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“I hope as an artist I can bring new perspectives to people and ignite interesting discussions ”

Naomi Joy chats to us about her beautiful animal art

My personal vegan journey started with me becoming lactose intolerant when I was a teenager, although I now realise that was because I’m not a baby cow! At the time, there weren’t so many alternatives and it had a pretty big impact on me having to rediscover food and my relationship with what I consumed.

I quickly became hooked on Alpro soya strawberry milkshakes — I even now have a tattoo of a soya milk carton! This change led me to discussing dairy-free alternatives with vegan friends and acquaintances and learning more about it all. I always loved animals, but never made the connection as a child or understood the pain and cruelty that animal agriculture causes. When I left home for university, I found myself purchasing less and less meat over time, until I realised I was a dairy-free vegetarian and that if I just cut out eggs I could become vegan! This was six years ago now, and I gradually phased out any non-vegan make-up and clothes. It’s been amazing watching veganism grow into mainstream culture and finally finding delicious cheese alternatives in most stores.

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About Vegan Life

Time and time again we ask what the best way to advocate is, and the answer most people here at Vegan Life HQ give is food. It’s the time of year when we tend to spend more time at home, and cooking over a hot stove or spending an afternoon baking seems much more appealing and less of a chore than it did in summer. So now is the ideal time to get in the kitchen and start trying out some new and delicious recipes. If you think you could never bake a loaf of bread, now is the time to try. If you worry that your curry lacks flavour or your homemade brunch consists of toast and marmite, get experimenting. We’ve rounded up some brilliant dishes to cater for all palates, and I implore you to give them a whirl and then, crucially, share them. Be that person at work sending a company-wide email declaring there are vegan cakes in the tea room (try the Lamingtons on p69 — they are divine). Invite your friends over for an Ethiopian feast they’ll never forget (head to p74 to see how) and tempt your family to dinner with an aubergine pilaf cake (see p62). And whilst you have your nearest and dearest gathered around, with full stomachs and, hopefully, open minds, start a conversation about veganism. You never know what seeds you might plant. It’s all excellent prep for the upcoming December festivities. I hope you enjoy the supplement with this issue, which has everything you need to veganise your Christmas. Have a great month, Phillipa Smith

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