For World Vegan Month, The Vegan Review is sharing the stories of vegans from 30 countries around the world. Here’s one from Hungary.
Nóra Sipos, 31, is a marketing manager from Hungary.
She went vegan in 2015. “We say ‘veganizmus’ and ‘vegán’ in Hungary,” she says of her native language.
Why did you go vegan?
I went vegan because of ethical reasons. I had an eating disorder as well and I was looking for diets, and then I found veganism. I watched many documentaries, including Earthlings, The Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear and so on. Those made me rethink my life decisions and I transitioned in one day. I haven’t looked back ever since.
What was the biggest challenge when you transitioned?
The biggest challenge was the reactions of my family and friends, and to this day it still is, even though it’s been five-and-a-half years since I became vegan. Many of them still have not accepted it, which is really sad.
What was the reaction of your loved ones when you went plant-based? How did they adapt?
They didn’t adapt well, I lost a friend and it is a constant battle with my parents. I don’t live with them, so it’s not a big issue for me. They will never accept this.
Who are your influences?
Well, in the beginning, I was influenced by Freelee, but I don’t listen to her nowadays. I am following other Hungarian vegans, who I became friends with. I also love Michaela Vais, Plantifully Based and Holly Jade. Earthling Ed and Vegan Sidekick are also amongst my biggest inspirations.
What’s your favourite thing to cook now? Have you tried to veganise a local traditional dish?
Yes, I did! It’s stuffed cabbage, a traditional Hungarian Christmas meal, and I veganised it. Turned out super delicious.
My favourite thing to ‘cook’ now are sandwiches, as bad as it sounds. I have many phases with food; once, I craved pancakes, so I had them nearly every day for a month or two.
What vegan product do you wish your country had available?
Definitely the new Kinder Bueno alternative and Nestle’s Carnation condensed milk — those two are already in the UK and I’m excited to try them when they arrive in Hungary as well.
How accessible and affordable are vegan products in your country?
In the capital, they are pretty much accessible, it’s really easy. In the other cities, it’s not that easy, but I would say it’s okay. The prices for vegan food in Hungary are really high though.
What’s your favourite spot for vegan food in your city?
There are many great vegan restaurants in Budapest. Really, a lot! My current favourite is an Asian kitchen, because I love the soup there.
What is the one city you’d like to visit as a vegan?
I’d say Los Angeles, because I haven’t been there and I have seen so many amazing foods on Instagram.
What’s the biggest roadblock to veganism in your country?
Tradition, tradition and tradition. Unfortunately, many of the Hungarian dishes are made with animal products and people are really heavy on tradition here.