FEATURE: Amanda Hinds

Hi, I'm Amanda Hinds from 365 Vegans.

I went vegan 4 years ago and it was the best change I’ve ever made. I’ve done so many exciting things and explored the world through my vegan journey. 

I tried going vegan when I was younger, since I really didn't like meat much and I felt uneasy about it. Unfortunately it didn't last long and it wasn't until I graduated and got a job that I started to think about what I was putting on my plate. I became pescetarian but slowly came to understand the harsh realities faced by sentient beings. 

 Later I studied social work. It is drilled into us that we have to speak out against the injustice and oppression that surrounds us. A friend sent me a YouTube video and as I watched it, nearly everything I ate was questioned. All the reasons I had formed for eating fish, milk and eggs were dismissed one by one. By midnight that evening (I was actually meant to be writing an essay) I had decided to begin my vegan journey. I knew I needed to learn how to cook vegan food and find a community to help me along the way, so the next month I set up a vegetarian society at my university. I quickly found some vegans and we set up a weekly cook and eat session every Monday. I give all credit to that group for teaching me how not to turn vegetables into mush, unless that was the intention. 

I became more and more passionate about veganism every day and wanted to be an activist in my own way. This led to my current project, which is to interview 365 Vegans around the world. 

 I want to create a space where people can share their own narratives about their vegan life. The project hopes to create new vegan role models that challenge the stereotypes perpetuated by non-vegans. Over time I became aware that the project lacked diversity. I am now focusing on interviewing vegans from different countries and cultures. I have recently returned from China and India, and I’m putting down plans to visit some African countries very soon. It can sometimes feel like we’re alone with our vegan lifestyles, but there are so many vegans from different backgrounds across the globe.

I have learned so much from others while doing this project, such as the importance of being intersectional in our activism. I wouldn’t have learned about the ways people are using food as a form of empowerment and individual activism, and I wouldn’t have found out about Black Vegans Rock if I hadn’t had a tip off. On the whole, my vegan journey has been the most wonderful and fulfilling experience I’ve ever had. It has been confusing at times and I’m always learning new forms of activism and how to empower others but I never regret the day I became vegan.