Embracing Veganism for a Conscious Life – Stefania Caiafa’s Interview

In the current landscape, where sustainability and respect for all forms of life are increasingly gaining attention, it is a pleasure to discover stories of people who have made these causes the focus of their existence.

Today, we have the privilege of sharing with you an exclusive interview with Stefania Caiafa, a true source of inspiration in the world of veganism and animal rights advocacy. Stefania, besides being a loving mother and a former make-up artist, serves as the president of the Milan section of the Meta Ethical Movement for All Animals and the Environment.

Through her story, Stefania offers us an in-depth look at her personal journey towards a more conscious and respectful existence towards the animal world, revealing how her dietary and lifestyle choices reflect a deep commitment to the safeguarding of our planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants.

Interview with Stefania Caiafa: president of the Meta Ethical Movement Association

Hello Stefania, nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello everyone, my name is Stefania Caiafa, I am 45 years old and I am from Milan. In addition to being a mother, I am also deeply involved in the protection of animals as president of the Milan section of the Meta Ethical Movement for All Animals and the Environment.

Our association is dedicated to various activities: we facilitate the adoption of animals, conduct seizures in collaboration with the authorities, and organise events and demonstrations to promote animal rights. Personally, I commit myself to raising public awareness about our cause, also through the organisation of educational events, such as educational farms for children.

Moreover, I have a passion for cooking, which I consider another effective tool to encourage people to reflect and, perhaps, change their diet towards more ethical choices.

What was the reason you decided to adopt and embracing veganism? Can you tell us about your journey?

Personally, I do not consider veganism simply as a diet, but as a conscious choice to feed oneself differently, motivated by love and respect for animals. My decision to adopt a vegan diet was influenced by the ethical conviction that animals are sentient beings, with rights and dignity, rather than objects.

This deep empathy for animals has roots in my childhood; I could say I was almost vegetarian from birth. I have always felt a sincere affection for animals, so much so that I was the child who would stop to pet every little dog I encountered on the street. My belief is that all living beings deserve to live and be treated with respect, a conviction that guides my daily choices.

veganism and animal rights

Have you faced any attacks/stereotypes regarding your choice?

The beginning of my vegan journey was not easy, especially since I was surrounded by people who did not share my ethical vision, starting with my parents. They often minimized or criticized my beliefs, making my commitment even more challenging.

Relatives and friends also did not fail to express their disapproval, especially on social occasions such as eating out, where ridicule and teasing were the order of the day. I was told several times that my lifestyle choice could lead to health problems and, even more painfully, that I was not a responsible mother for the dietary choices I promoted. However, these attacks have only strengthened my determination.

Was there any food you found particularly difficult to eliminate?

Actually, my transition embracing veganism was not particularly difficult, since I already tended to exclude some foods from my diet. I must admit that, at the beginning, what I missed the most was cheese; I was a big consumer and I really liked it a lot.

However, apart from that, I did not miss other foods. Today, I find that there is a wide availability of alternative products that are very similar to those I used to consume.

I am honest in saying that I did not have significant difficulties in making this transition and, even less, do I find any now. The variety of alternatives available has made everything much simpler and more enjoyable.

Where do you get your inspiration for your meals? Do you follow the seasonality of food?

I pay great attention to the seasonality of food, not only because it is fundamental to ensure quality and taste, but also to enrich my recipes with the best ingredients available in each season.

Cooking is one of my greatest passions, a hobby that I cultivate with dedication, influenced also by a family of chefs that, without a doubt, has contributed to developing this inclination of mine almost at a genetic level.

My inspiration in the kitchen does not follow fixed schemes; it often depends on what I find in the refrigerator or the impulse of the moment. I like to vary between preparing gourmet, sophisticated and particular dishes, and returning to family traditions, which I reinterpret in a vegan key.

Being of Pugliese origin, legumes play a central role in my recipes. I love experimenting and inventing new dishes every day, varying the menu with creativity. Fortunately, my family enthusiastically welcomes these my experiments, appreciating the variety and originality of the recipes I propose.

Is there any food that you think is very important in our diet and that the omnivorous diet underestimates?

In an omnivorous diet, the importance of various essential nutrients such as vitamins, fibers, and plant-based proteins is often underestimated. Many people rely mainly on the consumption of meat, cured meats, and large amounts of pasta, believing to secure the necessary proteins for their needs.

However, this dietary choice can lead to neglecting the rich sources of proteins, vitamins, and fibers present in legumes, fruit, and vegetables. It is interesting to note how some vegetables are even ignored or little known in the omnivorous diet, while in the vegan context these are valued and fully exploited, allowing for no nutritional deficiencies.

In the vegan world, we tend to use a much wider range of foods, ensuring a complete and well-balanced nutritional intake, which includes all the key elements for a healthy and nutritious diet.

Besides nutrition, has this change impacted other aspects of your life?

Absolutely! I believe it is fundamentally and ethically correct to pay attention to aspects related to cosmetics, especially regarding the distinction between cruelty-free products and the approach towards conscious and respectful consumption of the environment.

This sensitivity extends beyond the cosmetic field, influencing also my choices in terms of clothing and other products related to respect for nature. I constantly strive to select natural items, avoiding the purchase of plastic and, given my experience as a former make-up artist, I favor cosmetics that are not only vegan but also not tested on animals.

It’s important to emphasise that these two characteristics do not necessarily coincide. I have noticed that not everyone is aware of the differences between these terms, although nowadays many brands are evolving, offering natural products that respect these philosophies.

It’s essential that the beauty industry moves away from using animals for cosmetic purposes, a practice I consider deeply unfair. Adopting veganism not only reinforces these beliefs but also offers a broader perspective on multiple aspects of life, teaching the value of respect for other living beings and the environment we share.

Embracing Veganism - Animal Rights activism

Do you feel better since you decided to live a healthier life?

I feel decidedly better and proud of myself; I am aware of having undertaken a decidedly positive change. This choice has made me mentally stronger and has endowed me with the ability to face various situations with greater serenity.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle contributes to my overall well-being, but what further strengthens me is the awareness of going to bed every night knowing that I have not caused suffering to any living being. This awareness is a great source of inner strength for me.

For those who wonder: How do you make sure to follow a balanced regime by removing many foods from your diet?

Having the certainty of always making the right choice in this world is indeed an unattainable goal, but this does not prevent me from doing my utmost to approach such an ideal. I dedicate myself with care to studying and informing myself about the essential nutritional intakes we should have every day to maintain a good state of health.

I firmly believe that I follow a balanced diet, and my interest goes beyond the simple act of eating. I am particularly attentive to what I introduce into my body, paying attention to the proteins, vitamins, and fibers I consume. This conscious approach to nutrition, in my opinion, should be adopted by everyone, as knowing and understanding what we eat is fundamental to our well-being.

Would you like to give some suggestions and advice to those thinking of embarking on veganism?

It’s essential to emphasize the importance of seeking help and not venturing into such a radical dietary change as that towards a veganism without adequate preparation. Informing oneself correctly and resorting to the support of a nutritionist is crucial, as is listening to the advice and experiences of those who have already embarked on this journey.

The importance of a balanced diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies that could be dangerous must not be underestimated. Before adopting a vegan diet, it is essential to undergo medical checks, such as blood tests, and to ensure that you are followed by professionals. This approach ensures that one’s dietary regime is not only ethically oriented but also nutritionally complete and healthy.

Thank you, Stefania!

After journeying with Stefania, from her childhood marked by an innate love for animals to the adoption of veganism and active engagement in animal protection, it is impossible not to be inspired by her story.

Stefania has shown us how the choice to live consciously and respectfully is not only an act of compassion towards animals but also an enriching path that leads to deeper personal well-being. Her experience reaffirms the importance of being informed, seeking qualified support, and remaining open to discovering new ways to live in harmony with the world around us.

We want to thank Stefania for the precious time she has dedicated to sharing her experience and knowledge. For those who wish to follow her example and learn more about her activities, you can find her on Instagram @wolf_veg and on the Facebook page of her animal rights association, Meta Ethical Movement for All Animals and the Environment – Milan Section.

Both channels are full of inspiration, advice, and information for anyone interested in embarking on or continuing a journey towards a more ethical and sustainable existence. Thank you, Stefania, for enlightening us with your passion and dedication. Your story is a beacon of hope and a reminder that, through conscious daily choices, we can make a difference in the world!