Emmeline Hundleby

I was one of four children who flew round the globe to wherever my dad
was working – Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Indonesia – in between spells of
failing at school. I was born in Jos, Nigeria, in 1979. The nurse had
never seen a white baby before, and not long afterwards a pig tried to
eat me in our back yard. My mum used to love telling me how she
rescued me from that pig. Our travels weren’t always to holiday
destinations, and I was exposed to violence and terrible suffering
from day one, which is where I think my compassion for others and an
intolerance to injustice come from. I don’t like to fly anymore, too
much time spent in the air as a kid – I like my feet on the ground.
I’ve lived in Croydon four years now and I love it, with my husband,
our daughter, dog and four rescue chickens – an interspecies family
that will hopefully grow if we ever get more land to live on. The
dream is to home rescue animals – maybe a pig, as long as it doesn’t
try and eat me!

Early in 2016 I became vegan and it defines me now. I don’t want to
harm anyone, so this way of life makes sense and I’ve never felt peace
like it. It’s strange it took me 37 years to make the connection,
given my past and intolerance to injustice, and I feel like my life
was waiting for these dots to connect. My next project is going zero
waste – it’s difficult and will take time, but I’m enjoying slowing
down my consumption, changing my habits and being more aware of who
made what I’m buying and what happens with it when I’m done. I like
bin collection day – seeing my bins all half empty means I’m
progressing in the waste we produce as a family.

I’ve just started a plastic-free party bag business
(plasticfreepartybags.com) to try and help in a small way by offering
an alternative that’s kind to the earth, animals and people. I also
run a vegan parenting blog called littlevbigv.com. I’m glad people are
shifting towards more conscious living – there is an awakening going
on now in people, and I am happy to be a part of the vegan and
plastic-free movement. Every step people take towards cutting out
cruelty and pollution should be celebrated.