Actress, model, and recipe book author, Lucy Watson may have been Made in Chelsea, but she’s now committed to a diet made from plants…
When and why did you first decide to go vegan?
I moved to a working farm when I was five. Over the course of the first year I just grew a bond with all the animals, so growing up I learnt the meaning of what meat was and how it gets from farm to plate, and I just didn’t really understand why it had to be eaten – something I really struggled with. But I became vegan when I watched the documentary, Cowspiracy and everything changed. I’d never appreciated just how cruel the dairy industry and the egg industry are – and after really understanding that, it just didn’t make sense for me to continue to eat dairy, as an animal lover!
What for you was the most challenging thing?
It was definitely just knowing what to eat and how to maintain a good variety of different foods while still being able to eat it. Initially eating out was a real struggle, as well as travelling, but it was easier than I’d anticipated it would be.
What surprised you most about going vegan?
That it’s just not actually as hard as people think it might be. It really isn’t a life full of sacrifice, and I still very much enjoy my food!
Were you interested in cooking before you went vegan?
Yes, I was, but I wasn’t an active cook. Before I was vegan there was so much choice, especially the delivery companies that cater to every need.
How did you create the recipes in your new book Feed Me Vegan?
It’s just all my favourite recipes I use at home and my favourite foods. It was great, because I also found some great home meals from creating the book too, so there’s a really wide variety of vegan meals available.
What’s your favourite recipe in the book and why?
Definitely the bolognese. It’s delicious, and has great flavour (plus, the wine adds to it) – I can feed it to anyone and they don’t even think it’s vegan, it’s always the one that surprises people.
Which three ingredients couldn’t you live without, and what do you use them most for?
Nutritional yeast – I put it in pretty much everything – it adds flavour or ‘cheesiness’ to things like tofu or sauces. I absolutely love garlic (add it to everything), and then tofu is a really good ingredient for so many vegan meals – it’s very versatile. I eat it almost every morning when I have tofu scramble, or I’ll add it to soups or pasta dishes.
What advice would you give to those thinking about going vegan?
Do it! Don’t be put off by any negative feedback you hear – from my experience, it really isn’t that difficult, nor a big sacrifice like you might imagine. I’m hoping my book will help all those people who are looking to become vegans, that’s my primary reason for doing the book! Remember, you aren’t sacrificing anything, and remember to keep enjoying your food!
When it comes to vegan fashion, which are your favourite brands?
Stella McCartney, Matt & Nat and Charles & Keith! They’re all brilliant.
Do you find at photo shoots you get asked to wear leather by people who don’t understand veganism? How do you explain it to them?
When I first went vegan, yes – I got asked a lot, and I definitely struggled at first, because I didn’t want to be disrespectful to their brand. However, now I pre-empt a brand’s use of leather before I agree to take a project on, so I’m able to avoid it happening again.
What’s next for you?
Well, first things first, I’m really excited about my book! I have a jewellery range coming in September, which I’m hugely excited about, but lots more to come beside!
Feed Me Vegan by Lucy Watson, published by Sphere, is available from Amazon (RRP £16.99.)