SS: What made you go vegan and why?
GP: I went vegetarian when I was 4. I was riding my bike and I saw a truck full of pigs on their way to slaughter (I live in a rural farming town, so this was a regular thing to see, but it was the first time I had ever questioned it). When my mum told me where they were going, I was absolutely horrified. I loved pigs, I didn’t want to eat them. And I didn’t after that. I never doubted my decision to no longer eat animals, but when I was around 15 (and at a very vulnerable point in my life), I started getting picked on at school for it and I didn’t really know how to stand up for myself, or defend my choices. It was mainly my schoolmates just joking around, but it started to get to me. I didn’t have any other vegetarian friends in my group, I actually didn’t even really know any other vegetarians that I could talk to about it. So I started to cave, not because I really wanted to eat meat, I didn’t even miss it and I didn’t even really like it, but I did it because I didn’t want to feel different to everybody else. Then, when I was 18, I watched Earthlings with one of my best friends who I met at uni, she was vegetarian at this time and transitioning into veganism slowly. Afterwards, I was so angry at myself that I could be so selfish for coming so far and turning back, so I immediately went vegan with no transition through vegetarianism. It was the best decision I have ever made. It’s become such a lifestyle for me, and it’s helped me make so many friends that I have so much in common with.