It's been a while since I've shared one of my Plant-Powered Peeps interviews with you. I started the series a few years back to introduce you to some of the people who inspire me in terms of what they're doing in the plant-based space. Whether that be in relation to health and nutrition, animal welfare, or sustainability and the environment, I hope they will inspire you too. If you haven't read before about the benefits that a plant-based lifestyle can have in terms of those three key areas, then definitely check out my blog post from a while back here.
To kick off 2015's interviews, I'd love to introduce you to a wonderfully compassionate man, who works tirelessly campaigning for the welfare of animals. Hans is the CEO of SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation), New Zealand's largest animal advocacy charity. SAFE are the guys and gals behind the scenes, campaigning against battery caged hens and eggs, confined pigs in metal crates, calve and cow injustices, as well as the mistreatment of circus animals and much more.
I absolutely love everything SAFE are doing in terms of standing up for those animals that oft get forgotten, particularly those in the agricultural sector. So if you're an animal lover, I highly recommend sending some of your volunteer time or annual donation budget to this absolutely wonderful charity. You can also shop in our Be Good Organics store here, and know that a portion of your purchase gets donated to them as well!
So without further adieu, let me pass you over to Hans for an insight into why he's so passionate about animals and a plant-based lifestyle. And of course no post would be complete without something delicious to whet your appetite, so make sure you check out his inspired recipe for the most incredible Nutty Ice Cream Cake too!
Why did you decide to turn to a more plant-based organic lifestyle?
I decided to go vegetarian when I was sixteen years old after a teacher at school told the class about factory farming. I didn't want to support any industry responsible for cruelty to animals. I later turned vegan after learning about the cruelty associated with the egg and dairy industries.
How has your health (physical and emotional) changed since then?
Giving up dairy was very beneficial for my health. I used to regularly use an inhaler for asthma related problems but now that I no longer consume dairy, these problems have disappeared. I feel good about the fact that I eat tasty, quality food without being responsible for the suffering and death of animals.
If you had to give someone 3 reasons why they should move to more plant-based products, what would they be?
To reduce animal suffering
To cause less environmental damage
What does a day on your plate look like:
Now, your favourite foodie indulgence...
A very hot vegetable Biryani from a top Indian restaurant (just have to make sure it is prepared without ghee).
What do you think the biggest fear or misconception is about going more plant-based?
That it is a boring type of diet and that it is nutritionally not balanced.
What's your approach to balance & moderation in life?
To live my life not just for my own benefit but to consider how my actions as a consumer impacts on others. That means still enjoying the good things life has to offer but not in excess (except for my 63 inch flat screen TV!)
You've been given permission to raid the Be Good Organics stock room - what's one foodie treat and one beauty product you'd nab?
Would you like to share your favourite plant-powered recipe with us?
I absolutely love this recipe for Nutty Ice Cream Cake. It is super easy to make, and I have never met anyone who did not like it. The combination of sweet and salt works extremely well. Popular with adults and kids alike!
Note from Buffy: This is my interpretation of Hans' original Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Cake. We devoured every slice so I hope you enjoy too! I used a batch of my Vanilla Bean Ice Cream as a base along with frozen bananas. My version is not overly sweet at all, so feel free to add one or two tablespoons of coconut nectar or date paste (1 cup dates blended with 1 cup hot water) to the filling sweeten. You can keep any spare date paste in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to three weeks.
All of the items below can be purchased from our online store, simply click on each ingredient link to add to your shopping cart.
Always use certified organic ingredients where possible
PS If you liked this recipe and interview, I'd love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Instagram (regram or make your own), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thank you!
These deliciously dark and mysterious tarts are just a little bit special, with a secret ingredient. Modestly sweet, with an earthy, nutty flavour- a lovely change from the usual fruity/chocolate affairs - give them a go, and fall in love!
These light and fruity muffins use one of my favourite fruits – feijoas! If you’re a feijoa fan you’ll love these (and if not, come to NZ to try them). Best of all, they have no added sugar – just the natural sweetness of feijoas, coconut, dates, and vanilla.