Susannah Waters is the force behind Instagram account
v3gan_food. The account is designed to showcase what vegans eat, and how good it can be! Susannah has been a longtime vegan after discovering the horrors of the industry through the help of her sister. We chat with her about where to eat, what to eat and why she is personally inspired by animal sanctuaries. Enjoy the read.
So Susannah, tell us a little about yourself and your vegan journey
I am a former veterinary nurse who currently works in communications in eastern Sydney. I have been a massive animal-lover since I can remember, but it wasn’t until my teens that the hypocrisy of my actions (eating animals) was made apparent to me.
When I was 15, my sister Ally discovered a book at the local library called “Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm: The Myth of the Traditional Farm and the Shocking Truth About Animal Suffering in Today’s Agribusiness”. She went vegetarian immediately. Ally then proceeded to consume every book or magazine about factory farming and vegetarianism that she could get her hands on (this was the mid-90s: the internet wasn’t really a thing yet!).
My curiosity was aroused: I started to browse through the books in my spare time, and what I uncovered was absolutely horrific. I recall that Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, in particular, had a massive impact on me. I actually felt betrayed; like I had been lied to by society my whole life. I was also shocked that it had taken me this long to find out the truth about the cruelty and violence inhabiting the animal agriculture industry. By the time I turned 16, I was vegetarian.
A year or so later, Ally announced that she was going vegan. When she described the cruelty inherent in the dairy and egg industries, I knew I couldn’t justify my consumption of those products anymore and I started transitioning to veganism.
What was the motivation for starting the Instagram account?
My then-partner and I started @v3gan_food a few years ago because we wanted to demonstrate that vegan food is diverse and delicious, and essentially that – contrary to popular perception – it’s not scary, boring or difficult! And that we are absolutely not deprived when it comes to food choices.
Best Sydney cafe for vegan eats?
I love Herb n Sprout Co., which is a vegan and vegetarian café near where I live in Maroubra. They make the best scrambled tofu I’ve ever eaten, and their pancakes and coconut French toast are incredible. Of course, I’d love it if the café went fully vegan!
I also adore the all-vegan Shift Eatery in Surry Hills and wish I could get there more often. Their toasties are amazing.
Not exactly a café, but I wanted to mention a new plant-based Mexican bar, Calle Rey, in Newtown. The best margaritas I’ve ever had and their buffalo cauliflower wings are so so good!
Best Sydney vegan dessert spot?
Gelato Blue in Newtown. It’s a fully plant-based gelateria. The flavours are indulgent and they also make delectable sundaes.
I love the Cruelty Free Shop in Glebe – their chocolate range is next level and they often have heavenly baked treats at the counter.
Activists or influencers we should be following?
Can I name an animal sanctuary? One of my main passions is wildlife conservation, so I really admire and respect the work that Five Freedoms Animal Rescue does – they work tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. Their pics of orphaned baby kangaroos make my heart melt. @fivefreedomsanimalrescue
Favorite new vegan product from the supermarket?
iPastai’s Spinach and Vegan Ricotta Cheese Ravioli! Life-changing.
Their vegan Basil Pesto is also divine. These are available at Woolworths.
I also have to mention the Pana Organic Hazelnut and Chocolate spread. This is like Nutella – but better! I often eat it straight from the jar with a spoon 😉 I buy this from Coles.
At home vegan meal of choice?
I love making wraps with Vegie Delights’ Not Burgers, lots of rocket, tomato, fried onions and my favourite vegan cheese, Sheese Mature Cheddar.
Who should we interview next?
Vegan cook and cookbook author Leigh Drew. I’ve been lucky enough to eat some of her delicious vegan cuisines!
Her new company Just Add… Vegan Products is a really cool concept – it’s a range of do-it-yourself mixes to easily create faux meats, sauces, and other dishes.
Susannah, thank you so much for sharing all of this information and your vegan journey. For those who now want to follow all the amazing food…visit her HERE for more.