Meet Vegan Moms From Stockholm: Talking With Hanna
As a part of the interviews series with vegan moms from Stockholm and the Raise Vegan’s ‘people of veganism’ features, our Sweden-based PR Director Annika Lundkvist interviewed Stockholm-based vegan mother Hanna Petersson.
Originally from a village called Torsås on the east coast of southern Sweden, Hanna now lives in Stockholm with her partner Fredrik and soon to be two-year-old daughter Edda. She has been a long time employee of LUSH & now works in the company’s customer care.
“Veganism affects my life and work very much. I am lucky to be working for LUSH, an ethical company in so many ways: high standards in ethical buying, sourcing of materials, environmentally friendly and of course actively fighting animal testing!”Hanna
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Meet Vegan Moms From Stockholm: Talking With Hanna
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
How long have you been vegan & why did you initially go vegan?
Hanna: I became vegetarian in 1993, I guess that is when I started realizing that I didn’t have to be a part of the unethical treatment of animals and that change had to start with myself. I became vegan in 1999. It was definitely the ethical side of it that made me go vegetarian/vegan and I got involved with Animal Rights Sweden, first in my small town (it was basically me, my boyfriend and two other people!) and then I moved to Gothenburg and became more active there. I never felt it was particularly hard going vegan, the only struggle was to have a to answer all the questions people had, over and over again for many years! On the positive side, I developed inhumanly good patience…I think most vegans can relate to that!
Does veganism affect or influence your work or hobbies in any way?
Hanna: It does very much! I am lucky to be working for LUSH, an ethical company in so many ways: high standards in ethical buying, sourcing of materials, environmentally friendly and of course actively fighting animal testing!
I started as a temp and during my 14 years with LUSH I have managed a shop, worked as a Product Trainer for the shops and now my base is in Customer Care. Whatever role I have had in the company, the red thread has always been the ethics for me and this is one of many things that makes me proud of working for LUSH!
What other areas of a vegan lifestyle are you particularly interested in – for example, food, sustainable fashion or activism?
Hanna: I’d have to say food, all sorts: eating it, growing it and wearing on my skin and hair! I have a big passion for growing all sorts of vegetables in my allotment nearby where I live and a dream would be to be self-sufficient and expand to grow more using permaculture and to do this together with other people!
What is your perception of the vegan scene in Stockholm?
Hanna: I think Stockholm is a good city for vegans, you can get great food in most parts of town, we have the best vegan shoe shop, good vegan food stores and quite a lot places to go for a “fika”. With that said, there is always room for improvement! For example, it takes a long time to get new (food) products to the Swedish market. And also, I mean there can never be too many restaurants!
What is your perception about the development of the vegan movement in Sweden and Scandinavia at large?
Hanna: I am very glad to see that more and more companies understand that they need to step up their game when it comes to vegan products. I have a friend and he once said that “Veganer är ingen köpstark grupp, därför satsas det inte stort på dem” (translates approximately to: vegans are not a very strong buyer or consumer group, therefore, they are not invested heavily in them). First of all, I think he was wrong, we are a very ‘strong buyer’ group, but since he said that a lot has changed. Now companies that produce vegan products are not only aiming to reach people that are already vegan but everyone. I am also happy to see that for example skin care brands change or rework their formulas to be vegan-friendly or create a vegan range and it is not just the small brands! Just a couple of years ago it feels like they had no reason to do so, they did not see the need for it.
What developments do you look forward to seeing with the vegan movement over the next several years?
Hanna: I hope to see Swedish farmers switching from keeping animals to growing veggies, beans and other crops, like quinoa for example. I wish to see a big spark of creativity and most of all a will to make the necessary changes for the environment and the animals!
What are some of your families favorite dishes to enjoy or make together?
Hanna: We like to do Swedish “traditional” food vegan style, for example, “fish” (tofu) with potatoes and lemon sauce, and a dish called Kroppkakor made from raw grated potatoes formed into a dumpling and filled with mushrooms and onion, served with lingonberries and vegan cream or vegan melted butter. We do a lot of dishes with beans right now as my daughter Edda is a big fan of that.
Otherwise, tacos are often on our menu. If we go out to eat we love an Ethiopian place called Ethiostar and an Asian place called Lao Wai (one of the best restaurants in Stockholm!) The best place to buy fika is at Bagar’n in Hornstull (The Baker in Hornstull). They constantly do new vegan stuff and they listen to what their customer wants!
Stay tuned to meet a few more vegan moms from Stockholm. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.