Awesome Black Vegan – Mamaputle Boikanyo
Career path: Writer; Digital Content Producer
Where are you from?
Johannesburg, South Africa.
When did you become vegan and why?
I became vegan after five years of being vegetarian. It was a simply the next phase in my journey of being conscious about what I’m putting in my body and knowing the impact it has on other living beings and the planet. I had to become vegan, because I know what pain and suffering is, and I don’t want to be involved in any process that inflicts pain and suffering onto others.
How has life changed since you became vegan?
Becoming vegan has made me really passionate about food. It’s not an unhealthy obsession like an addiction, but more of a feeling of excitement and interest about the value of life, health and also the art of making food. Going vegan has made me enjoy the taste of my food more, and when you put that together with seeing food as a life-giving, nutritious form of art, it becomes a really beautiful thing.
What challenges do you face as a vegan and how do you overcome them?
It can become quite difficult when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand why you chose to change your diet or why it’s such an important part of your life. There’s no use in trying to control what other people think. You just simply have to stay true to your values and express your beliefs without overexerting and stressing yourself out just because you want you and your diet to be understood. For me, using social media has become a great avenue to express myself without having futile debates with people.
What do you enjoy most about being vegan?
Like I said, you really start enjoying your food more than before. At least that’s how it is for me. It could be because you get exposed to a wide variety of unique foods and you really start to appreciate each food for its flavor and texture. Even though I’ve been vegan for almost six years now, there’s a lot I’m still discovering and learning about. I also realised that my body didn’t react well to meat anyway, so I cut down on my doctor’s visits without realising it had anything to do with my diet.
What do you see in the future for veganism in Africa?
I can’t really speak for Africa as a whole, but I certainly have seen the stronghold that the meat-and-dairy-heavy Western diet has in black communities living in urban and peri-urban areas. I get super happy when I see black vegan people and organisations spreading the word about a plant-based diet on social media and I think that if it continues, veganism will no longer have to be an anomaly in our communities. It won’t even have to be called “vegan”, and it’ll simply be a way that we eat and live.
What’s your favourite meal/food?
That’s hard because I pretty much eat anything that doesn’t have a heartbeat. I will say though that I’m a huge fan of vegan sushi. Also I can put avo in any dish and it’ll be my favourite meal. I’m also a sucker for pasta broth during the winter time.
Anything else you would like to say?
That’s all thank you!
Well, thanks you so much Mamaputle for taking the time to share your awesomeness with us! We are truly humbled and gratefully appreciate it!
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