Irish actress Evanna Lynch, who became famous in the Harry Potter films, talks about the role of veganism in her life. We asked Evanna about her experience and asked her for advice to beginners.
What brought you to the vegan lifestyle and how long have you been?
To begin with, I have always resisted violence and have been very sensitive. There is an inner voice that says “no” every time I encounter violence and I don’t want to drown it out. I see animals as spiritual beings and cannot abuse their innocence. I’m scared to even think about it.
I think veganism has always been in my nature, but it took me a while to realize it. I stopped eating meat when I was 11 years old. But I was not a vegan, I ate ice cream and imagined cows grazing in the meadows. In 2013, I read the book Eating Animals and realized how contradictory my lifestyle is. Until 2015, I gradually came to veganism.
What is your vegan philosophy?
Veganism is not about “living by certain rules” when it comes to minimizing suffering. Many people elevate this way of life to holiness. For me, veganism is not synonymous with food preferences. First of all, it is Compassion. It is a daily reminder that we are all one. I believe veganism will heal the planet. A person should show compassion to all living beings, regardless of the degree of difference between us.
Humanity has experienced different times in relation to other races, cultures and beliefs. Society should open a circle of compassion to those who have mustaches and tails! Allow all living things to be. Power can be used in two ways: either to suppress your subordinates, or to give advantages to others. I don’t know why we use our power to suppress animals. After all, we must become their guardians. Every time I look into the eyes of a cow, I see a tender soul in a powerful body.
Do you think fans approved of going vegan?
It was so positive! It was amazing! To be honest, at first I was afraid to show my choice on Twitter and Instagram, expecting a flurry of backlash. But when I publicly declared that I am a vegan, I received a wave of love and support from the vegan communities. Now I know that recognition leads to connection, and this was a revelation for me.
Since becoming vegan, I have received materials from a number of institutions. There was a week when I received so much mail that I felt like the happiest person in the world.
What was the reaction of your friends and family? Have you managed to change their mindset?
It is important for me that my family understands that it is necessary to live in friendship with animals. They do not insist on eating meat. I have to be a living example for them to be a healthy and happy vegan without becoming a radical hippie. My mom spent a week with me in Los Angeles and when she got back to Ireland she bought a food processor and started making pesto and almond milk. She proudly shared how much vegan food she made in a week. I am overjoyed when I see the changes taking place in my family.
What was the most difficult thing for you when going vegan?
First, giving up Ben & Jerry ice cream was a real challenge. But earlier this year, they started releasing vegan options. Hooray!
Second. I love sweets very much, I need them psychologically. My mother loved me with an abundance of pastries. When I arrived from filming abroad, a beautiful cherry cake was waiting for me on the table. When I gave up these things, I felt sad and abandoned. Now I feel better, I have removed desserts from my psychological connections, and also because every weekend I make sure to go to Ella’s Deliciously, and I have stocks of vegan chocolate on trips.
What advice would you give to someone starting out on the vegan path?
I would say that changes should be as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Meat-eaters believe that all this is deprivation, but in fact it is a celebration of life. I especially feel the holiday spirit when I visit Vegfest. It is very important to have like-minded people around and feel supported.
The best advice was given to me by my friend, Eric Marcus, from vegan.com. He suggested that the focus should be on repression, not deprivation. If meat products are replaced with their vegetarian counterparts, then it will be easier to eliminate them altogether. By adding delicious vegan foods to your diet, you will feel happy and healthy, and not feel guilty.
You are talking about the negative impact of animal husbandry on the environment. What can be said to people who seek to reduce this evil?
I believe that the environmental benefits of veganism are so obvious that logically thinking people do not need to explain anything. I read the Trash is for Tossers blog run by a young woman who lives a zero waste life and I vowed to be even better! But it’s not as much of a priority for me as veganism. But we need to reach out to people to reduce the negative impact on the environment, and veganism is one way.
What interesting projects do you have in your plans for the future?
I’m back in acting school, so I’m not doing much this year. There is some difference between acting and the film industry. Right now I’m just exploring my options and looking for the next perfect role.
I am also writing a novel, but for now a pause – I have focused on the courses.