July 08, 2012

Inspirational Friends: Kym and Kelly from Vegan Online + A Winner Announced!

Happy Sunday my sweet friends!

I'm so excited to continue my "Inspirational Friends" blog series today. This time I'm chatting with two very special ladies from Adelaide, Australia. Vegan Online is an online store based in South Australia selling all-vegan products. A mother-daughter duo, Kym and Kelly, founded Vegan Online in order to make cruelty-free shopping more accessible and effortless. Vegan Online offers “Shopping with conscience”, 100% vegan products from food to beauty, and ships Australia wide. Find Vegan Online at www.veganonline.com.au

What inspired you to become a vegan?

My first exposure to the cruel industries that exist in the name of profit was when I was thirteen years old and saw a pamphlet advertising vivisection.  I joined the anti vivisection union with the belief I was going to be breaking into laboratories and rescuing animals.  My awareness grew and at 17 when I left home and could cook for myself I decided to be vegetarian, thinking this is the most I could do to help the senseless slaughter of farmed animals.  It wasn’t until Kelly my daughter and Laurie my son had grown up that I eliminated all animals products and wished I’d done it years ago.

What do you love about being a vegan?

Having a clear conscience, knowing that my life choices do not affect another sentient being.  The health benefits and the wonderful array of food you get to eat on a plant based diet is fantastic and the great friends I have made within the vegan community.

Why did you decide to start a vegan business?

There wasn’t a great deal of shopping options in Adelaide when I first became vegan and I found myself driving long distances between shops just to get a varied selection of vegan goodies, so I thought if we could make one place that stocked a huge variety of vegan products and made it easier by doing it online it would provide other vegans with convenient shopping.

What is your favourite vegan product from your store?

I would have to say that my favourite vegan product is the Adorn Mineral Makeup. To have and use a product that is not only cruelty free but looks and feels fantastic on your skin is a major plus, also the fact that you can apply your whole face in 3 minutes is a huge bonus being so busy.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a vegan business?
I would say go for it, the more vegan business there are the better.  Expansion is great as the more business there are then the more awareness will be made in the community with the hope of being able to educate more people into a healthy eating habit.

What are your future plans for Vegan Online?
At the moment Kelly and I run Vegan Online and we hope to expand to be able to offer employment with us and in the long term to open a retail shop.

Besides following a vegan diet, what are some simple things one can do to promote a compassionate and cruelty-free lifestyle?
People could change their lifestyle in small ways by buying cruelty free products such as cleaning products, toiletries, cosmetics and other products that are not tested on animals.
Support local animal liberation organisation or contact organisations such as Animals Australia to see how you can learn more about animal rights issues.
Follow animal sanctuary websites like our Freedom Hill website which shows a life through the eyes of a farm animal.
Support no kill animal shelters.
Join a group that promotes cruelty free ideals where you are able to feel welcome to converse amongst other like minded individuals.
What tips do you have for people wanting to make the switch to a vegan diet?
At first the idea may feel to daunting to cut out all animal products quickly, gradually phase out and cut back eating meat, chicken or fish might be easier.  Eating out is the hardest when trying to change to a plant based diet so getting a good recipe book and experimenting with some delicious flavoured dishes always helps. Communicating with other like minded people and exchanging ideas is great.  Anyone who is contemplating changing to a more compassionate lifestyle can always contact Kelly or myself via email at admin@veganonline.com.au  or logging onto our website at www.veganonline.com.au to view our extensive range of cruelty free products.

Who is your vegan inspiration?
Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd.  His direct action approach to marine conservation has to be admired. I also have a huge admiration for Lyn White, campaign director for Animals Australia.

What is your favourite vegan meal to prepare?
My favourite vegan meal is Coconut Korma from the Now Vegan recipe book by Lynda Stoner, it’s delicious and quick and easy to make.

Thank you girls!

Whilst talking about inspirational friends, I'm so glad to announce the winner of Jessica's e-book "Make Peace with Your Plate". Once again I was truly overwhelmed by the quality (and quantity!) or replies and choosing a winner was no easy thing to do. There was one reply, however, that really resonated with me and so I had to go with that one. Congratulations to Wendy Thomas for winning Jessica's book! Can you please email me your details and I'll get a book organised for you? Thanks!

Here's Wendy's winning reply to "What does making a peace with your plate mean to you?"

Making peace with my plate means living in agreement with nature and at peace with myself. I first became vegan in September of 2011 and my vegan journey began simply for health reasons. I was in dire need of transforming my lifestyle and after reading several books and watching several documentaries on the subject of food, it became clear that my obesity problem could lead to many horrible diseases. I became increasingly aware of how programmed most American's are...most of us live on auto-pilot and look for convenience in all areas of our lives. Unfortunately, we are also manipulated through the millions of dollars spent on advertising to look for convenience in food…hence the term fast food.

When I finally chose to take control of my life and the choices I was making, a switch went off in my head and becoming vegan made the most sense to me. As I mentioned earlier, initially, my decision to become vegan was for health reasons, but as I began to live the lifestyle, I became increasingly aware of not only the cruelty and disease that exists in the production of animal products but also became aware of how choosing to consume these products has a domino affect on the sustainability of our earth. How land and forests are having to be cut down just to be able to fit more livestock on that land to feed all the people who consume it. How fish are having to be farm raised in unnatural conditions just to keep up with consumer demand. Our population is over 7 billion people right now and growing.

The ironic part in all of this is that we don’t need animal products to live happy, healthy lives. There is plenty of protein, calcium and all the other necessary nutrients in a plant-based diet. So, I grow the majority of my food in my yard. I ripped up my grass and instead, I grow food. What I don’t grow, I buy from my local farmer’s markets or local health food grocer. Imagine what would happen if we all made the switch and decided to start growing our own food and chose 1 day a week to be a meatless day (Meatless Mondays), what a wonderful step toward preserving this beautiful earth we would make.


  1. Nice ...Online shopping is one of the best ways to locate hard-to-find items not available in your local stores.

  2. Well done Wendy, a worthy winner!

  3. Wonderful and insightful reply! Great post Maria.


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