This month I spoke to the Dirty Vegan AKA Matt Pritchard about ultra-endurance sports, Dirty Sanchez and his new BBC vegan cooking show.
For me, breaking the stereotypes that surround veganism, especially stereotypes about vegan men is important. As you can imagine then, I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview the Dirty Vegan AKA Matt Pritchard.
Professional skateboarder, stunt performer, ex-Dirty Sanchez star on MTV and now vegan celebrity chef. He recently presented the first ever vegan cooking programme on the BBC and he has just been confirmed for a second series in 2020! A huge moment for the vegan movement.
What made you transition to veganism in the first place?
I do a lot of endurance sports and realised a lot of endurance athletes were vegan also. I looked into why this was and started to research into it. It opened my mind and I questioned myself as to why I was eating meat when I loved animals as much as I did. I had also just got a lovely dog named Lemmy, a springer spaniel who is my best mate and it was a no brainer really. Watching Cowspiracy was the icing on the cake for me and the next day I went vegan.
What was the reaction from family and friends?
The family were cool about it, so much so that my both brothers are now vegan and my parents are more plant-based. We even had our first vegan Christmas last year as a family. As for friends, they were cool too but some took the piss.
How do you deal with people taking the piss?
You just have a laugh about it. The moment you show weakness or that you take it to heart they’re gonna go in even harder so laugh back.
Did you face any challenges coming from a very ‘masculine centred’ career environment like Dirty Sanchez?
Yeh, I had a bit of online hate. A few Sanchez fans thought I’d turned soft blah blah blah but its all good. I got a lot more positive feedback to so its all good.
Out of all of the old Dirty Sanchez crew who would be most likely to go vegan next?
Dainton did Veganuary this year so I’d say Daint really.
I like the fact you’re just a bloke going about his business but a vegan. I believe breaking down those stereotypes about vegans is important. What advice do you have for any men that are considering the transition?
It’s no big deal anymore. Just do it and stick your two fingers up to the world and to Anyone that thinks your an idiot for doing so. You’ve chosen to save animals from torture and death so you’re doing the right thing. Let’s not forget your health will improve immensely too.
You’ve been competing in ultra-endurance competitions for a long time now. What’s the drive behind your desire to compete in these types of events?
I’ve been doing endurance stuff since 2009. I was inspired by Rick & Dick Hoyt to do my first Ironman but my drive was to sort my life out as I’d become a mess from drink and drugs. I started with a half marathon and my addictive personality took me to double and triple ironman events. I’m about to attempt 10 ironmans in 10 days in a weeks time which is my biggest to date. Why? Because it gives me a long time to be in my own mind, switch off and keep plodding whilst switching off the world around me. When I swim, cycle, run or hike mountains I am at my happiest. I love it.
“I’m about to attempt 10 ironmans in 10 days”
How would you say going vegan has benefited your life?
In so many ways. Fitter, happier and knowing I’m not investing in cruelty and death.
Have you adopted any other positive lifestyle habits since going vegan?
I now say yes to a lot of things instead of no. I’m extremely shy so I used to turn many things down work wise and personal stuff but I now just get stuck in and its improved my quality of life immensely. It’s given me a whole lot of confidence in the process. I’m still shy but I fight it all the time and I won’t let it win.
What inspired you to create the first Dirty Vegan cookbook?
We got the deal whilst filming the first series so it went from there really. I’m very grateful to be able to have a cookbook to my name so thanks to all involved.
You recently filmed the first ever BBC vegan cookery programme which I think is an incredible moment for veganism. How did that come about and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Yes, it was an amazing show to film and I loved every minute of it. The BBC saw my YouTube cooking show and called a meeting and it went from there. One Tribe productions were involved in getting it off the ground and we started filming Autumn last year. I’m pleased to say that thanks to the show we transformed a lot of meat eaters to become vegan which is a great step in the right direction.
What does the future hold for the Dirty Vegan?
Series two is about to start filming and book number 2 is on its way.
What is your go-to vegan meal when you can’t be arsed to cook?
Raw veg and hummus dip.
What meal would you cook for non-vegan friends?
My 5 bean chilli, I love it.