As one of the media partners of VegFestUK Brighton, taking place at Brighton Centre on March 28th and 29th, we are doing one special series of interviews with celebrities and special guests that will be speaking or performing during the event and also brands that will be exposing their vegan products there.
It’s being a while since I did our first interview and I’m sure a lot have changed after that. How’s life after The Frank Food Company?
After leaving The Frank Food Company, life was a bit difficult financially, and still is really, but at the suggestion of Tim Barford (the founder of the Vegfest UK vegan festivals), I immersed myself in doing talks at the Vegfests and about 8 other vegan festivals throughout the UK.
You have participated at VegFestUK last year. How does it feel speaking in events like this? What’s the best part of it?
If someone had told me I’d be doing public speaking engagements, I’d have laughed at the them – it’s just not naturally in my nature! But I actually really enjoyed doing them and met some lovely people at each of the festivals who are doing really great work to promote the vegan lifestyle.
What can we expect from your talk in Brighton this March?
I’m now in the process of setting up the ‘Vegan Athletes for Peace’ project with another vegan former professional footballer, Dean Howell. So I’m taking a step back from public speaking, probably forever, and would like to pursue the Vegan Athletes for Peace project on an annual basis if Dean and I can make an impact with our first charity cycle ride starting on May 22nd. So, my ‘talk’ at Brighton Vegfest is basically just a 5 or 10 minute chat to introduce the ‘Vegan Athletes for Peace’ ride and then Dean and I will just be doing a Q&A session – if anyone turns up!
Veganism has never looked so good in the mainstream media before. Do you see all this attention to the diet aspect of it positive?
Any media attention about the vegan lifestyle that’s positive can only be good for the cause. But I much prefer to focus though on promoting veganism not as a ‘diet’, which it certainly is not, but as a complete ‘lifestyle’ – we really need to emphasise and clarify this. This is our aim with ‘Vegan Athletes for Peace‘ – promoting veganism as a non-violent lifestyle that engenders global peace.
Have you heard about any footballer who has become vegan recently? Do you see any changes in the “field” since we spoke in the end of 2013?
I don’t know of any footballers in the UK or Europe, and quite probably the world too, who have adopted a vegan lifestyle – which just shows how backward thinking the football fraternity is. When you consider that Veganism, globally, is on the rise (and is not going away – ever!) the football ‘community’ is still in the stone-age when it comes to accepting that optimimum performance can be achieved with plant-exclusive foods. In the short-term, I just don’t see it changing but, hopefully, if we can create a global community of ‘Vegan Athletes for Peace‘ maybe, in our own small way, we can help to change the thinking of the football world.