Immi Paterson

I like to think of myself as an “old school” vegan, because I made the change in 2004. This was back when the only vegan cheese you could get was in a squishy log, and your other food choices were between tofu or this weird vegan luncheon meat. Since then, things have come a long way, and there’s still a long way to come.

I went vegetarian at the age of ten. It was for ethical reasons – I couldn’t justify eating another animal just because I enjoyed the taste. Luckily for me my parents went along with it and made me my own special meal each night. The upgrade to veganism came about when I moved to Auckland at the age of twenty-one and volunteered at the S.A.F.E. info booth (which used to be in St Kevin’s Arcade on K Rd). I read all the material on my first day and came home to declare I was going vegan. Probably the best decision I’ve ever made.

These days I promote veganism through my online persona “Immi the Vegan”. I recently launched a comedy, musical web series portraying a vegan woman looking for love (during NZ’s worst vegan man drought). I also work as a Supply Chain and Planning Controller for a plant-based foods manufacturer – so my life is about as vegan as you could get! In my sheltered bubble I sometimes forget that the rest of the world hasn’t quite caught up.