Vegan Like Me aims to profile fellow vegans, from all walks of life from everywhere in the world! We’ve all been beginners and I think its important for folks to hear people’s stories in order to motivate themselves to keep going. This feature is intended to do just that. If you are vegan and would like to participate, get in touch with me and I’ll be sure to send our questionnaire along to you.
Name: Keith De-Lin
Where do you live? Manhattan
How long have you been vegan? ”Vegetarian for 12 years, vegan for the last 10 months”
What inspired you to take on a plant-based (vegan/vegetarian) diet? ”If you’re a guy, vegan and in a relationship, I’m sure you’ve heard the following far too many times: “”Who stopped eating meat first, you or her?”" Essentially what they’re asking is, “”So, when did she tell you to stop eating meat?”" The premise being that eating meat is manly and only women trouble themselves with thoughts of compassion. Real men eat meat, blah, blah, blah.
It wasn’t my vegetarian wife and it wasn’t some awful PETA video. For me it was just the right choice at the right time. Yeah, I’d heard the pleas from her and seen the gruesome videos, but as a stubborn New Englander that grew up in cow country, I was desensitized to those images and could not be convinced they were bad.
Then finally in the winter of 2000, I read an article about a large egg farm abandoning thousands upon thousands of chickens after a roof collapsed because it was cheaper for the company to walk away. This extreme callousness just rubbed me the wrong way and from that minute on I decided I would not support an industry that chose profit over life.
Eleven years later it was the egg industry again. I learned of the fate of male chicks and how the industry inhumanely discards them and decided it was time to complete the journey and go vegan and I couldn’t be happier. “
What do you love most about being vegan? ”Knowing that my eating habits align with my beliefs, that all life is precious.
What three items do you always have in your pantry? ”1) Garlic: Being married to an Italian means never running low on garlic. We use it in just about everything and why wouldn’t we? It’s amazing!
2) Field Roast Italian Sausage: Not only is this vegan sausage delicious, it completes my spicy red sauce which is the life-blood of my existence.
3) My Spicy Red Sauce: I know this isn’t really an “”item”", but it’s rare that I don’t have at least one mason jar in the fridge with it. I love pasta and used to spend far too much money buying expensive sauces until one day I decided to make my own and it’s SO DELICIOUS. I cannot live without it. It’s great on pasta, pizza, fried dough, fights crime, fills potholes, makes Popeye strong… wait, I may be wrong about some of those. “
What is your favorite vegan comfort food? ”Two words. French Fries.”
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking on a plant-based (vegan) diet? ”I heard some advice recently that I loved and recommend. It was, lean into it. It would be great if everyone could go vegan over night, but sometimes it’s not that easy. For those people it’s nice to say that you don’t need to be The Perfect Vegan right away. Do what you’re comfortable with and slowly eliminate meat from your diet. I think you’ll find with all the alternatives out there, that it’s not as hard as people make it sound. In fact, I bet you don’t realize that most of your diet is already vegan.”
Do you find anything difficult about being vegan? ”I really wish I could give a big hardy no but there is one thing that still gets me from time to time. Pizza. While there are tons of wonderful alternatives what with Daiya and Teese, it’s the pizzerias that throw me off. Living in NYC I used to love being able to step into one no matter what block I was on. It was practically second nature to me to grab a slice whenever the mood struck. Just the smell would lure me in. And that’s the problem, on every corner the temptation is there. DAMN YOU NEW YORK!! Thankfully I’ve found a couple terrific new spots that serve vegan slices so I’m just making a point to get there as often as I can.”
Any other comments you or words of wisdom you would like to add? “I’d just like to add that the vegan community is so amazing. The sense of community and camaraderie is overwhelming and having a large support system and friends with similar values makes being a vegan one of the best choices I’ve ever made and I encourage all those on the fence to do the same.”
Thank you so much, Keith, for being our first male “Vegan Like Me”! Keith’s wife, Stacy, was my second “Vegan Like Me” and I’m so thrilled to say that we have all become friends, because of this very blog! In fact, Keith & Stacy were inspired to create their own vegan blog, Vegan Fatty Boombalatty! They post a lot of great recipes, reviews and other such vegan goodness. You can “like” them on Facebook, too. Keith is totally right, though – the vegan community is an amazingly supportive bunch, and I am so grateful for all of the friends that I have made just through being vegan.