Emmett Skilton, Actor

Why did you become Veg and when?

5 weeks ago. I've always been a free-range only eater and since I began working with SAFE on a few projects, the positive sides of being a vegetarian became clear (animal welfare, body benefits etc) so I thought I'd just give it a go!

What’s the greatest thing about being Veg?

I feel like I am doing my part to protect the welfare of animals. Plus I feel so good!

How did you make the changes?

Simply by taking the meat out of my regular meals. To begin with it was as easy as that. I then started creating new meals I hadn't tried before such as vegetarian nachos or indian curries using lentils, and then got help from my peers and the SAFE team about great restaurants or cafes around Auckland.

Was it hard to make the changes?

Strangely it really wasn't. I immediately felt 'lighter' and fresher the following day which told me the change was good for me, so I've stuck with it and haven't looked back.

Are your family and friends Veg too?

I have many friends and co-workers who are vegetarian or vegan which is great for support but my girlfriend has also chosen to make the change with me, which makes it a lot easier when it comes to meal ideas and discussing the health benefits from certain combinations of food.

What’s your favourite food?

Avocado! Have only really realised how awesome it is in the last 6 months (I know... WHAT?!) but absolutely love what goodness it contains but also how freakin' versatile it is. And also falafel - great texture and taste so good!

What’s your favourite cafe?

Kokako Cafe & Roastery in Grey Lynn. Great vegetarian options and amazing thick-shakes.

What do you do for fun?

My job - act! Plus, I've recently discovered the local driving-range... instant addict.

What do you do for fitness?

Probably not as much as I should but I walk a lot through the central city but also run regularly (ish) along Aucklands waterfront.

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

"But McDonalds has just bought out Georgie Pie!"

Are there any challenges in being Veg?

I haven't found any challenges personally, but I do need to keep reminding myself that my body needs to make up for the lack of meat by using other methods. SAFE offers a great info sheet on this, about vitamins, minerals etc. and what foods contain them.

Do you have advice for others about to Go Veg?

Firsty, It's waaaay easier than you think to make the change and stick to it! Secondly, have fun and be creative with what you make! Indian and especially Mexican have so many vegetarian dishes that are so delicious and so good for you.