A Weston Hills woman has spoken out at negative comments - after reaching the finals of a competition to find the ‘Hottest Vegan’ in the UK and Ireland.
Trainee retail manager Kate Halgarth (22) entered the competition, run by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), to be a spokesperson for vegans.
I was shocked by some of the feedbackKate Halgarth
But she admits she was hurt by some of the comments that she received.
After our story in last week’s Spalding Guardian, people posted various comments on our Facebook page, in reaction to the story.
One said: “Didn’t know being vegan made us such vapid attention seekers?
“How about spending less time on pointless competitions and more on investing in farmers markets and vegan shops/cafés?”
Kate replied online: “It is possible to do both, spread the message and help charities and local shops!”
Another said: “Is this a joke story?”
Someone even posted a picture of a rare steak, with the comment: “This looks better,” which Kate said was “a bit harsh.”
She said: “I was shocked by some of the feedback. The story was also on Mail Online and I nearly cried reading some of the comments there.
“I don’t know if people have a stereotypical view of vegans or they just think vegans are very outspoken.
“This is not about going out there bragging but a way to be a representative for vegans without being pushy.
“I thought that by entering the competition I can help animals and get the message out at the same time.
“It is showing that you can be healthy as a vegan.”
While Kate didn’t win the competition she said she would enter again.
She said: “I wanted to get involved, not because I think I am the sexiest person alive but to have my say and speak my voice.”
The winners of the competition were a fitness instructor from Eastbourne and a charity worker from Bexhill-on-Sea.
“I did not think it would get as much coverage as it did.” Kate added.
“You can eat healthily as a vegan. I am into my food. I eat a lot of fruit and veg and make sure I include protein in my diet - things like Spirulina and chia seeds.
“For lunch I like to eat rice, peas and chickpeas.
“My boyfriend is vegetarian and my brother is pescatarian (eats fish but not meat).
“Being vegan is a personal thing and it is just part of being me.”