Originally from Cote d’Ivoire, Ady has lived in Ghana, West Africa most of her life. I first learned of Ady via the Black Vegans Rock site and immediately wrote to Aph Ko, founder of the Black Vegans Rock project, for her contact info. I am committed to interviewing women all over the planet for this interview series and often rely on references or features like the Black Vegans Rock spotlight on Ady, in order to learn of vegan mothers in different regions. Ady is a proud vegan mother, journalist and works as editor at Health Africa magazine, a bilingual (French and English) publication focusing on veganism, plant based diet and health.
Thank You Ady for your time!
Photo provided by Ady
Annika: Is the area you live vegan friendly? What is the vegan culture and movement like in your community as well as greater region and country?
Ady: Ghana is not vegan friendly. There are very few vegan restaurants available, even in the capital city, and there are no vegan options at non-vegan restaurants. The awareness about what veganism is about is gradually spreading; however, many people tend to connect veganism to religion or a religion practice. Some say it is expensive to practice veganism and others try vegan dishes due to recommendations from their doctors. The vegan community in Ghana is quite small. However the few vegans are connected and share information, and carry out activities like organizing vegfest once a year, as well as organic market days.
Annika: Are there other vegans in your greater family and social circle?
Ady: No, no one in my extended family is vegan. But my mother is very receptive to veganism, and has made a lot of effort to incorporate vegan foods in her home.
Annika: Were you vegan when you were pregnant?
Ady: Yes, I was.
Annika: Can you share any special changes you made with diet & nutrition when pregnant?
Ady: When I was pregnant, the major challenge for me was anemia. I would feel dizzy of lot of the times and my blood count was low. I started adding turkey berry to almost every food I prepared and I also ate it raw. It really helped a lot. I also used Blackstrap molasses, and took some vitamin supplements.
Annika: Did motherhood have any influence on your vegan outlook?
Ady: Initially, although I was convinced about the health benefits of a vegan diet, I still had fears about raising a vegan kid. Motherhood has however made me appreciate the importance of a vegan diet, and it made me believe that babies and children can actually grow healthy on a vegan diet.
Annika: How old is your child & is she vegan?
Ady: My child is one year old, and yes, she is vegan and loves fruits!
Annika: What are some of their favorite foods?
Ady: My daughter’s favourite fruit is Pawpaw. She loves yam and rice.
Annika: What are some of your favorite foods?
Ady: I love Bambara beans, jollof rice, yam with green stew known as ‘Kontommire’, and ground nut soup.
Annika: What are some of your favorite ingredients to cook with?
Ady: I love spices like ginger, pepper and garlic. I like to use garden eggs, broccoli, okro, soya chunks in my soups and stews.
Annika: Favorite meals to make for your family?
Ady: Ground nut soup with brown rice, yam with green stew.
Annika: Favorite restaurants?
Ady: My favourite restaurants are Health Valley Food Joint and Asaase Pa restaurant, both vegan restaurants located in Accra, Ghana.
Annika: When did you become vegan & why?
Ady: I became vegan two years ago, through my association with vegans. I had the desire to learn more about it, and came across a book titled ‘From Crises to Peace: The organic Vegan Way is the answer’, written by Supreme Master Chin Hai (a vegan activist and philanthropist). The book really inspired me to take on the path of veganism. I got to know about the environmental effects of meat production and consumption on the climate. I also went on further to read about the horrifying ordeals that animals had to go through because some humans feel meat ‘tastes good’. With the increase in health problems like cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses caused by meat, I realized the only way to go was Vegan!
This interview is part of an ongoing interview series by Annika Lundkvist with vegan mothers and fathers around the globe. For more interviews and information please visit this page: Interview Series: Vegan Pregnancy, Parenting & Kids.