“I have been vegan for the past 7 years, vegetarian since 21 and animal lover all my life. During those years, I came to realize how my own actions – and the way I was taught to think and act – hurt my most beloved creatures in the world, hurt the planet, hurt our health. “
Vegan Illustrator Miki Mottes
In spite of veganism’s high profile these days, Miki identified 3 problems we have when trying to get our message across:
- People still (erroneously) think going vegan is very very hard, and means depriving ourselves – but wishing we didn’t have to – of all our favourite things to eat and drink. To them we are the hairshirt brigade
- People often see vegans as angry, aggressive and judgmental (in part because they don’t like having to justify their choices even to themselves)
- “People don’t enjoy seeing images and videos of slaughterhouses while having their breakfast. Even if truthful (the truth food companies pay billions of dollars to hide from the public), this tactic usually achieves the exact opposite: it numbs people. They no longer look at the images and simply feel under attack.”
So let’s take a look at how the opposition, the meat and dairy industries habitually promote their products and make us feel good about consuming them.
Miki says, “Simple: with harmless, sweet and fun campaigns. Think happy cows, smiling kids (with a milk mustache) and laughing pigs. Industry giants made these products an important part of our childhood and family moments. No wonder thinking differently about them is so difficult.”
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – Make It Fun!
Miki decided to create his own cute, fun characters – they went viral
Before long he found himself bombarded with requests for more information. “First about iron and calcium sources and then about pretty much everything that had to do with a plant-based diet.”
It soon became a full-time job and Miki launched simplehappykitchen.com with “simple and relatable information about ingredients, nutrients, their sources and their effect on our health and the planet, [which] allows more people to open up, listen, and adopt new ideas.” It was a natural progression to produce his Simple Happy Kitchen book.
“These days I get thank you messages from young mothers, educators and fitness enthusiasts saying how helpful my work is. I don’t ask if they are vegan or not. I know that with the right information, delivered in the right manner, more people will happily adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle.”
And so on that upbeat note, let’s finish with some more fun stuff about how easy it is to be vegan!
Download for free Miki’s Protein, Calcium & Iron printable posters here
See more of his cute artwork here
Help to go vegan here
Images from the Simple Happy Kitchen website