends and family is fun as we get to wow them with all what there is to offer. Pizza and chocolate cake with ice cream, no problem!
Is there anyone you look to for inspiration?
We rely on each other for our main inspiration since the people you spend the most time with are the people you become. We also read a lot of personal development books such as The Compound Effect and The Miracle Morning.
Finally, what’s the best vegan chocolate / treat option?
There are so many to choose from! Ritter Sport marzipan is great chocolate and Booja Booja ice cream is delicious!