People of 10 Cable St

This is where we share stories of the people we have met through the events held here. Met so many cool and interesting people along the way, all in different stages of their journey to becoming more mindful and compassionate towards the world we live in. Please read with love and try to be encouraging as we are all on our own journey, trying to do the best that we can 😊 

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Moko

'My dad has been a Vegetarian for over 50 years and Vegan for about 20. I’ve never eaten meat (Well.. apart from when I was in my teens feeling rebellious, I had some sausage and chicken nuggets : p ) I lived in Japan for 8 years when I was younger and back then it was really hard to avoid fish so we became pescatarian. I stopped eating fish at the end of last September, after a month in Tokyo eating so much of it and felt like I needed to detox. My younger sister, Michi was trying out veganism so I thought I’d try it for a month. Our dad must have thought Christmas had come early! I NEVER thought I would become vegan. I loved seafood so much. After a month, I found it was surprisingly easier than I thought and decided to carry on for a few more days, then weeks and now I’m approaching my 1 year mark this week. A weird thing happens when you stick at it for a while. You start to care about things you didn’t used to, and you want to become better. I think it helped me mentally and gave me focus and direction. It also made me feel like a nicer person. I decided to open my home '10 Cable St' as a plant-based venue where people can come and taste amazing plant based foods whilst learning how to be more sustainable and make better choices for themselves and the world. At the same time I wanted to create a space where others feel happy to share their ideas and stories. I’m really enjoying it so far and have met some really cool people who I’ve ended up collaborating with. I hope I can help some people make that first step and when you are ready, I’ll be here to help and feed you some of the best vegan foods I’ve found! ‘

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Ariana

'Growing up in Spain, I had a typical Mediterranean diet which included meat, fish, eggs and dairy. I never questioned my diet or the origin of the food in my dish. I never knew it could be different. 
I moved to london in 2013 where I started to practice yoga and that's when I started to learn about Vegetarian/Veganism.
On my backpacking trip to Indonesia I reconnected with myself and became more aware of my diet, the planet, the animals. I realised that I wanted to live in peace with the yoga mantra "lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu" (May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.) That meant changing my diet. I educated myself about vegetarianism, the ethical reasons behind it. I watched videos, documentaries and speeches.. I decided to give it a try. I gave up meat, and then a month later I stopped eating fish as well. That was one year ago. I don't miss it. Now, I feel ready to take the next step and I am progressively moving into a vegan lifestyle, but I try not to put pressure on myself. Whenever I run out of something, I try to find a vegan, organic and more sustainable substitute. I am doing the same thing with clothes, cosmetics, etc. The only non-vegan things I still eat are eggs and cheese but I hope I can slowly transition into vegan alternatives as I find new amazing recipes!'

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Tom

'My parents taught me to cook and the importance of food, things I will always be grateful for. We ate every meal together. Meat was omnipresent, but there were always fruit and vegetables too.
But, being honest, for 36 years I was a massive carnivore; adventurous, unsqueamish, gluttonous and with no moral qualms. I’ve eaten dolphin, baby bees, raw horse, still-moving fish, haggis for breakfast, live-cooked lobster and I think in one night at a Korean BBQ in Japan probably my own body weight in beef. Then I met Marika, my partner and a vegetarian since childhood. Being with her taught me next level cooking, about flavours, textures and just what you can achieve with vegetables. I fell head-over-heels in love with her and I’ve been trying to show her just how much through the medium of cooking ever since. Cooking brings me pleasure and I believe it’s good for your mental health from a mindfulness perspective. I hit a tipping point in December 2016 after a year being pescatarian and went vegan in Jan 2017. It wasn’t any one thing that I can put my finger on, a culmination of factors, but Marika was definitely the major catalyst. I’m also getting older and your health and mortality become more apparent. Meat didn’t make me feel good, but I didn’t know that until I took it away. I’ve never had good self control when it comes to eating, I just don’t know when to stop. So one thing that has surprised me is that as vegan, no matter how much I eat, I just don’t get that horrific, bloated, need-to-lie-down-in-a-darkened-room-for-a-bit feeling anymore. I’ve also been surprised at just how much animal gets sneaked into things. I work in wine, so don’t even get me started on that. But the knock on effect of that is that you have to be aware of everything. That joke about knowing someone is vegan because they’ll tell you, is true, but probably just because you never stop thinking about it. But the lovely community get you through that. Inspiring people like Moko SellarsFat Gay Vegan @terryhope Club Mexicana The Fields Beneath and Minimalist Baker have made
this journey really fun.' 

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Marika

'‘I became vegetarian around 10. We practised debating skills one day at school on whether it was right to eat animals and I took it to heart! I went home and told my mum I wanted to stop eating meat. She kindly said I could give it a try after that evening's chilli con carne. I guess she thought I would last a few days but I never went back! My dad is from traditionally meat-loving Hungary and sent me to the doctor as he was so concerned it would stunt my growth. Thankfully the doctor set his mind at rest. I recognise that not every child would be so accommodated. A supportive family is hugely important in making such a dietary change and I feel very lucky with mine.
I went vegan this year after seeing a @weareveganuary poster on the Tube. I work in climate change and feel that those of us in countries where we have the choice have a responsibility to ease the burden on the global food system. This allows more equitable access to nutrition for a growing global population and redefines what an aspirational diet can be. It also helps ensure we are on a more sustainable trajectory in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water consumption. I also came to realise that I had been naive about the distressing impacts on animals I was still complicit in as a vegetarian.  I didn't want this taking place in my name and wish I had educated myself about it years earlier.  Moving towards a vegan diet is one of the single biggest changes you can make immediately (&have impact with several times a day!) at an individual level to reduce your carbon footprint.  It's an empowering way to use your consumer power to send a message that Donald Trump's views on climate change are not those of the majority. It's also great to know you can change. I thought it would be a sacrifice but in fact the new challenge has rekindled my love of eating out and eating in. I'm fortunate as my partner Tom has gone vegan with me so we can share our voyage of discovery. The timing feels great as the vegan scene is exploding in London.  For me this change has gone beyond diet and introduced me to a new community who share a more positive vision for the future.'

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Damien

‘I grew up in a small house in Dartford a town on the edge of south east London and Kent. It was always noisy, my Mum looked after kids and we were that kind of family who would have the tv on in one room, the radio in another and then music always playing upstairs. I had loving if very different parents and lovely grandparents, I spent most of my free time playing sport I was totally obsessed with football and cricket. I found school a bit of a struggle, if I liked the teacher I aced the class, if I didn't I flunked it - I guess that despite having plenty of friends I always felt like it was hard for me to fit in with most of the other kids.
When I was perhaps about 12 my Mum started to get more creative with cooking. We started to eat more mediterranean dishes, pastas, big salads and I guess I really enjoyed this way of eating. I had always refused certain meats like rabbit, kidneys and pheasants at about 16 I stopped eating mince meat and at about age 18 I saw a TV show which showed how kebabs were made and that really stuck with me. Then for years I ate a very plain diet of mostly fish, chicken, salads, I was obsessed with weight training. When I was about 25 a friend at work convinced me to try meat-free Monday's and I discovered that I really enjoyed eating vegetarian dishes. By the end of that year I was a vegetarian and then a few years later in 2013 I went vegan after learning more about the dairy industry through Viva and Animal Aid videos on YouTube.
I think when I first went vegan like many people I was a bit preachy about it. I soon realised that my choice to be vegan didn't make me a better person it just meant I had made a connection about why it was a good thing to do. I now very much advocate encouraging people to do what they feel comfortable with. So many non-vegan friends have responded positively to this kind of messaging and in-fact many of those people are now vegan. If I would have called them an animal abuser and condemned their choices they never would have come on this vegan journey. I think that has been the biggest change for me, I want to be effective in my advocacy not righteous.'

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Iris

‘I grew up in a small city in the Netherlands in a warm working class family. It's me and my little brother Max, who is not so little anymore as he outgrew me at 6.5 feet! Growing up we had quite a bit of conflict but we are close now and I'm so thrilled he has embarked his own vegan journey. I miss him immensely as he lives across the pond. I think living on my own from the age of 16 has made me very independent and stubborn. I moved to London when I was 19 with 50 quid and a backpack not knowing what was in store for me. Time flies as I've now been here for 9 years.
We grew up eating lots of frozen burgers and cheese toasties, I drank up to 2 litres of dairy milk a day, ate lots of sugary sweets and therefor suffered from extreme acne, sleepless nights and headaches. I never knew why at the time but since going vegan this has all disappeared! 3 years ago I made the change to healthier eating and along the way started noticing that a plant-based diet was the way forward. After going plant-based I noticed how I could change other elements in my life, like the clothes I was wearing, how much plastic I was consuming, and made the change to veganism shortly after. It helps that my partner is vegan as well and went on the journey with me. I don't think I could have done it without him.
Being vegan for two years now, I have learned to live and let live. I wished for all my family and friends to go vegan instantly, even though it took me a year to wean myself of animal products. My grandmother will still remind me to eat fish for good health, bless her. My mum has started making smoothies for her and her parents and incorporating more plant-based food which makes me very proud of them!’ 

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Dee

‘I grew up in a Jamaican household, where most of the traditional dishes weren't vegan. However I think growing up in a tropical country has really allowed me to appreciate seasonal food and just eating fruits & vegetables at their peak. I had a coconut tree, several mango trees and much more in my garden, it's something I really miss since moving to London.
I first tried out a vegan lifestyle as a teenager out of curiosity after my best friend in school stopped eating meat. I slowly started reducing my dairy and meat intake afterwards but only went fully vegan after becoming more educated about the links between what I was eating and the environment, morally I couldn't eat diary or meat products anymore. That was 3 years ago and it's the best decision I've ever made! There's so much exciting vegan food out there, and I never feel like I'm missing out on anything I used to eat before!
I think what surprised me the most is how much purer food tastes to me? I think my connection with what went into my body is so much deeper than it was before. I get so excited to make myself meals, trying out new ideas and just experimenting a lot more! Going vegan propelled me to just explore food more and made my love for cooking a lot stronger.’

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Matt

'I was raised on a typical English diet, eating plenty of meat and dairy produce. I was often aware of some hypocrisy within myself as I have always been an animal lover - I quite literally wouldn't hurt a fly, and would have found it very difficult to kill any animal I wanted to consume if I had to do it myself! Until more recent years It seemed that almost every dish I enjoyed eating involved some form of meat or dairy, so I thought it would be pretty much impossible to shake my lifelong habit of eating animal products. I had heard of the existence of shocking videos documenting the cruelty to animals involved in the meat industry well before becoming vegan - but like many I did not want to know about it at the time, it was so much easier to remain ignorant. As obvious as it is that some cruelty must be involved to produce meat, I had no idea that the modern dairy industry could be just as bad.

When I met my girlfriend of the last few years she was a pescatarian, and not long after made the switch to veganism. I supported her change and was happy to eat vegan when I was with her, it helped that she's an amazing cook! She introduced me to a lot of tasty dishes. She was fine with me continuing to eat what I wanted and was never preachy about it all - but I did begin to take more of an interest, and watched a few Netflix documentaries on the subject. As my knowledge of what actually goes on in the industry grew, my meat and dairy consumption began to decline...

In 2016 my brother became ill and was ultimately diagnosed with cancer. I spent 6 months staying most nights in hospital with him before he sadly passed away. I've always had a particular interest in nutrition - thinking he would survive I researched the links between cancer and food (amongst other things) as I wanted to help him minimise the chance of it coming back. A lot of scientific studies are written by people with their own agenda and commercial interests to push so I'm always sceptical of what I read (and watch), but it seems there are definitely strong links between ill health and eating meat and dairy.

On a more spiritual level I had a random encounter with an elderly lady who asked for my help finding her way on the tube, just days before my brother passed and at a time we had realised that he was not going to make it. Out of the blue she began talking to me about veganism, and not knowing my situation began talking about the effect of animal products on our health, particularly cancer - she told me she believed that while consuming meat and dairy you are also consuming the pain and suffering of other lives, which can lead to your own pain and suffering. It seemed all too much of a coincidence for me to ignore, when does anyone ever talk to you on public transport let alone about something so relevant to your current situation?! I had already heavily cut down but that sealed the deal, I haven't eaten meat since that day

I've been a devoted vegan for just over a year now, but as it was a slow process to reach that point it's hard to identify any big changes with regards to my health - I think I have more energy overall as many report, and my conscience is definitely doing a lot better! Food has definitely become a lot more exciting for me now, I'm eating things I didn't know existed a few years ago, and have discovered high quality substitutes for all the non-vegan meals I used to enjoy. There are so many new ideas, restaurant and cafes emerging at the moment, it's a good time to switch!'

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Loen

“I was the skinny kid with a huge appetite - a very meat heavy diet at that. My parents used to worry that I'd never gain enough weight so would always tell me to eat. I was, however, also the one with the most health issues. There were frequent big family dinners when I was really young (but petered out as I grew older) and once there were no more good Saturday morning cartoons to watch, I shifted my attention to Saturday morning cooking shows. I also use to help my mum cook our family lunches/dinners - so food has always been a big part of my life.
When I was 17 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (which looking back was a result of poor diet and genetics too) and for the next 5-6 years I tried a multitude of medications. But I pretty much used them all up so surgery was required with a different set of medication to go with it. The cycle continued for a few more years and I slowly ran out of effective medical options so I decided to look into my diet. I switched to vegetarianism for a couple of years first and noticed some benefits but not enough and was always hesitating making the jump to veganism (I had a very restrictive diet at this point hence the hesitation). My mental health took a beating by this point so I went to do Vipassana mediation and one of my self discoveries was veganism made so much sense. I made a gradual switch over 1-2 months after doing some dietary research. My health immediately got better in certain aspects and I have not looked back since. I still live with medical issues and do have to take medication every now and then but comparatively speaking, I've never been better.
I've always loved to cook and now I'm in the kitchen even more so. Being able to experiment and discover new ingredients and recipes has been amazing fun, and have recently realised how passionate I am about it. I'm also continuously learning how I can be a more compassionate person towards everything and everyone in life. In terms of changes, my health has definitely seen the biggest change - I used to have to lie down for a rest after I'd cook a meal. My eczema improved dramatically too! I think what's surprised me most is realising that being vegan is not just about what one eats; there's more to it. It's been a gateway to so much more, like compassion; zero waste living; minimalism - a small piece to a grander philosophy of life.”

Julian

‘I was raised in Southern California in a city 30 miles south of Los Angeles called Fullerton. Fullerton has a rich musical history which includes being the birth place of the Fender electric guitar and the breeding ground for some of the most influential American punk bands of the late 70’s and early 80’s (Social Distortion, Adolescents and Agent Orange) I was raised primarily by my mother. Mom was usually busy working two jobs and trying to keep a roof over our head. If I was still in school and coming home at a reasonable hour, she was happy. Most days growing up would be spent skateboarding, attempting to play in sketchy punk bands with the neighbourhood hooligans and gathering enough money to buy a few tacos downtown. 
I became aware of veganism in my teens through a band called AFI. The lead singer Davey Havok is a straight edge vegan. Naturally, I was curious since this was my favourite band when I was 13. I began to search for more information on this lifestyle choice and began to educate myself on animal cruelty. I uncovered more bands that followed this lifestyle (Earth Crisis, Bad Brains, Cro Mags) It came to a tipping point when at most gigs I’d go to, there would be someone from PETA handing out informational pamphlets on veganism after the show. Everything about veganism made sense to me, sustainability, socially and environmentally. It was a no brainer.
Being a chef and coming from a cooking background, I’ve always tried to break stigmas and bend the mind through veganism and food. I love cooking for the most devout non-vegans. Watching them eat a vegan dish and being completely floored by how delicious it is is what I live for. Vegan food isn’t weird, It’s just normal food!’.