Meet a Vegan: Dave the Herbivore

In this month’s Meet a Vegan feature, I talk to one of my favourite vegans on Twitter, Dave the Herbivore.

If you’re a vegan and you’re on Twitter you may just know Dave already. He’s the guy who is constantly filling your feed up with amazing looking vegan food from Brighton (UK). Dave is a vegan foodie, vegan chef and all round nice guy. Who better for this month’s Meet a Vegan?

I personally enjoy Dave’s Twitter feed because it is a constant example of how unrestricted a plant-based diet can be. His hometown of Brighton with its vast array of vegan options is like a preview into the future of plant-based food and that excites me.

Dave posts photos of doughnuts, doner kebabs, burgers, gyros, cakes, hot dogs, ice cream, pies, pasties and more. I will be in Brighton this September to meet Dave and check all this food out. I cannot wait!

Can you tell us a little about yourself, Dave?

I’m a keen traveller, fitness nut, and have a real passion for cooking. I’ve spent around 15 years in the food industry, I even used to cook meat for a living. 

When did you go vegan and why?

I was vegetarian from the age of 10. Living in London, as a child, I walked past a butchers shop once with dead pigs, chickens etc hanging up, it made me feel sick. It took a few years later for me to give up meat entirely.

I thought ‘how can we treat dogs and cats with love and affection but cows and pigs we kill for food?’ My Mum and family supported me, even with a few jokes for good measure.

I always said I wanted to go Vegan but found eggs and cheese difficult to give up, I can hear myself saying it now “nah I love cheese and eggs too much to go vegan”. Then, in 2017, I watched a few documentaries like Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and Earthlings. I did some more research and from that day forward I vowed never to eat an animal product again. They’re suffering will not be because of me, I can’t turn a blind eye anymore.

I love Dave’s Twitter feed simply for amazing looking vegan food!

What were the challenges you faced?

I think one of the hardest things is going to a country where the term ‘Vegan’ is unheard of. The Happy Cow app is a life saver for those moments. One thing I’ve had to do since is completely turn my back on cooking meat as a Chef. I actually earn less money in the Vegan cafe I work in now but I feel I’d be a hypocrite to preach Veganism then cook meat. Even if it was just for a job.

What was the reaction from family and friends?

My friends and family were sceptical at first, “oh it’s just a faze, he’s just a fussy eater”. Now I’m thriving. I get people asking me questions about it, which is great because it shows people are open-minded. I always offer people my food, to show them how good it is. 

My friends and family were sceptical at first, “oh it’s just a faze, he’s just a fussy eater”. Now I’m thriving.”

How would you say going vegan has benefited your life?

I have so much more energy than before, my skin has cleared up, I just feel clean, perhaps it’s my conscience that is clean, knowing that an animal hasn’t died for me. I’ve also made new Vegan friends, which is kind of easy living in Brighton..

Do you feel you have changed much as a person?

I’m much more conscious of my actions towards the environment, I recycle more and I try to use less plastic. I’m much more pro-active towards animal rights around the world in countries where it’s common practice to still eat dogs, for tourists to ride elephants and drug tigers so tourists can take selfies with them. I think I’m just a better person now. 

What advice do you have for men thinking of going vegan?

Do it, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make and you’d wish you had done it sooner, which is what every Vegan says.

I think it’s a total myth that for you to be a man you have to eat meat. To stand up for an altruistic cause like Veganism, even though society has been conditioned to do the opposite, makes you a man.

I see you live in Brighton (UK). What is the vegan food scene like there and what restaurants are worth a visit? 

Brighton has one of the best Vegan scenes in the world, I still haven’t been to them all yet, just a few more to go. 

My top 5 places to eat Vegan food here are;

1. Ideya

2. The Foundry 

3. Longhouse Cafe

4. The Roundhill 

5. The Cornish Pastry shop

Just some of the amazing foods posted on Dave’s Twitter

“Brighton has one of the best Vegan scenes in the world”

What is your go-to vegan meal?

Spicy Vegan chilli on top of a couple of sweet potatoes, guacamole and Vegan cheese on top with a side salad. 

Sounds epic! Anything else you would like to share?

I volunteered for a day while in India at an animal rescue sanctuary called Animal Aid Unlimited in Udaipur. The sanctuary take in injured cows, dogs, donkeys, goats, pigs etc. They treat them so they are either well enough to be released, or to make them comfortable enough to live the rest of their lives in peace and happiness. There is even have an area just for paralysed and blind dogs that can never be released, all you have to do is play with them and give them some love.

 You cab check out their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Animal Aid Unlimited in Udaipur

Follow Dave on Twitter@DaveTheHerbi 

p.s I’d love to meet you on Twitter too:! here

You can check out our previous Meet a Vegan features here.

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