OK, it’s official: Emily Barclay is our favorite Kiwi actor ever. Why do we “heart” this up-and-coming award-winning actor so much? Well, let’s see: She was mesmerizing in the mystery-drama My Father’s Den, brilliant as the bitchy bad girl in Suburban Mayhem, and—oh yeah—she’s a vegan! Cool and cruelty-free. Who could really ask for more?
How has your life changed as a result of going vegetarian?
I can’t really remember life before it now! But I feel really great—not only healthwise, but knowing that I’m making a really positive, ethical lifestyle choice.
Was it easier than you thought to go vegan?
I think the most difficult thing that you have to deal with is other people’s opposition to the idea, telling you that you’re going to get sick, constantly asking you how you’re going to survive off lettuce leaves. Teaching yourself about what to eat in order to get what you need nutritionally is a gradual learning process which does take time, but it’s really important because it not only means that you’re going to be healthy but it also educates the people around you and changes their opinions about veganism.
What is the best part about being vegan?
I just feel really good knowing that something I’m doing, a choice I’ve made, which is ultimately really simple, is making a positive impact on the world around me.
What kind of impact has going vegan had on other parts of your life?
I think it’s made me more conscious about my health. I also have a lot of friends who are vegan. It’s like you have this instant connection with people, as lame as that sounds. I guess you make positive assumptions about them as it seems veganism is often shorthand for a conscious and ethical approach to life.
With your busy schedule, do you have any tips or favorite foods for when you have to travel to new places?
How did your family feel about your decision to go vegan?
They were pretty opposed to it at first, but they came around and now they’re really into it.
What is your favorite vegetarian food that is not from New Zealand or Australia?
Anything from Real Food Daily, which is an amazing vegan restaurant in L.A. And those kombucha tea drinks. And Luna bars, haha.
Do you cook? And what home-cooked foods do you like to make?
Yeah, unfortunately, I do cook a lot. I don’t really like cooking very much. I’m quite lazy. Plus, as my friends pointed out recently, I kinda suck at it. But I just make easy things like tofu and vege stir-fries and beans and brown rice and vegetables. I usually just eat tofu or beans, brown rice or soba noodles and seasonal veges and salads. I wish I had a lovely little personal chef to cook me delicious food all the time.
What is the strangest vegetarian meal that you have been served?
I had some pretty disgusting fake prawns on a skewer the other day. They were all slimy.
What is the best reason for going vegetarian?
There’s a million reasons—for the animals, for sustainable living, for your health ….
What do you think the world would be like if people didn’t eat animals?
I think everyone would be a lot happier and healthier!
Want to follow Emily’s lead? Take PETA’s Pledge to Be Veg for 30 Days to explore a vegetarian diet for one week, and we’ll e-mail you our favorite recipes as well as tips on making the switch to a vegetarian diet.
Posted by Jason Baker