January is already pretty much done – there goes the first month of 2019 in the blink of an eye and so much already happened! One of them being, ‘Vegan’ is the top trending word in 2019 on Twitter. This got me quite curious, as a vegetarian, to find out more about Veganism. I thought, why not get in touch with an experienced vegan who is also striving to make a positive change – what’s better than learning from a vegan itself – Meet Dorothy Marshall!
Tell us about yourself
My name is Dorothy Marshall. I’m 31 years old, currently living in Dublin, Ireland. I am a part-owner of a private business consulting company called Exalto. Exalto’s mission is to enable organizations to achieve and sustain business growth.
I have a primary degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management, along with other professional qualifications. I also have extensive experience in providing HR services in large companies, as well as small business operational management. These positions helped me develop and deliver management consulting solutions effectively!
How long have you been vegan for now?
I started my vegan journey around 6 years ago, however, the transition definitely did not happen overnight – I was vegetarian a long time before that
What was your motivation to go vegan?
My motivation to go vegan was mainly animal rights and cruelty. After recovering from an eating disorder, I wanted to be the happiest version myself and also as healthy as possible. I have spent a massive amount of time to read and research, articles and books, about healthy diets. In my opinion, Veganism is the best and also the most logical answer. It has proven to be the best for my body, my heart and the environment.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of going vegan?
The benefits are tremendous. Firstly, when on a healthy, vegan diet, I found my energy level rise. In my personal example, I transformed from being a night-owl to an early bird. I was never as fit as I am now! I feel more aware of what our food consists within, through ingredients, especially in processed foods. Transitioning to going vegan, I’m finally being genuine towards my values, and I’m supporting them through small actions like buying vegan cosmetics, supporting vegan restaurants etc. It’s also extremely helpful for preserving our environment!
What is your motivation behind your Instagram page and blog? What is your goal?
My goal is to provide as much information about Veganism as possible to people in a friendly and consulting manner. I’m working on my vegandot.ie website so people will have easy access to information about vegan diets, restaurants, cosmetics and so on. It was very difficult for me to gather information when I wanted to go vegan, and I don’t want others to be as lost as I was.
Through your social media, I came across Minimalism – it’d be great to learn more!
My favourite subject is Positive Psychology, and how to be happy. I found that minimalism is another way to be happier with life. Minimalism is the balance between having too much and too little. In these days, it’s so easy for us to get overwhelmed with buying stuff, but in the long term, it actually does not lead to any happiness. I want to show people how to be more aware of what we do need and what may not be as important in our lives.
What are your thoughts on vegetarian or flexitarian? For those who may find it difficult to go fully vegan
Every little helps. Not everyone is the same and people have different ways of thinking and different priorities. Being aware is the most important, and trying to be the best, as no one is perfect!
What is the different between a vegan, vegetarian, and a plant-based diet?
The difference between veganism, and vegetarianism is that vegetarians are not consuming meat, and vegans are not consuming any animal products including eggs, dairy and honey. Additionally, Veganism is also a lifestyle of not using any animal products in general – leather products, fur, or cosmetics tested on animals.
People are often worried about their sources of protein and iron. Where do you get your protein and iron when on a vegan diet?
Being a vegan, you can get your protein from legumes like beans, chickpeas, or lentils. Soy and products derived from soy like tofu and tempeh can also be great sources.
You can find iron in most legumes as well, but also in green veggies like broccoli, spinach and kale. That’s my main source of protein and iron.
Do you ever miss meat?
I never really enjoyed meat so I don’t miss it much, but I sometimes miss food like hamburgers. But nowadays, it’s so easy to find delicious vegan alternatives in most shops across Dublin, and I’m sure in Canada too!
Would you call yourself a perfect vegan?
I’m not a perfect vegan, no one is. But it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being as good as possible. I try to use only vegan cosmetics, but sometimes I might receive gifts which are not vegan and I do use them. I dislike wasting! Most of my friends know about my lifestyle, but things like this can happen!
I’m a lot better than I was before by being mindful, and I’m happy about it – that’s the most important part.
You mentioned you did a lot of research on this – what were your most amazing and insightful findings?
I read “The China Study” book which I highly recommend and I’m often gifting it to people who consult me about veganism. It’s full of research which shows that processed food, especially meat, can be quite dangerous and detrimental for our health, our environment and is the leading cause of cancer.
Other than your Social Media, how else are you hoping to raise awareness of veganism and its benefits?
Great question! Recently, my friend Katy Morgan is organizing a Vegan Foodie Festival in Dublin. I’m currently helping her with promoting vegan friendly options. We are food influencers, vegan consultants and marketing people! We promote vegan businesses on social media and organizing massive giveaways to help others who are trying. I would love to get even more involved in raising more awareness and more demand for vegan products.
What kind of advice do you have for those trying to go vegan?
Try to get a vegan friend, even online! Talk about your struggles and wins with each other. Vegan people love talking about veganism and have answers to provide in an easy manner.
Remember, you don’t have to struggle on your own!
Do you happen to have any recommendations for vegan recipes?
My favourite recipes come from The Happy Pear. Recently, I made a Vegan Carrot Cake from their YouTube Channel!
What can we learn:
- Every one of us, no matter our professional experience, our background or our past, we can all make small changes in our lives to help preserve our environment, people around us and ourselves
- It is important for us to be mindful about our behaviours, diets, and opinions and the possible impacts it has on our environment, our health, those around us, and future generations
- We’re not alone in trying to make a change – there are lots of people experiencing what you are and through community building and knowledge sharing, we can all make small positive changes
- You don’t have to be in the Sustainability or Environment industry or field to make a difference. Anyone can make a difference through looking internally, and changing habits for the better
- Vegan is a growing trend and growing in demand – there are tons of options everywhere if we research. HappyCow is one avenue that helps travellers find local vegan options wherever you are in the world!
- We must be open-minded – we can be quite judgmental of vegans or the other way around – it is important for all of us to be open-minded regarding people’s decisions and choices!
- It’s not just about incorporating solar, wind or hydro energy in your businesses or households. It’s about finding even easier ways to make a difference before we spend ample amounts of money on technology! These can go hand-in-hand!
- We can all make small changes that will amount to huge changes if we do it collectively, together!