Meet Vegan Moms From Stockholm: Talking With Sandra
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 Sandra Lamborn.
A native Stockholmare, Sandra now lives in Nacka (a municipality just outside Stockholm) with her boyfriend Andreas, 1-year-old son Lo and 13-year-old border collie Lucifer. She works for Greenpeace as a campaigner and also as a coordinator for Swedish activists.
“It’s all about politics and changing mindsets. I’m an activist by heart and have always been, so applying that to my veganism comes naturally.”Sandra
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Meet Vegan Moms From Stockholm: Talking With Sandra
Here re the excerpts from the interview.
How long have you been vegan & why did you initially go vegan?
Sandra: When I was 13 I watched a documentary about how we slaughter animals in Sweden. The take was meant to be positive, like “we kill them humanely here”, which is something that the Swedish industry often claims. However, that documentary made me go vegetarian overnight, despite my parents dislike.
I then went in and out of veganism (largely due to laziness I must confess) until I was 25 (10 years ago) when I realized that everything else but veganism was hypocrisy for me, so I took the step and never looked back. Best decision in my life, hands down.
Does veganism affect or influence your work or hobbies in any way? If so how?
Sandra: I see veganism as a way of life. It’s about respect, compassion, and sustainability. I would say that I’m an “everyday activist”, trying to speed the knowledge and experience I have gathered.
What areas of the vegan lifestyle are you particularly interested?
Sandra: I would definitely say activism. It’s all about politics and changing mindsets. I’m an activist by heart and have always been, so applying that to my veganism comes naturally.
What is your perception of the vegan scene in Stockholm?
Sandra: Oh it’s growing by the minute! Ten, or even five years ago you couldn’t get a decent brunch, dinner or even cake in any place but a very few. Now almost all coffee shops have plant-based milk and everyone knows what you mean when you say you are vegan.
It’s still no Berlin, but we are getting there.
What is your perception about the development of the vegan movement in Sweden and Scandinavia at large?
Sandra: It’s growing so fast, many thanks to a few awesome young female influencers. Young girls and women are, as so often, really the key here. My last workplace is the largest animal rights organization in Scandinavia and it has grown so much only in the last 2-3 years.
However, health and environment are still the main factors why people in Sweden go vegan.
What developments do you look forward to seeing with the vegan movement over the next several years?
Sandra: I would like to see the progress mirrored in politics. We need to make it easier for people to choose plant-based, so the politicians need to help us through cutting subsidies for meat and dairy and give subsidies and other support to farmers who grow crops for people. 70% of the crops grown in Sweden goes straight to food for farm animals.
What are some of your family’s favorite dishes to enjoy or make together (it’s fine here to also list restaurants you enjoy going to if you’re not big on cooking)
Sandra: Andreas and Lo are always making dinner together (Lo hanging in a carrier). Since we had Lo, we eat need to eat a bit more child-friendly food, since we want to eat together. We love to eat vegan garam masala, yummy pasta dishes with lots of different vegetables, homemade veggie balls with mashed roots.
You are involved with Greenpeace so have a very close, working perspective of the Green movement and its developments. What issues do you see as most critical for public awareness right now?
Sandra: Understanding the connection between your lifestyle and why our planet is dying, instead of feeling disparity or passivity, being empowered to change that lifestyle. More and more people are reducing their meat consumption due to the climate crisis.
What work specifically do you do with Greenpeace?
Sandra: I work as a campaigner on meat and food and also as a coordinator for our Swedish activists. I’m developing our Swedish meat campaign (or rather the meat-part in our new consumerism campaign) both when it comes to the substance of the campaign and how we can engage people to take part in it.
Do you see anything lacking with the intersection of the green movement and the vegan movement and if so how do you hope they will connect even better in the near future?
Sandra: The green movement has, at least in Sweden, just recently started to communicate the importance of a plant-based diet in saving the climate and planet. We have spent more time talking about transport and other kinds of consumerism and when we have mentioned diet we have talked “good” meat (i.e. Swedish meat) or vegetarian food (i.e. dairy). This, together with the documentary Cowspiracy (which really made some parts of the vegan movement dissociate from the environmental movement) has, in my opinion, made it challenging for the two movements to meet and work together.
But even though there still are some kind of grudges there, it’s getting better. Greenpeace has started to work together with several animal rights and vegan organizations and I think and hope that that will develop further in the future.