Around three years ago, while during my Master in Journalism, I thought about starting with a vegan magazine. Not online, a paper magazine. I had the money to invest, had the wish and time but haven’t had the courage to go through it. Time has passed and life has changed a lot around here. I decided to focus in this website, came up with the Vegan Package Swap and have a few more ideas to develop. I kept thinking Europe and the UK should have more vegan magazines and this year I’m glad to say this is becoming reality.
On December 1st, online magazine Fresh Vegan will be launched and I am really excited about it. There is so much going on regarding to veganism and vegan food in the UK and Europe that I am sure they will have plenty to say. Until the day comes, you can get to know more about what to expect from Fresh Vegan with this interview with founder and editor Jacqui Deoir:
First of all, it’s great to see a new vegan magazine born in UK & Europe! How and when did the idea come up and start to take shape?
I have been thinking about this concept for a year or so now, but like all my best ideas I let them float around and they come and go. Then after discussing it with my husband, as I couldn’t do this without his graphic design background, we decided it was time and to just do it! That was 2 months ago, we bought the domain name after a few other names we wanted were not available and Fresh Vegan was one of the names I liked, I wanted a Fresh approach to Veganism, I am 45 years young and I have had my day with protesting, shouting, screaming and being angry at the world, both Ron and I come from a professional background and compassion is what we are about, so Fresh Vegan for us covered what we wished to create and to share a vision with people that need not necessarily be vegan themselves but an approachable vegan magazine just about food, food seasons, reviews, interviews and celebrating food that need not cause any suffering.
There are two on line vegan magazine to be launched this semester – Fresh Vegan and Vegan Food Magazine. How do you see the fact of two magazines with similar interests being launched in the same period ?
We didn’t realise there was another vegan food magazine launching until I did another search on Google and then won a competition from them for tickets to VegFest lol, we did wonder if we should go ahead because of this, but having taken a look at what the girls are doing, we have different approaches and as I have seen in my 25 years in catering and any business there is room for everyone and the more people creating in this way the more we can share this awareness. Fresh Vegan is about local businesses from Durness to Lands End and all of Europe, highlighting the smaller businesses that rarely reach the magazines as North of London is generally not fashionable… being Scottish and having worked in London, Bath, Wales, Dorset, Isle Of Man etc, I know how challenging running niche businesses in smaller locations can be and I wish to help those businesses. The Vegan Food Magazine as far as I can see is focusing more on the American market and the cities, we are spreading all over to find the gems that deserve to be featured just the same as the well known businesses.
“Fresh Vegan is an online magazine with a passion for food, for ethical environmentally conscious eating, and fore mostly about sharing with non-vegans what amazing food a Vegan lifestyle offers.” This is how the magazine is described in the website. Will it be focused on the vegan food and diet? Is there any room in the magazine for covering animal rights too?
The sheer act of creating this magazine which is about not eating animals is in its unique format covering animal rights. Animal rights can and does need to appear in different forms in order for various areas of society to be aware of non suffering and in this medium I am using a magazine to spread less suffering and compassion to animals and the self.
Fundamentally my background is in food. I started in the food industry back in the 80’s in Edinburgh, I lived with very political animal rights people and some were connected to the ALF, this changed my view of food and people, this then opened me up to a world I had no idea of. I did find some of the views angry and observed that it rarely reached the people they were trying so hard to convert! Our own personal beliefs about animal rights are of course to support non suffering of all sentient beings but our world view is to be compassionate to all living things including humans. We are supporting charities in the magazine and you will be able to support those by donating to Fresh Vegan Magazine so we can spend money advertising to reach both a wider audience and spread the word, 20% of all of the money donated to Fresh Vegan Magazine is going to IAPWA and helping spread awareness to this charity through the The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival launching in Leeds in 2014.
I also believe there are better writers covering this than I am able to and hope we can enhance and support each other. As for vegan food and diet, yes of course it is a food magazine. After years of being in catering, a buyer for wholefood co-op stores, healer and teacher, I am keen to share the knowledge and expertise of eating a well balanced diet with whole-foods and fresh ingredients, not overly processed like you see so much of in both vegan and vegetarian outlets. Why would you spend so much time and money to make food that looks like an animal? When you can eat the abundant array of food that was intended for us with little processing and packaging required. We will be promoting food that is attracting a larger growing number of people including Ayurvedic, Chinese medicine, Macrobiotic, Raw and the simplicity of working with fresh ingredients and how to prepare them.
I usually repeat this question to the people I interview because I see it as a “big thing” happening around the world today: How do you see the fact of so many people talking about vegan food & diet but not about the others aspects of the lifestyle
I feel it’s a good move in the right direction, to have awareness of veganism at any level is a good thing right ? We have been talking about this for many decades to get to this point. This is the first stages of conscious awareness and should be embraced. We all wish for less suffering on all levels in the world and I have always said unless we realise that killing animals for food, vanity and fun should stop we will always have war in the world and I still believe that. Being vegan is more than protesting and food, it is a social conscious awareness of how we treat not only animals but how compassionate we are to each other.
You put together an amazing team of people to make Fresh Vegan possible and we’d love to know more about everyone and share it with our readers. Could you describe each person of the magazine, including yourself, with one sentence?
Fresh Vegan is myself Jacqui Deoir & my husband Ron Fairfield. I handle all the marketing, networking and research and Ron handles the design and layout of the magazine. We have contributors who write for us, who we call our team, but who they are may change from issue to issue, as we are open to having many freelance writers, some will stay for a while, some will come and go, that is what we love. One sentence really? ha, ha, I believe like attracts like and I have researched and watched various people over the years, some of these people came to me and most approached, the magazine, this is our vision of how veganism and a compassionate and ecological life is moving forward, I wanted to have current up to date people writing with or for us, I also wish to help people be recognised for their talents and hope that this can prove to be a stepping stone for greater things for each of them. I cannot give you a sentence for each as they all have so much to share and inspire our readers with, I will say this though each of them are passionate about what they do and how they represent themselves both to the world but also in sharing their knowledge and compassion both in Fresh Vegan but also on their own websites and blogs, they each bring something different in with their own style of writing and experience. All of their details for more information is available in the Magazine currently on page 2 of the holding pages.
What will be the unique aspects of Fresh Vegan?
Unique, is there such a thing? There is nothing new or original but how we present our magazine and ourselves will be unique. Unique because we will be covering all the cafes, restaurants no matter how large or small, unique because we will be dedicating the magazine to UK & Europe to keep local trading and air miles to a minimum when most wish to buy in from far, far away countries. Unique because we are all unique in our ourselves and bringing various writers together to write for us and approach us will create a unique variety of information.
Do you see a paper version coming at any point of Vegan Fresh journey? Besides Veg News in the US, I’ve seen a new magazine around (Laika) that also has a paper version. Do you think paper is still a viable format these days?
We have a lot of ideas for the future development for the magazine but we don’t want to make announcements until we are sure they will happen. We would encourage people to subscribe to the newsletter on the website to keep up to date with things as they happen in between the Seasonal issues.
I’ve seen you will have book reviews in the magazine too. Is it to early to ask about upcoming books, specially from the UK & Europe, that we should wait for?
This edition will be unlike our later issues, it is very recipe heavy and the books we have are recommendations for festive presents largely, but we do have 2 interviews with UK books that were published this year, it is something we need to see more of in the UK & Europe and we will do all we can to support anyone who is writing Vegan cookery or indeed un-cookery books. Also there are people becoming Vegan all the time or indeed thinking about it, so we will also be promoting and interviewing favourites from as far back as 20 years ago.
What can we expect from fresh vegan in 2014?
Change, fresh points of view from European foodies, new businesses, local restaurants from the cities, suburbs, countryside.. and much more…