Catherine Lets us in Her Kitchen to Talk About Her Vegan Lifestyle
In this interview, Catherine, a French woman who has lived in Berlin for several years, warmly opened her kitchen to us. We had so many questions about the signification of been vegan, a way of life that she and her family have adopted for several years. She enlightened us on this choice and gave us her advice.
When were you first interested in becoming vegan?
Catherine: When I was 15, I decided to stop eating meat. I couldn’t stand the smell and the texture. That’s how it started!
What was your path to becoming vegan? What were the steps?
We gradually phased out meat, fish and then dairy.
As a young mother, I looked into the toxicity of fish. I discovered that farmed fish contain neurotoxic substances that are harmful to health.
In agreement with my children, I therefore decided to remove fish from our diet.
By bringing the diet and its impact on the environment and the animals closer together, I also realised that the dairy industry was doing dreadful harm to cows. So I decided to ban milk and milk products from the family diet as well.
Our family was on a vegan diet for a while, then became vegan (we no longer wear leather or wool).
How did you introduce the vegan concept to your children?
As far as my children are concerned, I wanted to give them a choice.
When they were young, I added meat to their diet but as time went by, they decided not to eat their favourite animals (lambs, calves, rabbits,…).
Then, step by step, they cut the meat out of their diet.
And how did you convince your children to stop eating dairy products? These are the most important products for children!
From an animal protection point of view, we took up a vegan challenge for 30 days with some friends.
It consisted of adapting all our eating habits and revisiting our favourite dishes. At the end of this challenge, the whole family was convinced. Some of our relatives also adopted this new vegan diet and are still following it today.
Their choice was not only driven by health reasons, but also by environmental concerns.
Catherine then opened her kitchen cupboards to us and we discovered her almonds from France, her rice from the Camargue, her lentils from Austria and the chickpeas grown by a family member in the South of France. As well as her German plant-based butter. She also explained how to make her soy milk, tofu and yoghurts from bulk soybeans.
What do you think characterises a good vegan product?
I think that any good vegan product should be local so that it is fully traceable and offers security in terms of food quality. This is why I encourage you to eat a lot of seasonal vegetables and fruits!
How do you make up for the lack of Vitamin B12 in the vegan diet?
I solve this deficiency problem simply by taking vitamin B12 supplements.
You are vegan not only because of your diet but also because of your beliefs. Can you explain to us what it means?
Indeed, being vegan means choosing to reduce the impact of your diet on the planet, improve your health and fight against animal abuse, industrial animal production and factory farming. However, you have to cook because industrial vegan junk food also exists.
In conclusion, two vegan approaches can be identified: the diet and the lifestyle. Eating vegan food is above all a combination of culinary experience and ethics… and it requires the commitment to cook a little. Catherine showed us that with a little imagination, we could easily revisit the dishes of our childhood.
The Benoo team would like to thank this family for this wonderful interview!
If you’d like to learn more about vegan cuisine:
French vegan websites:
German vegan websites: