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The Vegan Network Verne Elien Van De Walle

Elien Van de Walle

is a teacher.
Photographed by Verne.
Follow Elien on Instagram


When was the last time you ate fish?


I honestly can’t remember, but I think it had to be somewhere around New Year’s Eve 2014, that’s the year I decided to become a vegetarian. Not soon after that I decided to go full on vegan. I don’t miss fish, not at all. I think it’s important that people see the impact the fishing industry has on our planet. It is one of the most polluting industries but people tend to forget that somehow. Fish, unlike cows and sheep, are not as cute or cuddly. We don’t see them when we go for a walk on the countryside. We all know about the suffering behind the doors of slaughterhouses but never seem to realise that fish suffocate to death. They die slow and painful deaths, and a lot of them in vain because of what the industry calls bycatch. I firmly believe that ‘sustainable fishing’ is one of the greatest lies in our society. I fear that convincing people of the negatives of our fish eating habits is a bigger challenge to tackle than convincing people to lower their meat intake. But it’s a very important challenge. To quote Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd): ‘If the oceans die, we die’. We tend to ignore that the ocean is a very important life support system for our planet; it plays a key role in climate regulation. And yet we act so carelessly when it comes to our rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.

More photos by Verne