Today, we're introducing our first ever Brand Ambassador!! We have worked with Ben on a campaign a few months ago and realised how great he is and how aligned he is with everything we believe! Therefore, you can imagine how delighted we were when he accepted being our Ambassador!! To celebrate and kick off this great partnership, we asked some questions so we can all get to know Ben a little bit better.
Who is Ben The Forest Foodie?
Hi! I’m Benjamin Richardson, just your average plant-based blogger living a vegan lifestyle the last 7 years! I’m also a Forest School teacher of 4 years, contributing to the holistic education of 100’s of children in the South East of the UK. I live an open & proud life as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community & raise awareness of social and environmental issues I feel fundamentally need to change for a more compassionate world.
How did you get started to become an influencer?
Being part of a variety of minorities both professionally & personally, I found myself feeling the need to educate people on the issues our world is facing; be it sexism, speciesism, homophobia and all the other frustrating things the world seems to frisbee back and forth. I wanted my voice to be heard, my knowledge to be shared & my work to revolve around making the world a slightly better place. Sharing my knowledge of plant-based cooking, restaurant reviews, ethical brands & networking with other vegans has helped so many people see how accessible, affordable & non-restrictive the vegan lifestyle can be! I find the gentle approach to be most effective in helping people realize what is happening to the environment, its animals & our health. Through informative, open-conversation I have converted many people in my personal life & by becoming an influencer my reach has gone further then I’d ever thought possible! I love being an influencer for this very reason, making positive change.
Who have been your strongest influences in life? Who inspires you?
Earthling Ed has always been an inspiration for me. From his YouTube videos, Instagram posts and book, to giving Piers Morgan the food for thought he really needed. His articulate, patient manner during debates where he would essentially be character assassinated and patronized many times over showed such courage, strength & resilience. He knows the facts, the way to approach such conversations, and will refract any cognitive dissonance his opposers will project towards him, right back at them in the most dignified and professional way. Truly a vegan hero!
How did you come up with the idea of being an influencer?
It was just when lockdown restrictions started to ease up, with my mind going back & forth constantly wondering what my contribution to the world currently is, and how it can be even better. I guess that’s what lockdown can do to you when you have the time to really think about what you want! So just over a year ago, I began sharing my food on Instagram and told myself that the people out there need to see what vegans are eating & how easy it really is. The rest is post-lockdown history!
What’s your favourite food?
TOFU. Give me all the tofu in the world and I’ll be made for life. Teriyaki tofu, scrambled tofu, deep southern fried tofu, silken tofu in miso soup, tofish & chips, smoked tofu, basil tofu…..you get the picture. It’s such a nutritional, versatile cooking ingredient & healthy source of protein. It cannot be matched in my opinion.
If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?To not worry about what others think about you. The opinion they have of you is not your responsibility, it is theirs. That very opinion is a reflection of them and not you. Live your truth, fight for what you believe in, don’t let people walk over you, set boundaries and love yourself because you are unique, strong & capable of more than you know.