This profile is of a man who, along with his partner Ramona, greatly supported me in making the transition. An engineer by trade, Geoff worked in Japan and is now happily settled in Perth. You can find Geoff at most vegan events, just look for the long line of hungry customers at his Vegan Hot Dog stand!
geoff and ramona
Geoff Pape, 37, plenty of fur kids, Offshore Rig Mechanic, volunteer engineer for Sea Shepherd, volunteer for PAWS (built a vegan catering van for them).
Your journey to vegetarianism / veganism:
I gradually went vegetarian with the help of my partner Ramona Janssen. I was vegetarian for 10 years, during which time I met other vegans like Craig Dearth, through his Vegans Unite Perth group. Even then I had not gone vegan, although it was starting to make sense. I was involved with PAWS in Perth and bought a copy of Earthlings, because I heard it was a good film to see. I watched that and declared to go vegan. I no longer wanted to be a part of any animal’s cruelty. I have now been vegan about 7 years.
I had absolutely no difficulty transitioning from Vegetarian to Vegan. Once the mental decision had been made it was easy. And the food just got better. I discovered new things like nutritional yeast, how to culture vegan yogurt and I’m presently learning to make cultured vegan cheese. I found a recipe for the best vegan sausage ever. I use these sausages to get the message across to those people who should be vegan, the animal charities of Perth who do meat sausage sizzles to raise money for animals.
Other good films are the Youtube video of Gary Yourofsky’s Speech “The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear”, documentaries “Got The Facts About Milk”, “Peaceable Kingdom”, “The Cove”, “Earthlings”, the movie “Bold Native” book called “Animal Experimentation A Harvest Of Shame” by Moneim A. Fadali.
Some friends I have left behind as I have made compassionate changes to my lifestyle and they choose not to. Family has always been a struggle. They watch the documentaries (Earthlings etc) but still can’t connect, or refuse to connect may be more to the fact. It is a big disappointment for sure. Especially when I see other vegan’s families changing after being exposed to a vegan lifestyle.
What’s the most remarkable benefit or change (could be physical, mental or emotional) you’ve noticed since becoming vegan?
Physically better because without dairy my mucus production is less. It really affects my sinuses. I no longer get the bad stomach cramps that I used to get as a child. But mentally I’m way better off. All the guilt is gone. I am lighter, both mentally and physically.
A typical day’s meals:
Fresh Juice/Smoothie, marinated tofu burgers with heaps of fresh veges, and organic soy mayonnaise. Black bean vege stir fries, fresh salads, pastas, pizzas. The list is really endless!
Favourite no-fail recipe:
Spicy vegan sausages – check it out here.
Biggest challenges / obstacles of being vegan:
Trying to get my family to go vegan, or at least vegetarian. Sometimes it can take a lot longer to find somewhere to eat when out and about. The Happycow app certainly make things easier when travelling.
Advice to newbie vegans:
Join a local Vegan meet up group, you’ll make great friends and get tried and tested recipes. Get the Happycow app for travelling. Ask lots of questions from long time vegans, they are always willing to help. Join vegan fb pages, you’ll get lots of info and advice.
Biggest misconception about vegans:
We’re weakling freaks with low iron levels and no protein. So not true:) And people think we are limited in our choice of food.
Cruelty Free Festival 2012