Interview: Ana Rodrigues

Hello everyone! It is with this post that I inaugurate a new section of my blog: Interviews! With these interviews I intend to show various points of view and various ways of living related to vegetarianism and veganism. Today we start with Ana Rodrigues from the blog Ana Rodrigues – Artes plásticas, a super loved and creative woman who produces beautiful pieces, from pictures, to earrings, rings, etc. But it does not stop here! She’s a vegetarian and she answered some questions, let’s see? 🙂

Ana, how long have you been a vegetarian and what kind of vegetarian are you?

I have been a vegetarian since the middle of 2014, with an ovo-vegetarian diet, including, therefore, as the only foods of animal origin, eggs and dairy products. I started a process of transition to a vegetarian diet in the middle of 2013, lasted a year. I chose to make a gradual change in food, since I had a previous phase, in 2003, when I tried to immediately start vegan food, which I could not keep.

Tell us why did you chose this diet?

There were several reasons that made me opt for a vegetarian diet. The fats present in meat and fish caused me dyspepsia, a feeling of difficulty in digestion. This is a health related motive.

A second reason is related to a phase in which I considered that, since I fed on animals, I had to know what it meant to kill them to eat. So I fished a single fish, which I returned to the water, wounded (it was a bad feeling) and I helped my grandmother to kill a chicken (also a horrible feeling). This experience made me realize that I did not want to continue feeding on animals at all.

Another aspect that reinforced this attitude was the adoption of my cats, because in their gaze, in behavior, I was able to see the gaze of all animals. This is a feeling of respect, of compassion, that allows me to understand that a vegetarian diet is right for me. I feel really good about this decision.

What differences did you notice when changing your diet?

In terms of health, I noticed a considerable improvement in the digestion process (before, after meals, I felt nauseous, needing to stay still so as not to increase the illness, I would always wake up in the morning), I noticed an increase in energy, even mentally (I used to feel drowsy at times), and the quality of sleep has also increased (a vegetarian meal is never as heavy as those that include meat or fish).

I know you make jewelery and that you paint! How does vegetarianism enter in this part of your life? Do you inspire yourself in Nature for your creations?

The fine arts constitute a part-time, which has had some interruptions, often related to these issues. Regarding jewelry, it is simpler to adopt the concept of veganism, preferring non-animal materials. So, I use metal, natural stones, the plastic I am avoiding for ecological reasons.

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In drawing and painting it is a little more complicated because many paints and papers have ingredients of animal origin. I am therefore avoiding the use of oil and pondering the natural pigments of vegetable origin, such as coffee. I’m still at an experimental stage. My inspiration comes essentially from the observation of nature, people, the environment that surrounds us and the transformation that these observations adopt in dreams. There is a lot of dream-inspiration in my work.

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Do you find it difficult to be a vegetarian?

Not now, it has become natural. However, socially, it still seems a bit limiting. But, I note that vegetarianism is increasingly being accepted and understood by non-vegetarians.

What is your favorite dish and what food can you not eat at all?

I have never been able to select a favorite dish, also because there are times that I prefer some foods instead of others, but I especially like grilled vegetables with bean rice, ratatouille, salads. There is also no food I do not really like, but I confess that it was difficult to adapt to the taste of soy, tofu, seitan, quinoa, but I still like those foods as well.

Finally, what message would you like to leave about vegetarianism?

The positive effect of vegetarianism on physical and even mental health is noteworthy, as it raises awareness of respect for life in general. I believe that the transition from a meat and fish diet to a vegetarian diet should be gradual and informed in order to be balanced and healthy, the Directorate-General for Health has already launched a guide for a healthy vegetarian diet.

Thank you Ana, it was a pleasure to know a little more about you and your work ♡

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