Meet Nourish Vegan Awards 2022 panellist Elizabeth Douglas
With voting now open for the 2022 Nourish Vegan Awards, get to know expert panellist and Vegan Diaries podcaster, Liz Douglas.
Elizabeth Douglas is the creative force behind the Vegan Diaries podcast, blog and social media channels. She’s also among the lineup of vegan industry experts and advocates who researched, deliberated and determined the nominees for this year’s Nourish Vegan Awards.
From her home in Melbourne, Liz creates uplifting content that supports and encourages people everywhere to live more plant-based. Here we dig in to her vegan story, the birth of her Vegan Diaries platform, and why she chose to get behind the 2022 Nourish Vegan Awards.
Nourish: What motivated you to explore veganism/plant-based living?
ED: Since I was a child, I’ve loved animals, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realised the best way to express that love was to not eat them. Eventually, I became aware of the suffering caused through the egg and dairy industries (plus others like wool, down and silk) and went vegan to fully align my actions with my beliefs.
Nourish: How does your day-to-day work reflect your values?
ED: When I first went vegan, I found the practical steps of lifestyle change (like what to eat) quite straightforward, but the emotional and social elements were much more nuanced and harder to navigate. In those first few months, as I learned more about the animal agriculture industry, I became withdrawn – my worldview was shaken.
I wanted to find a way to channel my sadness into something productive and positive. My goal quickly became to demystify veganism and connect with others. I started sharing recipes on social media, and eventually launched the Vegan Diaries podcast to platform some of the amazing people I’d met from the plant based community. I hope I can provide a safe space and some connection for others who might be feeling lonely and disillusioned, like I did in the early days.
Nourish: What has changed in the vegan world since you started on this path?
ED: I’ve only been vegan since 2019, but a plethora of plant-based foods have come to market in that time. There’s a constant supply of new supermarket products and restaurant options, replicating old favourites with a combination of creativity, resourcefulness and new technology. The awareness of veganism has also improved dramatically – the term feels commonplace and most people seem to know what it means in 2022. It’s also really encouraging to see the rise of the flexitarian consumer. We all have the ability to reduce our impact on animals and the environment, whilst still enjoying foods that are healthy, fun and experimental.
Nourish: Why did you choose to be part of the expert vegan panel for the 2022 Nourish Vegan Awards?
ED: There’s nothing better than sharing a great shopping find – plus food and retail are two of my greatest passions in life. Not to mention that I’m a huge fan of Nourish, so it’s a privilege to take part in the awards with the other ambassadors, who are all doing incredible work. I feel very lucky to take part.
Nourish: What impact do initiatives like the Nourish Vegan Awards have?
ED: The Nourish Vegan Awards are a fabulous opportunity to celebrate how far the movement has come and to share some of the best products on the market, as well as exciting up-and-coming brands. It’s a great way to drive interest and awareness of all the plant-based alternatives out there – it makes veganism even more accessible for newcomers.
Nourish: What vegan product/option could you simply not live without?
ED: Whilst I try to eat healthily most of the time, I do love a good mock-meat. I went vegan in my late twenties, and unlike some people who’ve been vegetarian from a very young age, I do like the taste of some meats – just not the suffering!
It’s great to have substitutes to satisfy that taste with familiar textures and flavours. They are also a practical solution for those looking to dip their toe in the water and certainly help to normalise veganism.
Nourish: What isn’t yet widely available that you’d love to see developed?
ED: I would love to see a wider range of vegan yoghurts on the market, especially thick, Greek-style, and high protein varieties made on different plant bases. At the moment I make my own soy yoghurt (as I know many other vegans do too) but it would be great to have lots more convenient and healthy ready-made options available in the shops.
Nourish: What’s next for you on your vegan journey?
ED: I want to encourage and support others to live their best vegan life. For me that means connecting with more people and providing useful and inspiring content. At the moment, that’s through the Vegan Diaries podcast and social media, but I would love to eventually expand into other media – whether that be publications like Nourish or penning my own book one day. In the meantime, I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by such a supportive vegan community.
The nominees for the Nourish Vegan Awards 2022 have been announced and voting is now open until 17 July, with winners to be revealed on World Vegan Day, 1 November 2022. Vote now in support of your favourite brands, venues, and advocates, and for the chance to win one of five premium prizes.