Evanna Lynch Discusses Veganism and Fan Culture with “Talking Tastebuds” Podcast

Evanna Lynch is living proof that persistence pays off. Longtime fans of Harry Potter may be familiar with her unique journey to being part of the Wizarding World as Luna Lovegood. Not only has she remained a huge champion of all things magical ever since, but she has also stepped up as a vegan activist. On her recent appearance on the foodie podcast Talking Tastebuds, she shared her thoughts about animal rights and how it ties in with fan culture.

At the age of 11, Evanna developed an eating disorder, which complicated making the later jump from vegetarianism to veganism. Reassuringly, by the time she made the decision to gradually transition to veganism at 19, she had recovered.

When I recovered from my eating disorder, part of that was bringing back in foods that I used to love, like chocolate and cakes and stuff like that, and that was kind of a win when I would do those things. You have to not think about veganism as restrictive. It’s not. It can be so abundant and joyful.

Evanna has cofounded vegan makeup subscription box service Kinder Beauty, cohosts her ChickPeeps podcast, and regularly posts about veganism and her Insta-famous cat, Puff. Although she was very welcome when first “coming out” as vegan, she spoke out about infighting in the community because her high profile means she has faced a little hostility from extreme, “scary” abolitionists:

First when I meet them, obviously, I might get a bit upset. I might feel like when they say, ‘You’re not a real vegan,’ that hurts because I devote so much of my time to this and I care so much about this movement. But then I just think, ‘I’m not doing it for you, not doing it for some loser on Twitter.’ […] I just care about the animals.

Evanna then touched upon various topics related to animal commodification from wet markets to Tiger King with her remarkable empathy. In fact, she painted a picture by likening animal selfies to fleeting fan encounters:

It’s like you love this little cute fluffy thing. You’ve never seen something like it and it’s amazing! But then you don’t think about the rest of its life. You don’t care. Imagine if someone did that to you. And I mean, I’ve had that a little bit with fans – sometimes I get people calling me Luna and that really irks me, or they’ll be like, ‘Can I have a picture?’ and then they’ll take it without [waiting for a response]. You just wanted that piece of me, that picture, and you’re going to go away and forget about me and not care about my feelings that day, and that hurts me and puts me in a bad mood. Imagine, we do that to animals in captivity all the time.

As a huge fan of Harry Potter way before she even auditioned, Evanna understands the craze about selfies with faves. She remembered her shift from superfan to superstar began a bit rocky, revealing the unhealthy side of fan culture:

When I met Daniel, Rupert and Emma, I knew everything about them: their pets’ names, birthdays… I knew their parents’ names. I had to pretend I didn’t. It also meant I had nothing to say to them; I just adored them. I was suddenly confronted with, ‘Who am I?’ and when they asked me what I was interested in, I realised I didn’t even know myself; I didn’t know what to say.

Awkward! Luckily, Evanna has since become a remarkable creator in her own right as well as an excellent spokesperson who delivers her views honestly but respectfully. If you’ve got a taste for helping animals, check out Evanna’s podcast and products, or you can also order your own Magical Menagerie T-shirt to aid the Protego Foundation. Animals in both the Muggle and wizarding worlds will thank you!

Dora Bodrogi

I am a writer, a critic, a researcher, a traveler, and a Ravenclaw through and through. My main fields of interest are representation, gender, and LGBTQ fiction, history, and censorship. Incorrigible doodler and theatre kid.

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