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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > October 2019 > “In 2008, I became the first ever vegan to be recorded historically in Bosnia”

“In 2008, I became the first ever vegan to be recorded historically in Bosnia”

Maria Slough tells us how surviving a modern day war led two people to veganism
Image: Copyright Maria Slough

Sitting in a small restaurant in old town Sarajevo during Ramadan, is an uncomfortable space to fill as a vegan, in that eerily quiet time just before everyone comes out to eat. I am thankful that I am meeting Maida Sabeta, Bosnia Herzegovina’s first ever vegan and her friend, Vladimir Grabovac.

Maida arrives first, petite and blonde with fire in her eyes, dressed all in black. I ask this legal mastermind how she made history as Bosnia’s first vegan?

“During the war we were all afraid. When I was nine years old, a mortar went off close to my house and I saw people killed. A Sarajevo Rose marks the spot to this day, and I was thankful it wasn’t me. Afterwards, I didn’t speak for a week.

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About Vegan Life

The year is flying by, but when things are moving at breakneck speed, it’s important to stop and take stock. This month’s interview with the brilliant Lucy Watson gave me cause to pause — when talking to Lucy about her hopes for veganism in the future, she replied, “I hope vegans will start being kinder to one another, we are in this for the same reasons and trying to ‘out vegan’ one another just isn’t productive.” Every day on social media we see vegans tearing into other vegans — emotions run high when you’re deeply passionate about something, but is this actually helpful to the cause? We are all after the same future — one where animal welfare is as important as our own — but, surely in-fighting in the vegan community is counterintuitive. We all need to think before we post, comment or reprimand, before we send that email or write the letter. Would that passion and fire be better spent elsewhere? Should we be channelling our energy into helping non-vegans make better choices, instead of attacking our own? It’s something to think about. There are some terrible crises happening across our Earth currently, and it is a very frightening time. I really enjoyed Fat Gay Vegan’s insightful piece this month — he discusses how bringing people’s attention to veganism with environmental issues is a great start, but that we shouldn’t forget to explain about how animal exploitation is a crucial part of the conversation still. Check out his guidance on p30. Enjoy the issue,

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