Combining travelling for work as a DJ and living in Ibiza has provided plenty of challenges for Francisco...
I’d been vegetarian for about 15 years when I decided to become vegan. In the first instance, my main concern was animal suffering in the meat industry – I’d seen videos about it in my home country of Chile, but what I hadn’t realised was that dairy and eggs were causing just as much suffering.
Back then, being vegetarian was rare in Chile and my family and friends thought I was weird. When I moved to Europe I thought it would be more common, but it actually wasn’t. As time has gone on this has thankfully changed. Along the way I learnt the benefits for health and the environment, and all this contributed to my decision to go vegan.
Vegan on the road
The hardest part of veganism for me is to find food when I’m really hungry and on the road. Normally there aren’t many vegan options in petrol stations, airports, planes or trains and, depending on the city, some people think you are strange when you ask for vegan options. But it’s something I control by bringing food with me.
I usually travel only with hand luggage and so I bring protein powders with me (soy or pea). As I do a lot of sports I need to have around 120- 150 grams of protein every day, so I also carry peanuts, edamame beans, Huel and sometimes seitan.
Before each gig I’ll either have dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant with the crew. Usually, there’s a vegan option, even if it’s salad, fries or houmous. Lately, some venues where I play have started to offer vegan options also – it’s definitely getting easier as time passes.
At home I always have several kilos of peanut butter in the cupboard – I got addicted to this very quickly and the first thing I do when I come back from a trip is eat a big spoon of it, usually with a banana. I also religiously eat soy yoghurts and there are several amazing vegan restaurants in Ibiza where I now live.
Improved health and fitness
Veganism has obviously made me more conscious of what I eat. When you get over worrying about things like where you will get your protein from, you actually appreciate your food more, and I am sure my nutrition now is better than ever. I measure almost all the food I eat throughout the day and am careful to not miss any nutrients, vitamins or whatever is needed to live well.
I’ve noticed changes in my body and health – I am much slimmer now, I sleep better and even when I eat a lot I don’t feel that heavy sensation you get after eating meat. Aside from that, the other amazing thing about veganism is the positive impact it has on our planet and the environment.
Some people don’t agree, but I believe we have a climate crisis that will change the world and the way we live on it. I feel very strongly that the meat and dairy industries cause so much pollution, waste so many resources, generate so much suffering, and I simply don’t understand why when its all for human taste. This is my way to fight against that, hoping also that my actions may inspire others to follow the same path.
I began my full vegan journey around 7 months ago and already I have others asking me about it. I always explain my vision and a few of them are changing also – to me this lifestyle makes the most sense.
Take time to understand
My advice to anyone thinking about going vegan is to plan the transition carefully and be realistic. I would never advise anyone to have their last burger tonight and tomorrow wake up vegan. Take time to study and understand what it is you need to be healthy and start slowly removing animal products from your life.
The big misconception is when people think that after cutting out meat and dairy they’ll just end up eating lettuce and apples. If you research, you realise there are many options, and that way the transition is easier and more stable. It’s important not to stress in the beginning – just be honest and consistent and you will get there.