Benny Tipene

Benny Tipene was the darling of New Zealand’s first series of The X factor. A self-taught singer songwriter from Palmerston North, Benny has since gone on to record his own music. A long standing supporter of animals and SAFE and vegetarian too, Benny is a true animal lover!


Why did you become Veg and when?

I became a vegetarian in 2009. I grew up in an animal-loving household so I've always had such a passion for them and also I have lots and lots of empathy for animals and no longer wish to keep eating beautiful creatures that share the planet with us.


What’s the greatest thing about being Veg?

I feel like I contribute a tiny bit to saving an animal's life by not buying meat.


How did you make the changes?

I made the decision after watching a SAFE video on animal cruelty. I stopped meat then and there. Also my little sister was a vegetarian long before me so she helped me out with recipes and cooked plenty of animal free meals for me!


Was it hard to make the changes?

Not at all. I thought it was going to be hard but it really just forces you to become a better cook. You use herbs and spices to make things more interesting. Are your family and friends Veg too? My little sister has been a vegetarian for 8 years and my mother and father only eat white meat. My little sister and I are working on them ;)


What’s your favourite food?

Roast veges with couscous. Satay Tofu stir fry.


What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Loving Hut. Little Bird and Aunty Menas in Wellington.


What is a typical day’s menu for you?

Pic's Peanut Butter on toast. Lots of coffee. Dinner ranges but some of the nicer meals lately have been Tofu Stir Fry, Roast Veges, Carbonara Pasta with Fry's Fake Meat.


What do you do for fun?

Play guitar and write and sing songs.


What do you do for fitness?

Not much really. Pretty bad. Walk up and down the staircase in my loft. Walk to town sometimes hehe.


What is the funniest thing someone has ever said to you about being Veg?

"Wanna grass burger?"


Are there any challenges in being Veg?

Naaaaa. Just do it. Do you have advice for others about to Go Veg? Just think of the animals. They deserve to be here just as much as we do. They have ears, eyes and a mouth but not a voice. They need us to stand up for their rights. Even if you aren't vegetarian and you're reading this maybe stop eating meat for one day of the week just to support a little bit. Peace and love everyone.