As you may know, we’re very lucky to have an incredibly friendly and fun team here at LoveSeitan. Recently, we introduced you to Steve Swindon… this week it’s Nick Abear (also Co-Founder)!
For Nick, it’s all about the mission and vision behind LoveSeitan. So we’ve decided to just ask him one key question and see how it all began. See below for his detailed answer and get to know the man behind the recipes, cooking, preparation and flavours of your favourite seitan provider!
What inspired you to create LoveSeitan?
Growing up in the 70’s and living through the 80’s and 90’s as a vegan was, from a food point of view, a lonely existence. I can’t say it was difficult because it was all I knew, but as I look back, I feel really lucky that I was wired in such a way that I rejected all animal products, realistically as soon as I could think for myself.
Despite growing up in a family of six, all meat eaters, I refused to eat anything that came from an animal from the age of four. I can’t say that my family ever really understood, but they tolerated me; I’ve always been stubborn in that way! In saying that though, I basically lived on bread and potatoes for 10 years!
I can’t remember exactly when it was, maybe five or six years ago, many people around me started talking about veganism. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of people “go veggie” and then drop it soon after, so initially I was, if I’m honest, a little sceptical. I watched (albeit closely) from a few steps back at the beginning, but it kept growing. Eventually I knew that I had to get involved.
I started out doing as much activism as I could. I was going to vigils at slaughterhouses and doing outreach in town centres. Through this I met dozens of incredible people, people who thought the same way that I always had. Many have gone on to become really good friends. In fact, far more of my friends are vegan now than not as a result. Very different to 10/20 years ago!
Food wise, I’ve had to fend for myself for a long time. Eating out was always difficult; more often than not I tried to avoid it. I mean, you can only eat so much salad.
I can’t actually remember exactly when I first discovered seitan. I’ve cooked for myself since my teens, since my bread and potatoes days, so I’ve always experimented with recipes and over the years I made seitan from time to time. It was really when I started meeting other vegans that I made it more regularly. I would take seitan sandwiches to vigils on cold winter mornings and feed the activists. So many had never had it before, I would also make it for vegan friends when they came over to the house and they all loved it.
As time went by and my involvement in the vegan community grew, I decided that I wanted to get involved full time. I worked in the music business as a sound engineer after leaving education, then in 1998 started an Internet company which I ran until just a couple of years ago. I really loved both of my previous careers and have been really lucky to have worked in sectors that I’m passionate about, but it was time to take the plunge into food world.
I had a few ideas but nothing concrete, and when I met Steve in late 2016, which seems like a lifetime ago, he too was looking to work in the vegan world.Again, but together this time, we threw around ideas. The ‘Curritta’ could have been something really special, but more about that another time. Steve would come to my house, I would make seitan, he loved it, but to be honest it took a little while (and a good few Currittas) for the penny to drop.
We were pretty much sold on the idea of food and had a number of ideas while all the time eating our seitan sandwiches, seitan roasts and seitan stir fry’s. Then one day, when it looked like we were never going to come up with even one really good idea, I said “why don’t we just make seitan”. You really couldn’t make it up.
From there, in the summer of 2017, LoveSeitan was born. We’ve never looked back since!
There you have it! You’ve met both founders now!
And for some handy reasons to help you get motivated, like Nick, and join the plant-based revolution, here are a few we’ve picked out for you:
- We all have a responsibility to protect the environment and our planet. Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the best ways we can do this.
- Improving our health is more important than ever before. It’s beyond clear now – cutting meat and dairy out of your diet is healthier for you. According to Harvard Medical School (one of many examples), plant-based diets give you a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity. You also have a much lower risk of developing diabetes on a plant-based diet.
- We also need to protect food resources around the world. Plant-based foods, like seitan, are far more efficient to product than meat. Instead of using mountains of grain to feed animals for meat purposes, we should use our grain to create plant-based foods instead, at a fraction of the cost (both financially and from a resources point of view).
- And of course… perhaps the most important reason of all! Animals are sentient, wonderful beings that don’t deserve to be killed for our food. Let’s leave them off our plates!
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