TV host & vegan Anneka Svenska interviews Hawaiian celebrity actor Cody Easterbrook, star of Hawaii 50 about going vegan for Veganuary.
1) So Cody, what made you decide to take the plunge and try veganism this 2015?
I know everyone makes a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and there is no better way of course, than by eating all natural. Beyond just the health aspect however, being an animal lover myself, I figured it’s about time to give veganism a try. I was so shocked to learn of the countless calves that are slaughter to keep their mothers in milk, not to mention the unhealthy affects of human consumption of cow’s milk. This has lead me to the most obvious way all of us can take a stand against animal cruelty and that is by avoiding animal products entirely. So, for me, Veganuary is not just about health, but also compassion.
2) Can you tell me a bit more about the Hawaiian diet that you were raised on and what is a typical diet for an islander.
Here in Hawai’i, I grew up on the typical island diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Mango, papaya, coconut and banana are all staples here in the islands. Breadfruit is a wonderful fruit my grandma would bake with fresh coconut milk and it was always a favorite at our Sunday dinners. We also enjoy yams, sweet potatoes and taro. The root of the taro plant is pounded into a starchy paste we call poi. The food is traditionally accompanied by fresh fish, chicken or fire roasted pork. With the invasion of fast and processed foods our island diet was drastically altered though. I’m looking forward to Veganuary to take it back to the basic fruits and vegetables my people thrived on.
3) Tell us more about the recent TV and film you have been in?
So my most recent project was a starring role on Hawaii Five-0. We shot on the volcano flows on the Big Island of Hawai’i and I played the role of Luke Pakele, a tough guy Hawaiian cowboy with a criminal record and the suspect in a Five-0 murder investigation. Our filming location was the black barren fields of volcanic rock known as the Kalapana lava gardens. Few houses remain where the fiery rivers of black ooze once flowed from the volcano. Honestly, it felt like we were walking on Mars! It was definitely a memorable shoot. The cast and crew were incredible and it was an honour working on such a stellar production! I look forward to many more fun roles in the future.
4) Is it important to you as an actor to look and feel good?
Of course it is important to look and feel good as an actor! Looking good and being healthy is vital to booking roles and to work in this industry requires long hours on set and sometimes you even do a few of your own stunts, so it’s important to treat your body right. Hollywood looks for stars who have looks, energy, vitality and are able to maintain the rigorous pace of a working actor.
5) Do you know anyone in Hawaii who are vegetarians or vegans?
Well I’ve had a few vegan friends through the years and even attended a couple of all-vegan meals and surprisingly I loved it. I think people just assume vegans are starving themselves or only eat bland, taste-less food. Anyone who believes that couldn’t be more wrong. I’m reminded of your tasty dishes you serve fresh from your own garden Anneka. Not only are they fresh and colorful but it also very delicious!
6) If you feel amazing at the end of Veganuary, do you think that you might change the way you approach your diet from now on?
I’m excited to see how Veganuary treats me. I have no doubt that I will feel amazed with increased energy, better health and an ease of conscience knowing I’m eating right and responsibly. It will surely affect the way I eat and approach my diet in the future. So, Veganuary – Here I come!