Charlie Fyffe is a vegan chef and animal rights activist based in Las Vegas. He is determined to cultivate vegan culture in an outside the box way. He is passionate about creating value, solving the world’s problems and being a positive force for people as well as making it fun and hip – that’s why Vegan AF Events came to life. It’s not only about vegan food and meditation, participants can actually dance and interact with animals. It’s a celebration of all living beings and being part of nature.
Have you always been Vegan?
Nah, I didn’t even know what Vegan was most of my life. The first real vegan I met was when I was 24 years old. He took me under his wing and showed me the truth about the dairy industry. Learning about those industries really affected me and from that point forward, I did not want to put my money into those industries. I went Vegan pretty much immediately from that point, around my 25 birthday and at that time, there wasn’t a lot of Vegan stuff. There were some cheese options, some milks, and a decent noodle dish at Thai restaurants, but it wasn’t a big thing. Now, it has exploded! have been a vegan for 9 years and it's everywhere now. It is still a new phenomenon, but people have been vegan for 1000s of years, but it has never been celebrated like it is now.
You could have just been just a vegan, but why did you want to create your business and what is your vision behind it?
It is all about combining the freedom of my lifestyle/time, creating value, solving problems, being a positive force for people and creating opportunities for others. For my desserts, the reason my business evolved in the way that it did was 1. Not contributing to the exploitation of animals and 2. To serve people with allergies and sensitivities. My brownie company evolved to the perspective of providing the best tasting brownies but I always want everyone to eat them safely. So people with Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, IBS and Rheumatoid arthritis will struggle to eat anything, so I make food specifically for that. My dessert is my passion, it’s what I am really good at, it’s what I love. The Vegan Recipe Book app is an extension of that, creating more vegan options for people to safely eat plant based.
It’s one thing to want to be healthy and eat plant based food, it’s another thing to end cruelty and animal exploitation and then it’s a third thing to want to be sustainable, lower your footprint and enjoy it. But can't you enjoy it? I want more people to safely enjoy this lifestyle, so that is why I make food this way. This is the same thing with Vegan AF Events. My background is in entertainment, so I figured why not bring what I learned into the Vegan world. When you come to my event, I try to curate what Vegan heaven and paradise would look like. So incorporating DJs, the best pizza ever, the tropical fruit bars, the pools and the funnest environments ever.
Do you think making it fun helps to draw people in?
Yes, I think the younger generation participates because it is cool and hip. Some people just see us as that hippy guy. I want to promote Vegan as being cool, hot and sexy. This is what will make you have better sex, this is going to save the planet, and it will be fun celebrating the change! We are going against the norm. We were born into a world of deforestation, exploiting millions of animals, and we are hurting ourselves and our environment. This is not cool and we want to celebrate the opposite of that. If they see that it’s fun, they will jump in. People love to party, but would they come to a specific Vegan event? then no. But would they want to come to a Vegan party, where there is delicious pizzas, music and hot people, then yes. That is probably how they are going to get their first taste of the food, their first memory. At our parties, we bring animals, like at one of my pool parties we had a pig there, most people have never met a pig before. I have several friends that are not vegan, they met this pig and two days later they texted me and said they couldn’t even order bacon anymore.
There are two ways to educate the crowds: pigs and goats are friends and they are no different from dogs and cats. The other way is to show people the truth about how animals are treated and how they get to our table. I have seen both and that is why I am how I am.
Do you want to educate younger people?
Yes, the key is youth, I wish I had known this when I was younger. The youth know how to use all the new technology to their advantage. When you are younger you are effective in a different way, you create new habits easier, try new things. Through education, you can set people on a new path to avoid health problems.
Would you want to bring your events to other countries?
Yes I would love to, I want to do a tour around the world.
Have you always been gentle to yourself, what is your journey?
I definitely have burnt out and made poor decisions by moving too fast. I have been too hard on myself to the point that it has affected my mental health. I now have learned to take a break and come back and everything is fine. Things might not happen the way you want but it’s the plan of the universe and it will be OK. I know right now that if I leave for Africa and then come back to make the ice cream i want to make, no one would have done that and I can still achieve what i want. It’s nice to have motivation and to push, but you have to take time to breathe and to say to myself that everything is OK. This moment right now is a miracle, every moment is a gift. Just enjoy having fun, but act now, be about action. It’s all about the balance to be a warrior to accomplice but not beating yourself down and stressing yourself out.
Where did you get your confidence from competition that helped you to make better decisions?
It comes from knowing that there is enough to go around. Knowing that competition is good, it gives people a reference point. If someone goes and tries Jimbo's Brownies down the street and thinks it is pretty good, they will come and try Charlie's brownies and love it. Due to having another brownie to reference, they are gonna love it even more because the other isn’t as good and Charlie's is healthy. It's in the spirit of welcoming competition as it’s actually going to make me level up, improve and if you are original and authentic, no one is creating like you. People can copy you but they are always going to be one step behind. I know that I am unique, things that come through my hands are channelled in. No one else can do what I can do. You have to believe that, which is why there is no rush.
Are you a tea drinker?
Oh yeah, I have a lot of tea [Charlie kindly showed his cupboard full of tea]. I got my ceramonal mocha, honeybush, all different kinds of tea. I like mocha a lot, but I like all different types. I have big bags of chamomile, peppermint as well.
On what occasion would you drink tea?
I want to incorporate it into meditation, but right now I just enjoy it. I usually make a latte in the morning and in the afternoon when I am working I drink a peppermint and then at night I drink chamomile. I basically drink a lot of tea. It’s more interesting than water. I drink water out of necessity. There is something about tea that warms up your soul and it is also good for digestion. Peppermint tea is especially good for keeping digestion going.
What serenity means to you?
Being in your best flow, and understanding that we are like nature, the trees, we have an unfolding natural process. The ego can speak to us in a way that is damaging, so it’s realising that life has ups and downs. Life is emotional, life is good and bad. Understanding polarity, life will bring you everything, both good and bad, so it puts you in a place knowing that bad things will pass. When good stuff happens, enjoy that moment. Until you understand that, it will be hard to be serene. Focusing on today and right now and really capturing our primal self. There are many ways to achieve that, by breath work, meditation, Yoga and ceremonies. We know this, but we forget and get lost in our hectic day to day life. Treating each day as a lifetime, when you wake up affirming what you want in your life and then acting upon it.
What are 3 top tips to start living a life of serenity?
- Starting the day very early, ideally around 4:30 am/5 am. I noticed that when it's quiet, when everyone is asleep, your phones are not ringing, instagram is not pumping likes. Nothing is happening, there is nowhere to go, that is when you can tap into that silence and the true voice of what is real. This is when you can be serene and start your day in a serene way.
- Having spiritual practice, like breath work, yoga and meditation. Making it a routine, I like to do all 3. Having self love affirmations, constantly remind yourself.
- Stay Hydrated. A lot of our temper and mood is triggered from being dehydrated.
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