Olivia and Isabella Cohen
(AKA… That Vegan Life Doe!!!)
What inspired you to go vegan?
I: When I was 16, my sister showed me a quote by my then obsession River Phoenix that said, “When I was old enough to realize all meat was killed, I saw it as an irrational way of using our power, to take a weaker thing and mutilate it. It was like the way bullies would take control of younger kids in the schoolyard.”
I realized how much eating animal products was a way of taking advantage of power and taking advantage of those without a voice. I decided I didn’t want to hurt animals anymore. I wanted to fight for them. As I’ve grown up, I realized it isn’t just animals being silenced by higher powers, but all types of living beings, such as women, Native Americans, etc. I don’t want to contribute to that widespread notion of control and abuse.
O: For starters, I’ve always loved animals. I grew up with dogs, cats, horses, pigs, fish, hamsters, you name it. These pets were treated like family within our home and after a while, it didn’t make any sense for me to love my own animals, but to hurt others. Then in sophomore year of high school, I had a brief obsession with the actor River Phoenix who was a vegan. My love for animals, combined for my love for River (lol), pushed me in the direction of veganism and here I am! It’s been six years and I haven’t looked back since!
What are some of your favorite vegan restaurants?
I: Damn so many. I’ll just say some of my fave that are vegan or have vegan options. In Los Angeles, definitely M Cafe, Craigs, Crossroads, and Mendocino Farms. In New York, Westville and Cinnamon Snail. In Melbourne, DEFF Smith and Deli, Urban Projuice, and The Glass Den.
O: My current favorites in LA are: M Café, Craigs, The Ivy, Mendocino Farms, and Alfred Tea (does tea count??). My current NYC favorites are: By Chloe, Momofuku, Two Hands, and Cinnamon Snail. My current London favorites are: Salad Pride, Yorica!, Mildred’s, Black Cat, and a tie between Sketch and Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea.
What are your favorite vegan dishes to make?
I: Hmmm I’m really lazy so I just microwave stuff for dinner lol. BUT when I’m back home in Connecticut I love to bake and cook. Usually desserts because I have a mega sweet tooth but I guess it just depends on what I’m feeling like. Sorry boring answer lol. Cinnamon rolls? I feel like that’s always a good one.
O: I love baking sweet potatoes and just loading them with chickpeas, vegan sour cream, BBQ sauce, and melted vegan cheese! I also love making tacos/basically anything else that is easy and doesn’t involve a stove L-O-L #lazyasfuk
What are common misconceptions about being vegan?
I: That we always talk about being vegan. Legit the only time I bring up being vegan is when people offer me non-vegan food.
Also that we somehow lack protein or vitamins???? The older I get, the less people lecture me on how being vegan is a bad idea. So it’s been pretty nice growing up.
- That it’s hard (Newsflash: It’s not)
- That it’s unhealthy (My doctor would disagree ~ check ma blood tests!)
- It’s limiting (Sure it can be when you are traveling, but I’ve made it work easy peasy)
- It’s not worth it (Depends on your definition of “worth it”. If you think world peace is “worth it”, you might want to check it out #sass)
What is the worst part about being vegan?
I: Missing all the food I used to eat during my childhood and the memories that come with it. Like Mcdonalds and nutella on waffles or some of my grandma’s Puerto Rican food. But it’s all good because now I can make new memories with new food! Plus, there are vegan alternatives for literally everything. AND my Grandma learned to make vegan Puerto Rican food!
O: The worst part is the ignorant, annoying questions and comments I get from people who aren’t vegan, nor nutritionists, nor doctors. As a vegan, I could easily criticize others for eating meat, but I don’t. So I would appreciate if people gave my diet the same respect I give theirs.
What is the best part about being vegan?
I: Knowing that you are changing the world. Being able to look an animal in the eye without guilt. Believing in something greater than yourself. Eating really interesting and unique foods. Expanding my tastebuds. Making fun of the crazy vegans on youtube lol.
O: Knowing that in a way, no matter how small, I am lessening the suffering of living beings on this planet and changing the world for the better.
What advice to you have for people who want to become vegan?
I: I was pescatarian for a few months before I went fully vegan. It deff helped with the transition. Also, watch videos of animal cruelty and don’t look away. If it pains you to watch them suffer, then don’t contribute to it. Looking away doesn’t stop their suffering. It stops yours.
O: Just go for it. Stop asking whether you should or if you can. You can. You just have to do it. And don’t do it to lose weight or be trendy. Do it because you know it’s good for you, the planet, and the animals. Do it because you care.
How has your life changed since you’ve become vegan?
I: I have become more compassionate for sure and I now regard compassion as an important trait to have in a friend and significant other. I have become more open to people and their own beliefs. I’ve started a blog. I’ve made new vegan friends. I lost weight. I got more energy. Everything in my life became better after I became vegan. I don’t know who I would be now if I wasn’t vegan.
O: Emotionally, I’m definitely more selfless, more conscious, and more #woke (lololol). Mentally, my veganism has given me a greater purpose outside of myself. Physically: better hair, better skin, better weight, better EVERYTHING. Also, the food is baller. So no complaints.
What are the top 3 reasons to go vegan?
1. ANIMALS. ANIMALS. ANIMALS.
2. Be healthier
3. Stop global warming
- Sparing harmless creatures pain and death
- Appreciating food more
- Living your best life lol
I: Love LivB, Hot For Food, and Sarah Lemkus (because Beth is SO adorable). I don’t watch many vegan youtubers because I feel like some of them are preaching to others when they aren’t quite sure about their own diet. I think it’s important to know what you are putting out into the universe. I like to stick to the people who are vegan for animal rights, rather than those who are just finding another way to restrict their food.
O: I love the channels that don’t just eat oatmeal, smoothie bowls, and salads every single day. I like the channels that are relatable and eat realistic vegan meals and get creative in the kitchen like Hot For Food and Liv’s Healthy Life (Aka people who don’t enforce patterned or disordered eating).
Do you have a blog, instagram, or youtube channel?
I: DUH YOU’RE ON IT!!!! (And if you’re not…. then how the fuck are you reading this??? lol)
O: Yah! You’re on my blog! Instagram: @thatveganlifedoe. YouTube: Thatveganlifedoe (I think??)