Gaz Oakley dreamed of becoming a chef watching TV cooking shows as a kid in his native Wales, and left school at age 16 to follow those aspirations. After several years of working on restaurant lines, however, he realized that the high-pressure lifestyle was bad for his health. He switched to a sales job with regular hours, and got into a serious weight-training regimen. Though he succeeded in building muscles, he developed ongoing stomach aches, and suspected his meat-heavy diet was the culprit.
Watching videos on veganism convinced him that eating animal products was hurting his body as well as the planet, prompting him to experiment with plant-based meals. Eager to spread the vegan message to friends, he quickly realized that lectures on the evils of meat-eating weren’t going to win them over. Instead, he invited them over for dinner and let the flavors do the talking.