This week we spoke to Lucy Watson: an MIC star known for being ‘blunt and opinionated’, she’s also a PETA campaigner and has her own jewellery line. We had a chat to her about her decision to become vegan and asked her for tips on eating out in London.
How long have you been vegan for, what inspired you to become vegetarian and eventually vegan?
I grew up on a working farm, I moved there when I was 5 years old. The farmer thought it was really important to educate us on how the farm was run. At one point he took us to a slaughterhouse and it was really savage. Once I realised that all the cute animals that were running around on the farm were actually the ones I was eating, I was immediately put off. Neither of my parents were vegetarian at the time and it was probably quite weird for them to be told by a six year old, ‘I am not eating meat anymore’. But I’ve stuck by it ever since. I just think its extremely cruel and my diet has never suffered from not eating meat.
And three months ago, I became vegan. I watched the documentary Cowspiracy – I hadn’t realised the calves were killed when they were taken away from their Mothers, it’s just so savage. From that point on I thought ‘I just can’t!’ and I have actually felt so much healthier since. It was the best decision ever!
What is the biggest myth about being a vegetarian?
Do you find it difficult eating out in London? Do you have any tips for any new vegans or vegetarians?
It’s a little more difficult since I became vegan, obviously even as a vegetarian it’s still quite hard and you don’t have that much to choose from. It’s getting better but especially being vegan I have seriously struggled eating out, places just do not have vegan options. It takes a lot of research, going out for dinner. I have to research before I go. I always look at the menus, sometimes I call ahead to check if it’s vegan friendly. It can be a bit of a hassle.
That’s why places like this [Mildreds] are perfect because you just know that you are going to be able to eat and even your meat eater friend’s have loads of options and will love the food. So it’s great.
But again, Just research. Peta is really good, they have section on their website that’s really helpful. But, don’t be afraid of cooking at home as well, you can make amazing food at home. I eat a lot healthier now and get a lot less take-outs.
What is your favourite vegan meal and what’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
I really like the Curry at Mildreds – because it’s very filling and a lot of the time people think of vegan food as lettuce leaves and wet salads but you can find things that will fill you up with lots of flavour.
When I became vegan I was really scared about not having mac&cheese in my life and I have been looking for alternatives. Recently I made this pasta (I used whole wheat) with roasted red pepper and sweet potato, blended it with almond milk and garlic and it made the most amazing sauce. It’s not the same as mac & cheese – but it tastes really good!
I also like Amy’s Kitchen Mac & Cheese!
How did you get involved with campaigning for PETA?
They found out I was vegetarian and got in touch about campaigning against fur. Doing what I do on the show, a lot of people wear fur and Chelsea is renowned for wearing fur. I think for them it was great to get someone involved with that lifestyle to speak out and say it is really bad and that there are so many alternatives.
So I was really keen to do it and was happy to promote cruelty-free-lifestyles. It has had a great response! We’ve also done a vegetarian campaign. And there is another that we’re currently working on that I can’t really talk about yet.
But I think it’s great to shock people to get them thinking, sometimes preaching in an aggressive manner doesn’t always work as well. It’s a different approach but I think it works.
We sent Lucy home with a copy of our cookbook. And we would like to share with you a recipe from it :
Mildreds Vegan Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe