Food and Biosphere—How Are They Related? And is our current food system putting our biosphere in danger?

The biosphere is as important as life itself because it is all of life. Without the biosphere, Earth would be a lifeless planet, such as Mars or Venus.

It seems obvious that without healthy biosphere, we not only won’t be able to produce healthy food but also maintain good health as a species.

And yet what our current actions we are putting our biosphere in danger, which basically means we’re cutting the branch we are sitting on—and that is not a smart thing to do.

Question: What is the number one activity that damages our planet’s biosphere that can also be fixed relatively easily and quickly?

Before we address this question, let’s talk a little more about what biosphere is.

What exactly is the biosphere?

Biosphere is a part of the Earth where all organisms (plants and animals) live. They live in thin upper part of oceans and everywhere on/within the land mass. At higher altitude, UV radiation and low temperatures disable life to spread. In the deep ocean, life is present in the depth of up to 500 m below oceanic floor.

The biosphere is a self-supporting and self-regulating system. Some scientists even think of the biosphere itself as a living organism. It’s been maintaining its delicate balance for billions of years.

But then we humans came around, and we’re putting so much stress on it we’re disrupting that balance.

We’re taking our planet and our precious biosphere for granted.

It’s always been here.

We can’t imagine it not being here. 

But—what if we damage it beyond repair?

Is it even possible?

Why do we need to take better care of biosphere?

Here are some facts about our biosphere that you need to know:

Compared to the other spheres (lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere), the biosphere is fragile.

Most organisms require particular levels of pH, water, nitrogen, carbon and oxygen among other things in order to survive. All conditions required for life must be met and maintained within this thin layer of groundwater and lower atmosphere.

Even though our planet Earth may seem very large to us, but the biosphere is very thin by comparison.

How can we protect and preserve the biosphere?

Some things may come to your mind, like reducing the use of fossil fuels, restoring damaged ecosystems by planting trees on land where forests have been cut down, in short—learning to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment, plus supporting activities that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment.

All of these are valid.

And you probably already know that.

But none of them are quick and easy fixes.

There doesn’t seem ONE SIMPLE way to FIX MOST OF THESE PROBLEMS QUICKLY and efficiently… or is it?

So, what is the number one activity that damages our planet’s biosphere that can also be fixed relatively easily and quickly?

It’s our food system.

The way we produce food—and the animal food in particular—is the driving force behind a number of crises, including the climate change, biodiversity crisis, health crisis (including antibiotic resistance), ocean depletion, water pollution, deforestation, and the crisis of ethics (whereby we raise billions of animals in squalid conditions and kill them at very young age to eat them, even though more humane, healthful, and sustainable plant alternatives exist).

And this is NOT animal factory farm crisis, because the pasture-bread, grass-fed, free-range meat and dairy products are even worse in terms of how unsustainable they are (we would essentially need several planets to feed the global population on these types of foods).  


And not just our extinction—


If you think this is an exaggeration—then you should know that the largest extinction since the times when dinosaurs were alive is going on RIGHT NOW. It’s called the Sixth Extinction.

Is there hope?


We must cultivate hope. But we also must take well informed action.

We’re in a unique situation to save earth as we know it, and save the life on it now and allow a livable future for those coming after us or we could ignore things, act like nothing’s happening or when we get around to it and allow it to continue on its current path to possibly be destroyed.

And all of us can help—which means all of us can become heroes, fighting for the greater good.

So, what’s at stake?

The extinguishing of our own species and thousands of other species—that’s what’s at stake.

We can essentially make or break humanity and our entire biosphere—that could be at stake.

So, what needs to change?  

We need to stop those practices and habits that we administer every single day on a collective basis globally, that create an unnecessary and proportionately large resource footprint, beginning with—

THE FOOD WHAT WE EAT AND OUR AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS, which have the largest environmental footprint of all.


So, whether you’re ready to go completely plant-based or not, cutting down beef and other animal products, reducing the consumption by third, or half would be a step in the right direction.

Even though it’s not a time for baby steps, it’s better than nothing.

Don’t do nothing because you want to do everything.

We’re on very real timelines and it’s much worse now than it was ten or even five years ago. And any action you can take today toward a more plant-based diet is the right thing to do.

The Environmental Impact of Eating Fish

Eating fish may be a considered by many a vast improvement over the Standard American diet (SAD), but most people fail to realize that the consumption of aquatic animals comes with its own set of issues.

Truth is the promise of fish-eating being healthier, more sustainable, better for the environment and more ethical than the consumption of land animals is nothing more than a “fishy” propaganda.

Besides contributing directly to human disease through the toxicity of its products, the seafood industry is killing fish by the billions causing enormous damage to marine ecosystems throughout the world. 

We are facing the collapse of all fished species in under 40 years if we don’t make some serious changes. The frightening news that by mid-century there will no longer be fish in the ocean as we know it.

Since the mid-1980s, the international fishing industry’s capacity has increased every year, and yet over the same period, the amount of fish actually caught and killed for food has decreased every year.

The reason is obvious: we have overfished the oceans to such an extreme extent that we have forced all the world’s fisheries into collapse or near collapse. Overfishing of large fish like tuna, cod, swordfish, and salmon, as well as mid-sized fish and small sea animals like shrimp and krill, is having devastating consequences on marine ecology, and driving many aquatic animals into extinction and near-extinction.


What about “Sustainable” Fisheries? Is “Sustainable Fishing” an Answer?

Over the past few years, “sustainable fishing” has become a buzzword and the fishing industry.

While it may be considered a step in the right direction in terms of rectifying the damage to marine ecosystems, it’s hardly a solution to the problem. The question remains: Can “sustainable fishing” exist for a population of over seven billion people?

Considering that the global fishing intake is estimated to be 2.5 times what fish populations could feasibly support, it’s obvious the only truly sustainable way to buy seafood is not to buy it at all.

No large-scale fishing operation can truly be “environmentally friendly.” They put profit above the health of our oceans. Besides, the “smart seafood” diet, also has its limitations. It is tricky to figure out how your fish has been caught; and it’s just difficult to follow this type of selective eating. It has the potential of transforming a person into an irritating dinner guest, along the lines of “Yes, dear hosts, I do love salmon – but only wild Alaskan salmon, please, because I don’t eat other types.”

It is so much simpler to cut fish out altogether. You may be surprised, but people who make that choice feel no particular deprivation. The black and white, yes-or-no categories can make things a great deal easier. And much more sustainable.

Read The Whole Ebook: Truth About Eating Fish and Fish Oil

You may be rolling your eyes at another “truth” being exposed, but I challenge you to read my new ebook and tell me you did not learn something new.


Download the ebook on Amazon (coming soon)

“Exposed: The Truth About Eating Fish What Your Doctor Never Told You About Eating Fish & Fish Oil Supplements”

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

Interview with Steffi DeRobertis, Plus Her Favorite Mac-N’-Cheese Recipe

I found Steffi’s website while browsing online for vegan recipe sites. She has many amazing recipes on her blog that I are completely new territory for me, inlcluding Mom’s Goulash, Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Gluten Free Cookies, and Mac-and-Cheese (I never make mac and cheese at home, not even in pre-vegan days, but this one includes cashews and walnuts, so I’m going to try it! I’m sure my son will enjoy it.)

Name: Steffi Derobertis
Location: Southern California
Occupation: Full time working mom
Blog Name: Don’t Fear the Vegan
Facebook: Don’t Fear The Vegan
Twitter: @dontfearvegan

1. First off, please tell us a bit about yourself (where are you from, what do you do, etc.)

I am originally from Southern California. The town of Diamond Bar, 45 miles east of Los Angeles. I am a full time working mom of an energetic 9 year old girl, Anzia. My husband and I share the responsibility of home schooling Anzia and are both active in her social extra curricular activities like soccer and Girl Scouts. My outlet for stress has always been cooking which lead to starting Don’t Fear the Vegan.

2. How long have you been vegan and what was your motivation for going vegan?

Hubby and I went vegetarian in 2000. When Anzia was born with a dairy allergy in 2004 I began eating a plant-based diet, though when I was done nursing I went back to eating dairy. It made me extremely ill. The more reading I did, the more I realized I did not want to support the dairy industry. I have lived a complete vegan lifestyle for 5 years or so. Anzia has been vegan from day one.

3. What was the transition to all plant-based diet like? Was it long and difficult, or quick and easy? What was your greatest challenge?  Do you have any advice for people who are considering making the switch or who are still going through a transition?

Our house became completely vegan in 2004. The most difficult part for me was visiting places like my elderly grandparents, having them try their hardest to make me something I could eat, to find out that they added sour cream or mayonnaise. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I couldn’t eat it. Until I was able to get over this hurdle I did not call myself vegan. The food itself was pretty easy. Plus, it made coking an entirely new adventure.

4. Is your family vegan?  If yes, how did that happen? If not, what are they eating and how do your food choices affect them?

Yes, fortunately they are. I often wonder how people manage in households with different eating habits.

5. Do you have to deal with picky eaters?

Anzia is extremely picky. She prefers things raw and not mixed. A veggie tray and sliced uncooked tofu is her ideal meal. Though her favorite food is a somewhat odd choice… hearts of palm. I have learned to leave a little of all the elements of my creations out for her plates. If I am making a nut loaf, i give her the same nuts or bean by themselves, etc. Then she has to try a small portion of the finished meal. It works for us and it gives me the piece of mind that she is getting the nutrition she needs.

6. What are some of your – and your family’s – favorite foods/dishes?

My families favorite is Mac n “Cheese” and pea salad. Anzia can now prepare this on her own.

7. Can you perhaps share your favorite recipe, if it’s not a secret :-)?


Vegan Mac n “Cheese” – find it here.

8. Do you drink green smoothies or green juices?

No matter how I try them I am not a fan. It may be psychological though. If I add beets or other things that change the color I am able to tolerate them much better. I definitely prefer juice over smoothies, the pulp in a smoothie makes it difficult to swallow.

9. People switching to mostly plant-based or vegan diet are often concerned about getting enough nutrients. How are you making sure that you and your family stay healthy and get all the nutrition you need?

We have spent a lot of time reading over the years and have learned a lot from Dr. McDougall. I take a D vitamin and mostly use nutritional yeast for my B vitamin. I give Anzia a vegan multi-vitamin for kids, just to make sure we aren’t missing anything.

10. What are your strategies and tips for eating out and dealing with social situations? Do you have any advice for new vegans?

We are extremely lucky living in Seattle and run into very few situations. When traveling Anzia and I are pretty adaptable and can usually make it work. When we are in unfamiliar territory I tend to look at the menu ahead of time and make sure it is going to work for him. If not, we eat ahead and enjoy the company. I carry a back pack of food when exploring new places.

11. Since I became vegan about a year ago, I found that this switch is about so much more than simply eliminating a few ingredients from your diet. I found that it affected so many other areas of my life, including social and professional. How does being vegan affect other areas of your life?

Social experience have become more stressful since Anzia has acquired more friends her age, which include more social functions. There have been some places that despite the fact that we have been attending functions since she was 4, still never accommodate her and even though we are paying for the pizza party we have to bring our own. That is not the norm though. Most of the people in our lives are super accommodating. Sometimes to the point where I feel bad that they have gone so far out of their way. The last three birthday parties she has attended the parents have made sure she was taken care of.

As far as professional, I work around a lot of foodies, and though I may have to endure some of the typical vegan jokes, I am always thought of at food gatherings. It is also odd that when people find out that I am vegan, they feel the need to explain why the participate in certain things, like why they are vegetarian and haven’t made the leap to being vegan. I just keep bringing them food to show how good it is.

12. Is there anything else that you would like to share?

This was awesome. It can be really difficult in the beginning, especially in areas where there are no other vegans around. I think people need to know that though some vegans just woke up one day and said “I am vegan,” there are just as many who struggled, but had their heart in the right place and eventually found their way. Telling our stories gives different people something to relate to and possibly find comfort in.

dontfearthevegan interview

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

Fish Is a Healthy Food: Fact or Fiction?

We hear it all the time, from doctors, dieticians, fitness trainers, and our mothers: we must eat fish to thrive and be healthy. For their fats (omega 3s), vitamin D, and protein. Even people who consider themselves vegetarians, often admit that they eat fish.

There is so much propaganda and misinformation surrounding the eating of fish and seafood that most people fail to realize that we have been talked into consuming a food that is really not good for us (or for the environment; and especially for the fish and other sea life, for that matter).

But let me explain…

Read the entire book: The Truth About Eating Fish and Fish Oil

Coming soon to Amazon Kindle!

Fish are friends, not food: Fish toxicity

Now, you may be rolling your eyes at another “truth” being exposed, but I challenge you to read my book about eating fish and fish supplements and tell me you did not learn something new.

Read the entire book – coming soon to Amazon Kindle: The Truth About Eating Fish and Fish Oil

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!

Exposed: The Truth About Eating Fish Or What Your Doctor Never Told You About Fish & Fish Oil Supplements. Fish Are Friends Not Food

“Exposed: The Truth About Eating Fish Or What Your Doctor Never Told You About Fish & Fish Oil Supplements. Fish Are Friends Not Food”

Coming soon to Amazon Kindle!

What you’ll read about:

Fish is a health food: fact or fiction? 5
What are Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fats?
What are the best sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids?
Do you need Omega-3 supplements?
What to do to prevent a deficiency?
Omega-3 recommendations
The Environmental Impact of eating Fish
Problems with Fishing Industry
Is “Sustainable Fishing” an Answer?


Plus, visit this post for fabulous fish-friendly recipes entitled “Great Recipes For Fish Friendly Food.”

“The average American eats 16 pounds of fish per year but the 2010 USDA Guidelines recommends doubling the amount of seafood we eat because of “health benefits”. Health benefits to us? To our planet? To the fishing industry? Our country consumed 5 billion pounds of seafood in 2010. Perhaps it would make sense for the USDA to inform consumers of all the health benefits of eating plant based foods, the many and significant advantages these foods have over eating fish, and emphasize the continued global depletion that occurs with every bite of fish that we take. It also, then, would make sense for all influential organizations and our media to spend at least the same amount of time disseminating the reality of the negative effects of our choice to eat fish as is spent on them being a source of omega 3s. Everyone needs to know the full impact eating fish has on the health of our planet and on our own health. It is time to become aware. Instead of mass producing, harvesting, catching, killing and eating fish—just let them live.” Dr. Richard Oppenlander

Read the entire book: The Truth About Eating Fish and Fish Oil

Coming soon to Amazon Kindle!

Interview: Ally from

I’m happy to present you with another interview in my “Powered by Plants” series. It’s with Ally from I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Name: Ally
Location: Australia, the Far North coast of New South Wales
Occupation: Consultant to the not-for-profit sector
Blog Name: Made of Stars
Twitter: @madeofstars1

1. First off, please tell us a bit about yourself (where are you from, what do you do, etc.) 

I live in Australia, on the Far North coast of New South Wales.  My husband, Mat, and I grew up in Sydney, and moved to the country a decade ago. We are both Social Workers.

I have spent most of my working life advocating for women and children who have experienced family violence, and are navigating the legal system. Currently, I am working (from home) as a consultant to the not-for-profit sector.

We are the parents of 4 tiny vegans – a daughter aged 9, and three sons aged 6, 4, and 14 months.

2. How long have you been vegan and what was your motivation for going vegan?

I have been an ethical vegan for 17 years. Embracing veganism is one of the best life decisions I have ever made!

As a child, I shared my life with dogs, cats, birds, mice, and fish. I was a self-proclaimed ‘animal lover’. Yet, I ate animals. Rather, I ate some animals.  As a child, I would have been repulsed if somebody had suggested that I eat dogs or cats. But, for the most part, I did not question eating cows, chickens, and pigs.

When I was about 6 or 7, I did ask about the origins of the beef on my dinner plate. My godmother told me that ‘the cow’ had died of old age. In other words, the cow had not suffered. I accepted this response. I think that I would have embraced vegetarianism earlier, if an adult had been honest with me. It was another decade before I questioned the necessity of eating meat.

At 16, I stumbled upon a book in my local library: Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm: The Myth of the Traditional Farm and the Shocking Truth about Animal Suffering in Today’s Agribusiness.  I was profoundly impacted by the words and images in this book. Why didn’t I know about the barbaric treatment of ‘food’ animals? The scale of misery and torment detailed in the book galvanized me – I stopped eating meat. However, I continued to eat fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Eventually, all of the pieces of the puzzle came together. I awoke to the suffering of ocean dwelling beings, ‘egg-industry’ chickens, and ‘dairy’ cows. I faced up to the fact that fish felt pain, and were just as ‘alive’ as cows and pigs. I began to question how I could continue to support industries that treated bobby calves and male chicks as waste products. How could I, a feminist and human rights advocate, support the enslavement of cows and the theft of their offspring? It became apparent that veganism was the appropriate ‘next step’.

At 19 years of age I embraced, wholeheartedly, a vegan ethic. I have never looked back!

3. What was the transition to all plant-based diet like?  What was your greatest challenge?  Do you have any advice for people who are considering making the switch or who are still going through a transition?

In the mid-90’s, I was a university student living with my parents, in Sydney. Mat (my ‘new’ boyfriend at that time!) and I frequently visited vegan restaurants. I read New Vegetarian magazine and Vegan Voice magazine. I joined Animal Liberation.

My younger sister embraced veganism as well.  Many of our university friends were developing an interest in animal rights.

When I stopped drinking cows’ milk, I began drinking black tea and herbal tea. I switched to soy milk for cereal and baking. At that time, the only non-dairy milk available was soy milk. There was only one brand in the supermarket, and I disliked it. In order to ‘condition’ my taste buds to soy milk, I purchased the chocolate-flavoured variety, and watered it down with ice cubes.  Once I had developed a taste for the chocolate variety (without the ice cubes), I switched to plain soy milk.

I adapted to the taste of pasta, pizza, toasted sandwiches, and Mexican food minus the dairy-based cheese. There wasn’t any decent vegan cheese available at that time, so I did not replace dairy cheese with non-dairy cheese. Nowadays, vegan cheese is a bit of a novelty for me. I do like a slice of Vegusto cheese on a cracker, or a sprinkling of cheezly on a pizza. But vegan cheese is not a regular staple in our house.

When transitioning to veganism, I believe it is important to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Socialising with like-minded vegans is important too.  If possible, attend a local vegan ‘meet-up’. We regularly attend meet-ups for vegan families. I believe that it is important for my children to socialise with vegan children and vegan adults. This helps to ‘normalise’ veganism.

Remind yourself constantly, of why you have transitioned. Read health-based and ethics-focused literature. Watch documentaries that promote veganism, and join a local animal rights organisation.

If you do fall off the wagon, jump back on with gusto. Ditch the guilt, and re-ignite your commitment. Remind yourself of the sacrifice that animals make. Keep a picture of a bobby calf on your fridge, or as a screen saver on your phone.

4. Is your family vegan?  If yes, how did that happen?

Yes, we are raising our children vegan. They have been vegan their whole lives. I have had 4 four healthy vegan pregnancies.

Promoting veganism to our children goes beyond ‘food’. Vegan parenting involves nurturing our children’s compassion for, and curiosity about, non-human animals. Animals are not a food source in our home. Our children know that meat is a dead animal. They know that a meal of meat means that an animal died – an animal that did not want to die, and fought for life.

My eldest son once asked: ‘can I eat vegan and non-vegan food when I am older’? In my reply, I used chickens as an example, and told him that if he ate ‘chicken’, a chicken must first die. I will not sugar coat that. My children deserve to know the truth. ‘Food’ animals suffer brutality and death at the hands of humans and, for them, I must be truthful. I wish I had been told the truth as a child. My children have no desire to harm animals, and I want them to understand that meat is the product of an animal that has been harmed.

Our 4 year old is going through a stage of asking all our visitors: ‘Are you vegan’?  During dinner time at our house recently, he asked our guest – my daughter’s friend-  if she was vegan. When she answered ‘no’, he asked: ‘then why are you eating vegan food’? J

My kids rarely watch commercial TV, so they have been largely sheltered from fast food advertising. Recently, however, we saw an ad for a ‘chicken’ fast food outlet. My 4 year old son said: ‘I don’t want to eat chickens. I like chickens’.

My daughter is 9, so we can discuss more advanced concepts with her. Obviously, I am reluctant to reveal too much about the horrors that animals endure at the hands of humans. I have no desire to traumatise her. I shelter myself from news items and online videos about animal abuse.

I am happy that my daughter has embraced a vegan ethic – she ‘gets’ it. Recently, our daughter’s school teacher showed Mat and I a piece of her schoolwork. In class time, the children were required to write a passage of persuasive text about a topic of their choice. My daughter wrote about not eating animals. In her piece, she argues that it is not fair to animals if people eat them when they could eat vegetables instead.

My children are fortunate to have friendships with vegetarian and vegan children. Wonderfully, my daughter’s best friend, Dan, is also a vegan.

My school-age children attend an independent school that promotes a vegetarian diet. School lunchboxes and school functions must comply with a sentient (or yoga) vegetarian diet. In this context, not eating animals is ‘normal’ for my children.

5. Do you have to deal with picky eaters?

My 6 year old son is the least adventurous eater in our family. He is wary of new foods, but he does eat a wide range of foods. He loves fruit. He is not keen on some vegetables, such as mushrooms and tomatoes, but he enjoys others such as broccoli, carrots, and raw capsicum.

His favourite snacks are peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and red apples. He adores salt and pepper tofu. He is partial to mixed berry sorbet. He also likes cake. Which isn’t surprising – he is my son after all! I am not known for my ability to resist a rich chocolate cake or a tangy cheezecake.

6. Can you perhaps share your favorite recipe, if it’s not a secret :-)?

Chilli beans is a meal that is on high rotation in our household. It is simple to prepare, and there are many different ways of serving it. You can find the recipe here.

The weather is cooling down here as we head towards winter. At this time of year, my family also enjoys vegetable curries with rice, vegetable and tofu stir fry, baked root vegetables, soups, dahl with rice, and pasta dishes.  I adore a big, warming bowl of spicy Laksa.

Mat and I also enjoy eating a combination of sliced mushrooms – shiitake, enoki, swiss brown, oyster, white button – cooked in olive oil, garlic, and parsley. This is a simple, yet delicious, side dish.

In terms of ‘eating out’, vegan yum cha is a family favourite. My kids also enjoy Japanese food. They all like seaweed!

We don’t eat dessert at home. However, my mum usually bakes a cake if we are having dinner at my parents’ house. She makes delectable chocolate cakes and cheezecakes. These are definitely popular with my children!

7. Do you drink green smoothies or green juices?

Yes, Mat and I drink a green smoothie each morning.  We first discovered green smoothies when we became interested in raw food about 5 years ago. Currently, we aim to have a daily green smoothie, and this task is made easier by the presence of a high-powered blender in our kitchen.

This morning, our green smoothie consisted of banana, pear, oranges, strawberries, water, coconut butter, ground flax seeds, kale, and cos (romaine) lettuce.   We are currently visiting my mother-in-law in Sydney- and we brought our blender with us! So, she is also indulging in green smoothies each morning. I think we have a convert!

8. What are your strategies and tips for eating out and dealing with social situations? Do you have any advice for new vegans?

Plan ahead.

If I have been invited to an ‘unfamiliar’ restaurant, I find it best to phone them and ask about vegan options, rather than waiting until I arrive.

If you are going to an event that does not permit BYO food, and you are unsure about the availability of vegan food, eat before you go!

When my children receive an invitation to a birthday party, I always contact the parent/s and offer to prepare a vegan dish (or 2) for all of the party-goers to share. I certainly do not expect the party organisers to alter their meal plan – I know how stressful party organising can be! I have found that most children’s parties have ‘incidental’ vegan food on the menu – fruit platters, rice crackers, hommus, popcorn, plain potato chips (crisps).

When my daughter was a toddler, I feared that I would one day develop ‘baking fatigue’ as a result of all the cupcakes I would need to bake for her to take to other children’s birthday parties. However, I have been heartened by the willingness of other parents to cater for my children. It often isn’t necessary for me to send vegan food or even a vegan cake substitute, as many of the parents make sure that vegan food is available, including cake. It is a gesture that I appreciate immensely.

Finally, do not apologise! You do not have to apologise for being vegan. You are not an inconvenience, or a ‘hassle’. Just let people know at the earliest opportunity that you are vegan, and be prepared to bring delicious food to share.