What is Veganism to me?

Sometime in 2004 I made the decision to go vegan! To this day I still think it was the best decision I have ever made.

Veganism to me isn’t only about my diet, it’s a way to live my life to inflict as little harm as possible on the animals we use for food, fashion, entertainment, pets and cosmetic testing. Veganism is how I live my life, how I make my decisions, how I raise my family and how I run my business, it is everything!

Initially when I went vegan my goal was to lose weight, but the animals also came first and foremost. I learned about the horrors that happen behind the walls in slaughter houses and in factory farms all over the world. I was shocked beyond belief. As a classically trained chef I was not fully comprehending what I had been part of for so many years. How can someone be so inhumane as to hurt another living being with such ease? The horrors I witnessed were incomprehensible and would change me forever.

I quit my meat cooking job and decided to take my first %100 Vegan Cooking role.  I remember walking in the first day and being in awe.  For the first time I was in standing in a walk-in fridge full of beans and kale, tempeh, tofu and buckets of tahini!  Gone was the blood, the bones and the connective tissue, all things any chef experiences on a daily basis.

I got into animal rights pretty heavily, was protesting every weekend and I walked around holding Vegan literature in my backpack wherever I went! I had fun doing it, and I was standing up for what I believe in.

As the years progressed I learned more and more about vegan cuisine. I learned the science behind the ingredients, how to make a proper cream sauce, how to create depth of flavour and umami, and create the textures necessary for great cuisine!

In the last 14 years I have been lucky enough to write 3 cookbooks and am working on my 4th now as we speak.  I have consulted for luxury brands all over the world, become a regular on local and national television, opened multiple business and been part of more, all thanks to one belief and understanding of the word Vegan!

The future is bright, and I feel blessed to show the world just how awesome this lifestyle (and food) can be!

From one Plant Addict to another,

Doug McNish

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