January’s Sexy Bad Ass Vegan is a man that has done a lot for the vegan community. One of his most impressive accomplishments has been the introduction of his Vegan clothing line. Residing in New York, he is a trendsetter for the vegan community and the fashion industry as a whole. Read more about our Mr. January: Dan Mims
Name: Dan Mims a.k.a. The Ethical Man
Where do you live and where are you from?
I was raised in Monroe, CT, and live in Brooklyn, NY.
What do you do for a living/profession?
I’m an editor and web producer most of the time. I moonlight in graphic design and e-commerce.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy music, films, visual arts, and nightlife/dancing. I’m a musician myself; I drum for a band called HERE. We’re sort of like Tool meets Yes, but instrumental. And vegan.
How long have you been vegan?
More than 8 years now.
Why did you become vegan?
For the animals and for the environment. To align my actions with my principles.
How was your transition?
Right from the start, I knew I would eventually be vegan, but I guess I took the scenic route. I went from full-blown meat-eater to ovo-lacto vegetarian over the course of a year. Then I went from vegetarian to vegan over the course of about 10 months. I didn’t have a nearby community or group of friends who were into it at the time; otherwise, it would likely have been a quicker transition.
What is the funniest misconception(s) that you have heard about vegans?
It’s hard to have a sense of humor about it given the grave reality that vegans are reacting against. I suppose it’s funny when people ask “What do you eat?” as if vegans don’t have many food options, because it’s obvious on the face of it that something like 99% of the world’s food ingredients are vegan.
What is your Favorite thing(s) about being a vegan?
Being able to live with myself! Otherwise, it feels pretty normal to be vegan.
What do you think makes a Sexy Bad Ass Vegan? Nearly all vegans today used to eat other animals, and did so for a long time. So, at some point, we’ve had to display the fortitude, humility, and honesty necessary to change—to challenge our own previously held assumptions in a fundamental way. I think it’s pretty sexy to be strong enough to face the truth; to do the right thing day in and day out; and to weather being so far ahead of the social justice curve..
What is the best vegan dish that you make in your kitchen?
I don’t put a lot of time into preparing the food I eat, but that’s okay because I really enjoy having lots of different simple, fresh foods to dabble in at the same time. For example, I’ll eat edamame, mango, avocado, cherries, arugula, and rice—all seasoned (or not) as desired, of course—alongside one another, but not exactly together. It allows me to enjoy the ingredients in a more direct way, and it takes less time out of my schedule.
What is the best Vegan Restaurant you have ever had the pleasure of eating at?
Living in New York, it’s hard to pick just one. I’ve had especially memorable meals at Sun In Bloom and Dirt Candy.
What advice do you have for those that are thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?
1. Do it for at least some of the right reasons, i.e. ethics, conviction. Doing it for health reasons is certainly legitimate, but, decoupled from the motivation to do the right thing, it becomes much easier to fall back into a lifestyle that’s fundamentally destructive and harmful to others. 2. Try to be reasonably happy and positive, which is easier said than done. Feelings of rage and despair are totally understandable upon waking up from the Pleasantville-style living dream that hides a waking nightmare for so many other innocent beings. I lived with that rage for years; it was a constant battle. I would advise others to skip that step, if they can.
Do you have a website to share with the BAV nation?
Of course! Check out The Ethical Man atwww.theethicalman.com and my band HERE at www.hereband.com.
Photos by Jasmine Wilson & Jennifer Simmons.