I am vegan since 2017. Before that I have been vegetarian since childhood. When I was younger, food wasn’t really a conscious choice for me, but mostly the matter of liking.
I grew up in Russia, where meat and dairy cultures were and still remain big. As a child I had never enjoyed meat, I didn’t eat eggs, the taste and smell of milk made me feel sick, very wrong, almost guilty and I didn’t know how to explain that. The access for certain products and information was also limited back then and, honestly to say, I hadn’t had much knowledge or time to worry about things like animals, environment or health, unlike the younger generation nowadays.
I started modeling shortly after moving to Finland for university. My studies didn’t take too much time and i had space and energy for something else. I signed with an agency and was managing some trips in in between my school. Before I graduated, I travelled a bit, had a chance to do some nice jobs and meet amazing people on my way.
One of them was a girl (still a dear friend of mine), with who I happened to share a room during my trip to Portugal. She had been vegan for several years already. This girl introduced me to the concept of veganism and sustainable living, explained many things and proved with her own example that being vegan is not only salad and tomatoes, but a varied delicious meals, which are good not only for the body, but also for a planet. Later on I connected with many other vegan people, who inspired me, read many books and watched countless documentaries, but she was the one to plant the seed.
Considering the fact that I didn’t like most of the animal products the switch was painless, apart from the fact that I had to check more careful for the contents, while doing groceries and eating out. Sometimes producers add milk protein or butter in the products you less expect it to be, but after few months I got used to it and now its a routine and I don’t see any difficulty following it anymore.
Being vegan nowadays is not a matter of need anymore, but rather A CHOICE. And I made mine. For better planet, for animals, for environment, health.. you name it. It’s time to stop living in denial. The future is in our hands and I am glad I am not only doing it for myself, but also have a chance to inspire more people with my example. Everyone has to decide for themselves, but i am sure that every little step matters.
Even though I continue doing modelling, range of my interests involve many other things, such as nutrition, sport, environment, design, psychology. I do running, fitness classes and always choose an active leisure time over sitting on a couch. At the moment I train for a full marathon, study German, do graphic design, constantly study something and enjoy my life.