Interviews with Vegetarian/Vegan Activists
Interview with IVU International Council Member David Roman
David Roman, from Spain, is an IVU International Council member and our Deputy Webmaster. David kindly agreed to be interviewed for ‘IVU Online News’.
What made you decide to become a vegetarian? When did that happen? How old were you at the time?
I turned vegetarian in 1989, when I was 22 years old. So, this year is my 20th anniversary as a vegetarian! It all began when, moved by a curiosity to improve my diet and health in overall, I read the Spanish edition of Vic Sussman’s ‘The Vegetarian Alternative’. It showed me some unquestionably clear reasons that fully motivated me to change to a vegetarian diet almost overnight. Later on, I had the opportunity to meet Francisco Martin, who taught me the fundamentals of veganism, and then I made a shift to being vegan together with my wife Estrella.
What made you decide to become active in promoting vegetarianism?
Well, it was partly because I felt the ideas behind vegetarianism were so important that I had to make a point in sharing them with others. Also, seeing the work of other activists has always influenced me a lot and pushed me to help.
When and how did you first hear about IVU?
I think it was through Francisco Martin, who at the time was the Secretary General of IVU. After that, I began to work with him and also with IVU.
You are one of the people who maintains the IVU website. What are some of your favourite places on the site?
There’s so much valuable information that it’s hard to choose. The IVU Database is a great source of references from all over the world. The History section is also of great value, as well as the recipes page. I find particularly valuable the FAQ section. The Spanish part of the website has also raised a lot of interest amongst Spanish-speaking communities.
In addition to your role with IVU, you are also active in promoting vegetarianism in Spain. Please tell us about that.
Yes, back in 2003, along with a group of good friends, I promoted the creation of a national veg society in Spain, because we thought there was a lack of coordination between the different vegetarian groups. The Unión Vegetariana Española (Spanish Vegetarian Union) was then formed, and we’ve been working hard ever since to spread vegetarianism all.
Is promoting vegetarianism a full-time job for you, or do you have another job too?
I earn my living working as a computer technician at the hospital in my hometown. So, promoting vegetarianism is not my full-time job, but I devote most of my spare time to it, indeed! – and to my family, of course.
What is an obstacle that you face in remaining active in promoting vegetarianism? How do you overcome this obstacle?
Our task is not easy in the society we live in, certainly. But the main thing that overwhelms me is that there’s so much to do. We really have to be constant and always try to get the most out of our time.
What is one piece of advice that you have for fellow vegetarian activists?
I would encourage all of you to keep on working for these wonderful ideals we have in common. It’s well worth doing. But also never let yourself go; it’s important that we take care of ourselves, so that we can be in good shape and stay fully active.
Please share a vegetarian joke with us.
In Spain, it’s a typical (and disgusting) local custom in some pubs to hang cured hams from the ceiling. I love a cartoon by Quino showing a ham which has come off the ceiling and fallen on a man at a table… the title says something like “meat can kill”.