Seeby Woodhouse

Seeby Woodhouse, 2004’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year, was also the founder of internet server Orcon. He currently runs Green Carbon a company that helps businesses assess their carbon footprint and focuses on travel, fun and his dog Bella! Read more

Why did you become Veg and when?

I became Vegetarian after watching several documentaries such as “Food Inc”, “Super Size Me”, “The Cove” and “Earthlings”, and whilst watching “Earthlings” I started to feel physically ill at the way that humans are treating animals on a massive scale, and I no longer wanted to be part of that. My decision to become Vegetarian was 100% ethically driven.

What’s the greatest thing about being Veg?

I didn’t expect to feel healthier after becoming Vegetarian, but was surprised that I actually feel lighter and less bloated and more energetic after cutting out meats. I no longer feel tired in the afternoon, and I feel healthier in general.

How did you make the changes?

I made the changes fairly quickly. I had never been a huge meat eater and never actually enjoyed coming across gristle etc, and so I phased meat out very quickly. I then started to phase out things like Chicken progressively after that. I’ve now phased out Fish and am cutting back on Cheese and Eggs too.

Was it hard to make the changes?

I expected to get a lot more cravings than I do. The hardest part about being Vegetarian is not always having a vegetarian option. Sometimes if I go to a corporate dinner or fly on a plane and there is no vegetarian option I “Fall off the wagon”, but I always try and make a point of ordering Vegetarian options if given the choice, as I hope that in the future there will be a lot more choice. If the world wasn’t so “meat / chicken / fish” focussed, then I’d have no problem eating Vegetarian 100% of the time.

Are your family and friends Veg too?

My Mother has always been Vegetarian, so our household was never a huge meat family. We never had chops or pork etc, more like fish or chicken occasionally, and it was only myself and my father. My fiancée has cut back considerably, and is almost vegetarian as we always eat together, but if we go out she occasionally has a chicken dish etc.

What’s your favourite food?

I’ve been practising my Vegan cooking, so I can honestly say my favourite food is my own special brand of short-grain brown rice dishes with vegetables, salad, curries etc.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of restaurants that cater to Vegetarians. It’s usual to go to a restaurant and find that every main is a meat / chicken or fish dish. I try and complain politely, and I hope that if more Vegetarians do the same and create demand, that soon every restaurant will have delicious vegetarian options. My favourite cafes are the Wise Cicada in Newmarket, and Little Bird Vegan café in Ponsonby. Both are amazing and worth a visit even for non-vegetarians.

What is a typical day’s menu for you?

In the morning I regularly have:

-       Cereal with rice milk plus fruit, or
-       I might have toast with Avocado and tomato with chutney and pepper plus a black coffee or tea.

In the afternoon I often have:

-       a vegetarian salad & Juice at tank Juice bar, or
-       vegetarian Subway, or
-       a Japanese Tofu Donburi and Miso, or
-       a Soy shake and vegetarian burger from Burger Fuel, or
-       a vegetarian stir fry from the Malaysian place up the road, or
-       a vegetarian sandwich, fruit and tea, or
-       I’ll visit Little Bird or Wise Cicada for a treat.

I’ve pretty much found all of the Vegetarian options in Parnell where I work, and there is enough variety for me to rotate around 

In the evening I’ll often have:

-       Rice or pasta with vegetables and a salad, or
-       Vegetable curry, or
-       One of the delicious Ptango Vegetable soups from the supermarket, or
-       Something delicious that my Fiancée whips up as she’s a better cook than me, and she’s got some great Vegetarian recipes going now.

What do you do for fun?

I often take 3-4 months off on holiday each year over winter to go and travel, read, relax etc. The rest of the time I’m usually working very hard. During the work year to relax I just hang out with my Fiancée and Dog, play the piano, watch movies, do cooking, have friends over etc.

What do you do for fitness?

I go to Les Mills Pump class once every couple of weeks, but probably not enough. Other than that I go for walks with the dog, try and find new bush walks around Auckland and go swimming around the bays near my house. Occasionally I go to Bikram Yoga classes. I could probably exercise more, but I’m very busy at the moment so it’s on the back burner…

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

I can’t think of anything funny, everyone in my life has been super supportive, and I know a number of people who have become Veg because of me, which is very satisfying.

Do you have advice for others about to Go Veg?

If you haven’t seen “Earthlings”, please watch the movie. It will be much easier to become Vegetarian and stay Vegetarian if you really know all the bad things that go on behind the scenes (Animals being tortured, pumped full of Antibiotics, destroying eco-systems for intensive farming etc).  I also recommend that you get some really good Vegetarian cookbooks, because there ARE interesting and tasty vegetarian options. It can be hard finding good Vegetarian food at restaurants and cafes, so if you can’t cook, then you’re going to find it much harder and more frustrating than if you can cook something deliciously vegetarian yourself. Thank you.