The People Behind Peace.Love.Veggies
Australian Travel Bloggers Rebecca and Francis from Peace.Love.Veggies
Why did you become vegan?
When I met Francis in 2013, he was the first vegan I had ever come across. I was vegetarian at the time and he introduced me to a life of veganism. We watched Forks over Knives together and he educated me on how consuming animals and their by-products was impacting our health, their suffering and the planet. It all made such logical sense to me that I went vegan. We are now going on 6 and 7 years vegan. Our little 10 month old is being raised vegan as well.
Why did you start your blog Peace Love Veggies?
I started blogging in 2015 because I’ve always had a passion for writing and expressing myself creatively. My first novel Astrology Pond was published in 2013 and I wanted to promote it but also influence others to live a more compassionate lifestyle. It just evolved from there and now I’ve been blogging for 4 years with no signs of stopping anytime soon!
Any vegan scoops that not many people know about Australia?
Melbourne is becoming one of the most vegan friendly cities in the world! Every second day I swear a new place is opening up with vegan options. We have a store called The Cruelty Free Shop which is a 100% vegan supermarket. I discovered a few vegan scoops before it became as popular as it is now. Mantra Lounge which is run by Hare Krishnas is so underrated. More people need to visit!
3 top tips to help tourists prepare when visiting Australia
a.) Go to Brunswick Street in Melbourne – it is the most vegan friendly part of town filled with plant-based restaurants, shops and cafes.
b.) Join Friendly Vegans of Melbourne on Facebook – it is a vegan friendly Facebook page that is updated daily with new hot-spots, products to try in the supermarkets and friendly people willing to answer any question you may have.
c.) Visit in October/November for the yearly World Vegan Day festival held at our Melbourne Showgrounds. There are unlimited food stalls, cruelty-free products, guest-speakers, show-bags and more!
Which is your favorite country to travel to as a vegan and why?
My answer would be Taiwan because it is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world due to the Buddhist religion. I did not have any issues being vegan over there. The food is diverse, colorful and
so delicious. Francis really enjoyed the vegan cuisine in America. He’s a
huge fan of mock-meats and they do it so well over in the States.
Tell us about your most difficult time travelling as vegans
That would definitely have to be our honeymoon in Langkawi. We ended up eating the same couple of dishes every single day because the options were so limited and the language barrier made it difficult to communicate what we needed. We went to an Indian restaurant for lunch near our hotel and specified no dairy and they put that down to no milk but still served us butter and cream in our meals. It was really tough.
How do you prepare to visit an unknown destination as a vegan?
Francis is really good at picking hotels close to vegan friendly restaurants so that in case we are exhausted, we don’t have to travel too far for a meal. Planning beforehand is always key. We scour vegan travel blogs, Happy Cow, Tripadvisor and more. Letting tour guides know in advance our dietary requirements so we aren’t stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat. We also bring lots of snacks with us just in case.
How do you manage to communicate your vegan needs in countries where English is not commonly understood?
Before departing for Vietnam, we printed off language translation cards that said ‘no dairy’, ‘no eggs’, ‘no fish sauce’ etc. In Italy we spoke the language (coming from Italian backgrounds) which helped. Typically we just make sure we have translators on our phone or learn key phrases in advance (Check out our VEGAN WORDS page in any of the 67 countries).
Do you find people sometimes treat you unfairly due to your vegan requests?
Typically people have been very accommodating but I remember when we were travelling through the Amalfi Coast, we asked two restaurants if they could make our pizza vegan and they shook their heads. We then asked a third if they could make a pizza without cheese and they complied. It seemed like they didn’t take vegan seriously so we had to rephrase our request.
What tips can you give to people who want to forward the vegan agenda?
Francis and I are very peaceful vegans. We lead by example and try to normalize it as much as possible. We have found that being pushy gets you nowhere. People respond much better when you answer their questions calmly and with confidence. By showing others how simple it can be, it can inspire big change. My favorite quote is by Ghandi which says ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world.’
Hello! My name is Rebecca Rossi and I am a 30 year old published author/vegan/star-gazer/avid reader/ blogger/traveler/mama and the person behind Peace Love Veggies.
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