Your Voice… Karin Ridgers shares her expertise for #Veganuary

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Karin Ridgers is an Essex based presenter. You can also hear her on the local radio station Phoenix FM every Friday from 6pm to 8pm. Karin also runs VeggieVision TV and is a presenter at VegFestUK, we caught up with her to talk about what Veganism means to her and how she feels it enhances her lifestyle…

I love being vegan. As well as feeling great, cutting out on animal cruelty being vegan has led me to meet some incredible experts and celebrities. I have met restaurant and hotel owners to tell them how and why to cater for vegans and my goal has always been to make life easier for future vegans… including my son Callum who is 12.

I have met wonderful friends and this has even become my business – as MAD Promotions my PR business specialises in and is known for promoting vegan people and vegan products.

What influenced you towards a vegan lifestyle, and how long have you been a vegan?
It just all made sense to me 20 + years ago when I found out more about veganism. The food was great then, and has just got better and better! I went vegetarian initially and the more I learnt about factory farming I decided after a few short years to go the whole way and be vegan. I truthfully had nightmares about going vegan! Could I give up my much loved cheese and chocolate? Well once I made the decision a whole new world of dairy free products were waiting for me and at no point over these past 20 years have I ever missed any animal food product!

What advice would you give to help people adopt a vegan lifestyle?
The first tip I give celebrities and journalists who I coach to be vegan is to know your reason why. It’s all about your mind set. Why do you want to now be vegan? Is it because you want no part of the animal cruelty anymore? Do you want to lead a healthier lifestyle? Do you want to have a lower carbon foot print? Something else? Whatever the reason write it down. Put it on little sticky notes and pop on your PC, on your fridge, your bathroom mirror… anywhere where you will read it and be reminded as to why you are choosing this lifestyle. Knowing why can help in any moments of weakness if you feel like giving into non vegan temptation – which can happen in the early stages.

It will also help when you get bombarded with everyone’s questions!

What products would you highly recommend as alternatives?
There are so many super alternatives to meat and dairy products now. As well as every supermarket having great vegan choices I always suggest having a chat with your local health food store. Claire in Natures Table in Billericay is very helpful and has some lovely vegan friendly products in her shop. I feel it’s important to support our local independent stores as much as we can.

Some incredible products can be found online.

Vegusto and V Bites for vegan cheese and meat.
Vego and Plamil for chocolate.
Plamil and Follow Your Heart for dairy free mayo.
The Wicked range from Tesco for ready meals.
And of course pop over to the biggest vegan festivals in Europe! VegfestUK. We have 2 massive events each year. One in Brighton and one in London so just down the road to Essex!

The choice now for vegan friendly products is mind blowing.

The food companies and restaurants are really waking up to the fact that catering for vegans means you make more money!

The best thing is no animal has suffered or dies for your plate.
A healthy plant based diet is great for the planet, for the animals as well as your health.

VeggieVisionTV @VeggieVisonTV • Jan 7
We have been testing out lots of new and tasty vegan products at VeggieVisionTV! http://www.veggievision.tv

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