So this post is a day late, but I promise you it is worth it. My Vegan of the week is Jon Gibbons who works with Timmy. When it comes to Jon I have this motherly tendency to make sure he is well fed and happy at work. For the last two years I have made Jon both of his birthday cakes, I have made cupcakes for his 5 year anniversary at work and I have sent extra food with Timmy to work to share with Jon. In fact I always say, "Here is an extra bit for Jon," or, "Honey, your lunch is in the fridge and there is an additional container in there for Jon." It is really strange because, honestly, I have met Jon a handful of times and have only really sat down and talked with him at length once. But for some reason I plain adore this kid. I would adopt him if I could. Maybe it is because he reminds me of Edward Furlong? Who knows? I hope everyone enjoys his answers and by the way all you ladies out there, Jon is single, he enjoys bike rides, all kinds of music and you guessed it, good Vegan food. :)
Name: Jonathan Gibbons
How long have you been Vegan?
Around 2-3 years. I was vegetarian for 2-3 before that.
What made you decide to go Vegan?
I was interested in a Vegan lifestyle since I became vegetarian. At first I wanted to know if I could actually do it. After going Vegan, I learned of all the terrible things that were occurring to countless animals and decided that going Vegan was one of the most compassionate, meaningful, and self rewarding decisions I have ever made.
How do you feel health wise with this diet choice?
Great! I have really learned to appreciate great food. I can honestly say that I have not been sick once since going Vegan and was only sick once or twice while vegetarian.
Are you open about your Veganism?
Absolutely. I have posters hung up in my living room as well as stickers on my desk at work proclaiming I am a proud Vegan. I encourage all of my friends and family to educate themselves about the benefits of being Vegan.
If so, are you involved in any activism i.e. protests, leafleting etc…
My previous roommates and I, over the course of 5 years, fostered over a hundred dogs, cats, and other small animals. I am allergic to cats and my current living situation does not allow for pets so we are animal free at this time :(
Jon with unicorn cake I baked for his birthday 2 years ago
What does your family, friends, co-workers think about your diet?
Friends and co-workers can be total assholes. The whole 'haha you're vegan' jokes got old long ago but they still amuse them. Just today I had a co-worker tell me that he refuses to eat anything I would eat regardless of what it was. For the most part, my friends are much more accepting and always take into consideration my intolerance to cruelty.
What advice would you give those interested in becoming Vegan?
Start cooking. Cooking is extremely fun even if you are not good at it. Make a blog or post your pictures on forums and you will only receive encouragement from other Vegans. Comfort food also helps when first transitioning to a vegan diet. Many cities have great, strictly vegan restaurants that even meat eaters can enjoy. Living in Phoenix we have Green, Loving Hut, Veggie House, Zpizza, Whole Foods, etc.
Would you eat at Mc Donald’s if they carried a Vegan burger?
I would really like to say no but I know there would be drunken night out with friends where I would probably eat one if nothing else was available. I would feel pretty bad the next day though and swear I would never eat one again.
What is your least favorite question that you are asked about your diet?
I have never been asked this question directly but I think Sarah Palin's question pisses me off the most. (The protein question has been brought up enough).
Quote from Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue': "If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore," she wrote. "If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”
Jon with Vegan Bake Sale signs (I am awesome!)
What is your favorite dish?
All Vegan Indian food. It is the only food I can eat so much I make myself sick.
What do you typically eat at Thanksgiving?
Tofurky and the standard Thanksgiving dishes. This year I will be switching to Field Roast instead of a Tofurky.
If I could make you any flavor cupcake in the world what would it be?
Vegan Reese's Pieces chocolate cheesecake with caramel on top.
Please include a recipe:
¼ cup peanut butter (Tahini, almond butter etc will work too).
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil.
A dash or two of salt, pepper and garlic powder
A bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 Block of firm tofu ( I freeze it first, let thaw and squeeze the water out).
BBQ tofu on right
Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce olive oil and spices in a bowl. It should be a gooey slimy mess (kinda like a batter, liquid, but thick enough to stick to the tofu) If the batter is to thick or thin add more soy sauce or peanut butter. Cut the tofu in about ¼ inch strips and dip into the peanut butter goo coating both sides. Place single layer on a cookie sheet (I put a layer of aluminum foil on the cookie sheet and spray with it a little cooking oil) Bake at 350-375 (depending on your oven) for about 15 to 20 minutes (should be golden brown), then flip and bake for another 15 minutes. Pour the barbecue sauce on and bake for another 15 minutes, flip it over, cover in barbecue sauce and bake another 15 minutes or so. Let it cool, eat on a sandwich in a salad or whatever.