Stephanie Rodda

Steph is a full time dance instructor who has always loved performing and being creative. As a teacher she enjoys giving her students a new found confidence, and helping them become fit and healthy.

Regarding her veganism she says "I consider myself to be very passionate so when I feel something isn't fair or just, I feel the need to get involved and help make a difference."

Can you tell us how you came to be vegan?

I’ve always had a love of animals and when I was younger my Dad would always lecture me about the way animals were treated in the meat industry, as he has been vegetarian for as long as I can remember. So as I started to get older and more aware of the things that go on in this world it got me thinking about what I was really contributing to.

As I became a more conscientious person I naturally became a vegetarian. And then after seeing Earthlings, a documentary about our treatment of animals, I was completely changed forever. I knew I would be vegan from that day on and never look back.

The first thing I no­ticed was I had more en­er­gy...

Was going vegan easy for you?

Going vegan was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It was second nature really. At first of course I needed to do a bit of shopping around and talk to other vegans to find all the delicious ranges of foods needed to replace the products I used to eat that contained dairy or egg. I even find that non leather shoes are always nicer than the real leather designs. And cheaper of course!

What sort of reaction did you get from those close to you?

My family were great about me going vegan! And I’ve definitely influenced my Mum, grandparents and a few friends too. Everyone knows how I am so they weren’t surprised when I made the change.

Have you noticed any changes in your health since going vegan?

The first thing I noticed was I had more energy. I never get sick anymore, my skin’s clearer and I definitely feel lighter, so it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Have you encountered any absurd stereotypes or negative attitudes?

The first thing people assume is that all I eat is lettuce. No one has been mean directly to me or made rude comments, they really just don’t understand. They basically believe its ‘natural’ to eat meat so I always end up having to explain veganism, and the reason behind it, to them. It does get frustrating sometimes but i love making people think twice about their food choices.

Is there anyone who has particularly inspired or helped you?

Animal rights groups have been extremely helpful in giving me all the information i needed to make the change. And just seeing animals in general being happy and living the life they were meant to live inspires me to keep trying to make a difference for them.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World

What are some of your favourite meals?

Veggie stir fry with pasta in black bean or Mongolian sauce, Vegetable Paella, Veggie roast, and I love all types of vegan chocolate cakes and cup cakes, especially the home made ones. This basic (vegan) Chocolate Oreo Cupcake is wonderful.

What do you think are the most effective ways of helping veganism to become more mainstream?

Vegans should not just associate with other vegans. It’s important to also have non vegan/vegetarian friends, as otherwise we become too separated from mainstream society’s way of thinking. I know it’s hard to sit with someone while they eat a steak, but if we don’t mingle with people like that they will naturally develop their own stereotype of what vegans are like and what type of people we are ie. emo, hippie etc. And I’m certainly neither of those! These are the types of stereotypes that make people in mainstream society assume you must be like that in order to be a vegan which is so untrue and wrong.

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  • Hi Stephanie – your cousins Jahmila (12) & Mahalia (15) also dance. Working in Health, I’m mostly vegetarian and think we all should be – for the sake of the planet as well as for reducing the suffering of animals. Good on you.

  • Hey Stephanie. I’m 18 now and i’ve been a vegetarian for as long as i can remember. its the best! so cool having a cousin whos vegan :) Mahalia