Love Amongst The Leaf Eaters

by | Oct 1, 2021 | Magazine

The Leaf Eaters was founded in January 2018 by Vernon and Simone, a young married
couple based in Cape Town.

The purpose of their social media page is to showcase how easy it is to live a vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle, especially in South Africa.

The Bliss Co loves their authenticity, positivity and commitment to living their best, most blissful life.

Vernon’s answers are first and Simone’s answers follow in bold.

Please tell us about your vegan journies?

The shift happened almost overnight. I have always loved animals but never made the connection between what I was eating and how it is supporting a cruel industry.

The connection happened when Simóne and I watched a video by James Wildman, where he compared a dog to a pig. It was something that I always knew on a sub conscious level, the video just helped me make that final mental shift.

From there we watched What The Health and decided to stop consuming animal products knowingly. It’s been an educational process since January 2018 and I’ve learnt more and more as time went on and also realised that veganism extends further than just a plate of food.

I came across this video by James Wildman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7JE8j5Ncmw) which had a massive impact on me.

He discussed the fact that we treat animals such as dogs and cows/pigs so differently, but at the end of the day they are still animals with feelings and who can feel pain.

Vernon watched it and it also flipped a switch for him. Thereafter we watched a few documentaries (What The Health, Cowspiracy, etc.) and immediately decided to go vegan. We haven’t looked back since and only wish we started earlier. 

We started @theleafeaters because…

We felt an urgent need to share our journey.

We were massively excited by the decision we made and already knew that it was something that we won’t ever turn our backs on. It was a big decision to stop consuming animal products and it was something we felt like we wanted to scream out into the world.

It felt strange spending most of our lives participating in all the exploitation and cruelty, without connecting the dots.

By creating The Leaf Eaters I felt that it will give us an extra voice to share our experience, and hopefully influence others to think about their lifestyle choices and make positive changes too.

We wanted to show people how easy it is to prepare vegan food and how delicious it is.

I didn’t eat vegetables before going vegan and I was a super fussy eater. We thought that if people knew how hassle-free it is to prepare vegan food and that it is so yummy, we could influence someone to try cooking a vegan meal.

Even if it’s just one meal a week, it makes a big difference.

What has been the most rewarding part of being vegan?

The inner peace I experience knowing that I no longer support animal cruelty. Knowing that my lifestyle choices alone have saved thousands of animals from suffering.

Helping other people make the switch and guiding them as much as we can.

It gives me so much joy seeing them enjoy a vegan lifestyle. Also the fact that we are saving so many animals by choosing not to support the meat or dairy industry.

Right now, I’m loving…

All the developments happening in our lives. From the success on our page to the building of our new house. Also on a more basic level, I’m loving our new induction plate!

My new morning routine and getting my body moving again. Also, Romeo & Vero’s vegan pastrami is a HUGE favourite right now.

The hardest part of the @theleafeaters is…

Consistently showing up.

Creating fresh content to post on at least 5 days a week. I absolutely LOVE it, but sometimes it can get extremely tough.

We work in corporate jobs during the week and create content during the weekends. We are hard on ourselves and want to improve every single day, but sometimes it’s good to get rest and give ourselves a day off.

The thing I enjoy most about social media is…

Connecting with likeminded people as well as networking and business opportunities.

Connecting with so many amazing likeminded individuals. We have made so many friends who we have met in real life and some who we still need to meet.

It really makes it all worth it when you get to share the platform with such an amazing community.

The thing I enjoy least about social media is…

Comparisons and people that judge.

Luckily this doesn’t happen often, but every now and then we receive nasty messages from people judging our choices or disagreeing with us on certain topics.

Funny thing is, that it has never been non-vegans who send us these messages. I believe in spreading kindness and I hope that the vegan community can form a strong and supportive community, instead of continuously judging one another.

What recipe would you most like to master?

Not really a recipe but probably more of a technique? But it would be sushi. I would love to roll sushi as quick and accurate as the pro’s do! I would also love to master some more seitan recipes. I love a good meat replacement.

Frikkadelle (AKA meatballs)… We are working on perfecting a vegan version of it and are so excited to share the recipe once we have.

What are the things that give you the most joy?

Spending quality time with Simóne, Cara, Chi-Chi and Bowie. Music that touches my soul the moment I hear it. A meal that I planned for a long time, ending up making it, and it turns out better than my expectations.

Vernon and our fur kids, ChiChi, Cara and Bowie. They are my whole world.

Who would you most like to receive a postcard from?

The Dalai Lama.

If possible, Freddie Mercury.

Who would you love to have dinner with and why?

Paul McCartney. He would appreciate my vegan cooking and I would love to hear stories from the Beatlemania days.

My late mom. I would love to have one last dinner with her and ask her all the things I didn’t get a chance to. I think we would have a ball of a time.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

Keep on believing in your dreams as they can become true. Everything is possible!

Everything happens for a reason

Sometimes I hate it, but it couldn’t be truer. The things that go “wrong” or do not go the way you wanted it to, all happened for a reason. We may not understand it in that moment, but your future self will.

Where is your dream destination?

A tropical island.

France. It’s been a dream of mine for so many years. I can just imagine myself sitting at a beautiful café on the side of the road.

I used to think …. But now I know better because…

I used to think that I need to act a certain way because I am male, but now I know better because there are no rules.

… I could never be vegetarian or vegan … vegan food is delicious and I do not miss meat or any animal based products. If I can be vegan, literally anyone can. I was the fussiest eater in the world and hated vegetables.

My favourite self care practice is..

Stretching and taking deep breaths.

A walk on the beach with Vernon and our fur kids.

I wish people would be more…

Considerate and kind towards each other.

Kind

My favourite childhood memory is…

Playing my favourite Playstation 1 and Nintendo games at my cousin’s house. Digimon, Pokemon, Final Fantasy 7 were some of my favourites and if I hear some of the game soundtracks it gives me so much nostalgia.

Dressing up for our annual Halloween parties.

We’re so similar because..

We all like food.

…we are all trying our best.

We’re so different because…

We don’t all like the same food.

…we all have our own unique perspectives.

Complete the sentence: At the end of the day..

At the end of the day you need to believe and trust in yourself as you are the only thing in your way from being where you want to be.

…you should do whatever gives you the most joy.