Emily von Euw is a raw vegan blogger from Vancouver, Canada. When the multi-book author isn’t publishing entries on her website, This Rawsome Vegan Life, vlogging for her YouTube channel or running raw vegan meetups, she’s connecting with the planet through yoga, meditation and hiking. We caught up with Emily over email to find out about her new book, The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook, which is out now. You can enter to win a copy of the book below.
1. On your blog you mention that one of your goals is to live in a tiny house. What about this lifestyle appeals to you?
Minimalismmm! I really love the feeling of not having much physical stuff that I ‘own.’ It clears my room, it clears my mind. And at the end of the day I don’t miss any of the things I don’t have, I forget about them as soon as I get rid of them and they no longer have to clutter up [my] space. Consumerism grosses me out, from a personal, spiritual place and from a political perspective… it’s just yucky and unsustainable and distracting from what matters. So I’d rather side step that as much as possible and live more simply. I also like the idea of having a portable house, and if I build a tiny house on a trailer bed, there we go! I can travel all over the place in ultimate comfort; and eventually settle down when I want to.
“To even be in the position to have the time to change your lifestyle by going vegan is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
2. It seems like more people are choosing conscious living, especially when it comes to their diet. Why do you think this is?
The internet helps because it reveals a lot of shit people would otherwise never see (ex. slaughterhouse conditions, ice caps melting) with a clear and easy message on how to stop this ugly stuff. A lot of the time the message is very simplified and this is problematic, but the outcome is still often really positive.
Netflix is helping too thanks to all the vegan-minded docs they have. I also think it has to do with privilege. Most people who are vegan have a lot of privilege. To start with, we have have food choice and food access! Lots of folks don’t. So a lot people who are vegan or considering going veg are in a position to in the first place, and don’t have to worry about simply putting food on the table as a single parent working two jobs, for their family of 7 with the $10 they have in the bank. Us privileged peeps can instead focus on stuff like buying fair trade and going to the farmers market, watching Forks Over Knives with a bottle of organic wine or fresh juice or whatever, and contemplate why vegan might be the right next step for us. When you think about it, it’s pretty straight forward: Why would you kill innocent creatures when you don’t have to? That’s obvious logic to me, but to even be in the position to change your lifestyle by going vegan is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
If you’re like millions of Americans or people around the world, living in a food dessert, on food stamps, on medication, didn’t get past high school because you had to start working, have no car, no internet, one or more full time jobs that don’t pay fairly, the resources to go vegan are probably not easily available to you and the thought, ‘But how can I decrease my carbon footprint?’ is probably not on your mind. I think it’s important to acknowledge who’s leading the mainstream vegan movement and how it’s mainly made up of privileged people. It speaks to our current food system and the injustice involved in it. I’m of course a vegan myself and a passionate advocate for veganism so I’m thrilled more and more folks are making that step towards a more compassionate life. But while we do let’s not forget all the other beings besides non-human animals in need of justice. Our fellow humans need help too.
“One of the more easy things you can do is veganize your food when you go through the drive-thru.”
3. You’ve acknowledged that eating plant based is a privilege. What tips do you have for those who are on a limited budget or live in a food dessert?
I can’t speak much to this because it’s not my experience, and I don’t just wanna give the rice and beans narrative since cooking rice and beans takes at least a couple hours and lots of people really just don’t have that time. For people living in a food desert who have the time, try starting a community garden, or a co-op. Talk to your neighbours, community or friends and see what you can do. Detroit is really getting into this right now, from what I’ve heard. And if you don’t have extra time or money one of the more easy things you can do is veganize your food when you go through the drive-thru: Lots of fast food chains have veggie options now. Ask for the black bean burger instead of beef, or get a fruit smoothie instead of pop (McDonald’s does fruit smoothies! Though they are a little more pricey so obviously this is no great solution).
4. What are some cool, simple and inexpensive recipes we can expect from The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook?
One of my faves is a mango coconut noodle salad with basil and mint. Just a few ingredients but it tastes like heaven (probably not a good example of an inexpensive one but it’s def cool and simple). Also, there’s a killer mac and cheese recipe in there that is suuuper healthy for you. Another fave is tahini – it’s on like half the recipes in the book and I’m not apologizing for it. Generally I just wanted to use recognizable, relatively easy-to-find ingredients for recipes that were quick and easy make… because I’m lazy. There are lots of seasonal veggies, beans, rice, leafy greens, spices and herbs. I tried to keep salt and oil to a minimum because I’d rather spice up food with chili, lemon, etc. and personally I feel best eating a lower fat whole foods [vegan] diet, so I wanted my recipes to reflect that.
5. You host raw vegan meetups in Vancouver regularly. How awesome is it to get together with other people who share the same lifestyle as you?
SO AWESOME. I feel high after every potluck. I’d like to start moving them towards more meaningful meet-ups wherein we can discuss important topics that intersect with veganism (ex. food in/justice system, gender and diet, race and diet, etc.) That’s where my head is at so I wanna incorporate that into my potlucks. As much as I love them and everyone who attends, I can only talk about how delicious vegan pizza or how precious pigs are for so long, you know? Actually I could probably talk about how much I love pigs for 23 years but shh.
6. What advice do you have for people who are wanting to live more consciously but feel overwhelmed about starting this journey?
Do your research. I will now direct you to my conveniently-existent Recommend Resources page on my website where you can see every vegan-related book, website and documentary I’ve been influenced by. Also read some books on minimalism, Buddhism, living in tiny houses or whatever floats your boat. Get exposed to as many different resources as possible. I am kinda in love with Jenny Mustard right now so I am gonna give her a shout out – she’s living that minimalist vegan lifestyle super stylishly. She has a blog and YouTube channel so go check ’em out. Also, The Minimalist Vegan is on point too. They inspired me to finally to go paper-free (whatup, Scanner Pro).
Want a copy of Emily’s new book? Share this article and tag @flurtmagazine by December 20, 2015 to enter to win The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook. Or you can just buy it here.
Article originally published in the Winter 2016 Issue of FLURT. Pick it up for FREE here.