Ask a Vegan: Deborah Leader
The creative mind behind the Vegan Vigilante blog shares why having a renegade spirit goes hand in hand with the growing vegan movement.
Deborah Leader, a registered nurse and the creative force behind Vegan Vigilante, knows that going vegan offers a multitude of benefits for both animals and personal health. Her blog, chock full of great-tasting ethical and sustainable recipes, is designed to open readers’ eyes to the culinary possibilities. “I became vegan in May 2016, after 20 years of being vegetarian,” Leader explains. “My goal with Vegan Vigilante is to inspire others to incorporate more plant-based, vegan food choices into their daily lives to improve health, decrease risk factors for disease, boost energy, and save the lives of millions of animals every year.”
Leader recently sat down with PizzaVegan.com to discuss the vegan movement—and why she thinks that recent strides in this space are only the beginning for what she calls a “new world order.”
Q: What do you think are some common misconceptions about vegan consumers and/or vegan diets?
A: I think vegans are regarded as vigilantes. It’s almost as if the only way non-vegans can defend themselves against the truth about what their meat consumption entails—what it means to be a consumer of meat—is by bashing veganism. But I think that vegans are vigilantes, and I think they have to be. It’s the only way they can make an impact. The only way they can get to the truth is to tell the truth!
Q: How can pizzerias and restaurants do a better job of communicating their vegan offerings to customers and reach the vegan community?
A: Make vegan pizzas so good, even non-vegans will order them. If you make a vegan pizza and it’s not great, ask (and listen to) your vegan customers. What could make it better? Vegan cheese is a biggie, so either make or buy a brand of meltable vegan cheese that will blow everyone’s mind.
Q: Why do you see vegan eating as not just a trend but a full evolution of our eating habits going forward (even among meat eaters who are incorporating more plant-based foods)?
A: In the past year or so, we have seen almost every major fast-food chain in America add vegan options to their menu. This is not just a trend. The trend will be inventing even more delicious food options that are vegan!
Q: What strides have you witnessed in vegan food options over the years, and what do you want to see or predict for the future of this space?
A: We have made major strides in promoting vegan food options, and most restaurants are now offering them. But this is not enough. Until the entire planet realizes that veganism is the new world order, we are not done. There is a whole lot of work to be done, and we must do it for the animals.
Deborah Leader from Vegan Vigilante created The Vegan Ziggy Stardust Pizza exclusively for PizzaVegan.com. Check out her recipe and make it for yourself!