Veganism: An Interview


We live in a world where many people are fighting for global change –  whether that is for equality or whether that is to save our environment, there is a movement far bigger than any of us can imagine. In recent years, with a rise in facts and evidence surfacing about how serious climate change is, many people have decided to try and make as much of a difference as they can through lifestyle changes, one of the most common being going veganism. Veganism for some is simply a change in diet to benefit their health but for the vast majority of vegans it is a complete change in lifestyle and awareness of the world around them and making a conscious effort to help the evermore negative change the earth is facing and deciding not to support the ethically questionable industries of meat and dairy. In order to understand veganism more accurately and personally we interviewed a former FIS Student Phoebe Brewster, who is spreading her knowledge and passion of veganism through her Youtube channel “Phoebe Brewster”.

How long have you been vegan?

I have been vegan since the beginning of August, 2017, so almost 8 months!


When and why did you decide to go vegan?

My dad is vegetarian and has been for as long as I can remember, so choosing to become vegetarian at the age of 13 was an easy one. Veganism on the other hand, was way out there for me. I had heard of it, but never took the time to look into and back up my opinion that it was a bit ‘out there’. Fast forward to 2017, I’m 23 and, am a little more aware of the world around me and can’t help but notice that veganism is on the rise. At the time, my meat-eating boyfriend was thinking about cutting down on eating meat and toying with vegetarianism. He found a great documentary on netflix called, Cowspiracy and it blew his mind. He made me watch it with him and it kind of snowballed from there. We were both continuously shocked after each fact and each statistic, and kept looking at each other, eyes wide, saying, ‘why did we not know this!!’, like that is takes 2,500 gallons of water to make 1 pound of beef*. At first, the motivation behind the decision was environmentally inclined. With more research and just being vegan for a little while, came the compassion. Then when I started really feeling good and seeing how my hair was stronger, my energy increased and my sleep better, the health motivation was right up there with the environment and the animals!


When you went vegan did you have a transition phase or change your diet from one day to the next?

Yes, I definitely had a transitional phase. It took about a week, from watching that first documentary. I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I was very intimidated by the scale of the commitment and was hesitant to really go for it. I decided to just try eating plant-based, but decided not to beat myself up if I had sushi or some cheese in my sandwich. I quickly found that I didn’t want the sushi at all. Then when I did pick up a salad with some feta or mozzarella in it, I felt weird about it; not in the ‘I’m breaking my diet kind of way, but that I felt weird eating it knowing what I know now. There has been no turning back, I can confidently say I will be vegan for the rest of my life!


What has been the most interesting thing about going vegan?

There have been a lot of interesting things that have come with going vegan! I think the best, or most interesting thing I have come across is the vegan community that is out there. Sometimes, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one and that maybe what you’re doing isn’t ‘right’ or ‘normal’ because you are the minority, but there are so many vegans out there!! I joined a couple of facebook groups and even started my own Youtube channel in an attempt to open up a few conversations. As a little bit of an introvert myself, I have never met so many people. I didn’t think that becoming vegan would give me confidence and new friends!


Do you find that going vegan has affected more than just your diet and lifestyle?

For sure. Once you start to question such a basic thing, like where your food comes from, you are going to start questioning some other things. It’s really empowering to stop and think for yourself.Recently, I have been exploring minimalism, which is very much new territory for me! I am also really into the zero waste lifestyle. I have recently discovered the most amazing package free supermarket which is all kinds of cool.


Do you wish you had gone vegan sooner?

I am really proud of my being a little kinder to the environment and of the animal lives I am saving, so in that sense, yes, I do wish I went vegan sooner. However, personally, it came at a great time in my life which aligned with some other decisions, like leaving my fast-paced life in London for a more down to earth adventure in Copenhagen. I also feel that if I had gone vegan sooner, say, when I was still living at home, it would not have been so easy. I think sometimes I take for granted, how easy it is to live with someone who shares your views and who eats what you eat. I spoke to Freya Baker, who used to go to FIS, for a video I made about being vegan in high school and she said it’s definitely not without its difficulties, but I think it only strengthens your feelings and beliefs. So in answer to the question, I think I would say yes!!


What have been the most difficult parts about going vegan (if any)?

Unfortunately, there are difficulties of all sorts. I faced (and still face) a bit of judgement, criticism and awkwardness in general. It took me a while to get used to being ‘that girl’ at the restaurant, who has to ask for a special dish, or who is always introduced as ‘the vegan’, but I have learned to just own it and relax a little about what others think.

I have also been dealing with a lot of anger that I didn’t really see coming. This compassion for animals really crept up on me. I chose to educate myself on some of the practices used in factory farms— even ‘free range’ farms— and slaughterhouses and I can’t shut my eyes to it or look away from it any more. The anger I am talking about stems from now asking questions like, why is it backwards and just messed up to kill and eat a dog, but pretty normal to do that to pigs? We have decided that some of the most gentle and intelligent animals like pigs, cows and sheep are ‘food’ and not the sentient beings that they are. Its something I am so passionate about and I am still learning how to process all these feelings!


What would be your top 3 tips for people thinking about going vegan?

First of all, I would recommend to do some research! A great place to start is by watching some documentaries. My favourites are Cowspiracy and What the Health. They are made by the same guy, Kip Anderson (who is amazing) and really well done (both are on netlflix). Try youtube as well, there are so many amazing channels out there. Check out Ellen Fisher, who is a beautiful and inspirational person, and also the radiant Bonny Rebecca, who will be your youtube big sister in no time. Tip number two, is to take it slow. It’s totally normal to feel a bit intimidated because you basically have to reteach yourself how you think about food. You are not a ‘bad vegan’ if you still think bacon smells good— of course it will, you have been eating it your whole life, it’s a habit that can’t be switched off overnight. A final tip is, make sure you are eating enough! It sounds silly, but it’s so important. I thought that being vegan meant you had to eat salads, smoothies and a whole bunch of fruit, which you can, but if that is not what you are used to eating, its going to feel a little weird at first. If you aren’t getting enough calories, you are going to be hungry, which could lead to feeling down, or to reach for something you used to eat before. Veganism is all about eating in abundance, it’s not a restriction diet! I’m not endorsing it, but I also eat chocolate, pizza, cookies and burgers… you can veganise anything! There are so many vegan recipes and information out there to help you learn about nutrition and to figure out what works for you.


Thank you so much to Phoebe Brewster for taking the time to answer these questions.

* more facts and statistics can be found here: