Interview by Natalie Tabone
Photos by Cara Reynolds
Peter Grant Reynolds
Where do you live?
In Johannesburg, South Africa, but not permanently. My wife and I got back from 7 months backpacking in North and South America about 2 months ago and we haven’t decided where we want to live yet. We’re also super broke, so we’re just staying with family for now.
What do you do?
For work, I am currently a freelance front end web developer and designer. I run a small baking business called Don’t Have a Cow – @donthaveacowvegan. I run a hardcore/radical politics fanzine called Rise – www.rise.hxc.co.za. Cara and I run our travel blog called Never Settle – www.neversettle.co.za. In my spare time I enjoy riding bikes, reading, playing drums, going to shows, hanging with friends, collecting tattoos, bodyboarding, hiking, camping, eating at vegan spots, coffee, and traveling.
What does veganism mean to you?
Veganism, to me, means trying to live my life in a way that, as far as is possible and practicable, avoids the exploitation of animals, both humxn and non-humxn. It is not a diet; it is closer to a philosophy for me, a filter through which I see the world. It has made me more aware of the way we impact other animals and the Earth, created a deeper sense of empathy and compassion within my self, and made me more aware of intersectionality with other “isms”. It means I can look another animal in the eye. It means that I believe that every animal on this Earth has just as much right to be here as me. It means that I’m trying to suck less.
What is your most memorable dining/eating experience?
When we were in the States, we stayed with our new friends Jon and Angela in Connecticut for a few days. They made us a “Friendsgiving” meal because we were going to miss Thanksgiving, a holiday we don’t celebrate in South Africa. That really meant a lot to me, and it was an incredible meal.
If you could invite 3 people (historical or current) to dinner who would they be?
Charles Darwin, Paul Watson, and Carol J. Adams.
What would you serve?
A classic South African meal like a veg potjie (‘poi-kee’), a stew, slow-cooked, outdoors, in a cast iron pot.
Sweet or savoury?
I am a big time sweet tooth.
Where is your favourite food destination?
Hmm… I have to say Portland, Oregon. It is pretty much vegan heaven on Earth.
What’s your speciality dish?
From other people’s reactions I think I’d have to say cinnamon rolls. I can also make a pretty mean burger.
What food best describes your personality?
I’m going to say curry. It can be intense and angry, is pretty versatile, sometimes a good time, is eaten all over the world (adventure and travel), isn’t everyone’s favourite, and sometimes has no idea what it even is.
What’s your favourite thing to eat on a hot summers day?
On a cold winters night?
Chana Masala. Although Cara made a spicy black bean soup a few nights ago and that was pretty amazing.
You’ve been asked to contribute a recipe to an upcoming cookbook. What is it?
It’s actually a recipe for a vegan recipe ‘zine called ‘Bunny Chow’, which my wife, Cara (a previous VOTM), puts out. I’ll be contributing a recipe for my cinnamon rolls.
If you were a vegetable what would you be?
Beetroot, so I could make people’s pee red and freak them out.
Describe a normal day in the life of Pete.
Wake up, gym, coffee, feel positive, work, lunch, panic and feel negative, dinner, series/movie/read/personal work, bed.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I’m done with guilt.
What did you have for breakfast?
A banana, an apple, a protein shake, a cup of coffee, and a big bowl of oatmeal with chia seeds, soya milk, and banana.
You’re on death row and it’s your last meal. What do you eat?
Shit! Hope I did something worthwhile. Cara’s chickpea mushroom curry, and my Mom’s homemade vegan chocolate ice cream for desert.
What are your plans for 2016?
See what happens with Don’t Have a Cow, go on an epic 18 day bicycle trip at the end of April called Project 1000 (there’ll be more info online about this soon), get a car, get our own place, start growing our own food, get fit, go hiking in Drakensberg as often as possible, get more tattoos, and make more plans towards opening a farm animal sanctuary one day.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to encourage more vegans to make their politics intersectional; yes, veganism is political. Everything is. Don’t be single issue. See the links and make the connections between the oppression of other animals and the oppression of the poor, womxn, people of colour, the Earth etc.