Transcript of the No-Bullsh!t Vegan podcast, episode 127
Kids in vegan activism, self care for advocates [and more] with Kingston Zoom Walters
Karina Inkster: You're listening to the No Bullshit Vegan Podcast, episode 127. Kingston Zoom Walters joins me to discuss what he's learned as a child activist, self-care for vegan animal activists, and his brand-new book.
Hey, welcome to the show. I'm Karina your go-to, no BS, vegan fitness and nutrition coach. Thank you so much for tuning in today. We at K.I Health and Fitness really love hearing from clients how their strength training affects their day-to-day lives. So it's not just about the workouts themselves. Although of course, we think those should have some level of enjoyment and fun, but it's more about how those workouts change your overall quality of life.
One of our amazing clients recently told us, “I can't find all the right words to express how happy and grateful I feel to have gotten on the road to better health. I had the best trip that I've had in years of going up to this rustic camping spot in the mountains. I was so incredibly active and literally playing. I was climbing a big inflated floating water slide and going down on my belly into the lake. When we planned this trip months ago, I proclaimed that I wasn't going at all. I really thought I would just feel like crap the whole time I was there. At the last minute, I decided to go and I am so glad. I could go on and on about this. What an absolute turnaround for me.”
Isn't that awesome?! This was after just a few weeks of consistent strength training. My team and I do have a few spots available right now for coaching, so if you're looking to get consistent with your own strength training and you wanna fuel that training on a plant-based diet, check out our coaching programs at karinainkster.com/coaching and apply for a spot as soon as possible. That's karinainkster.com/coaching.
Now I'm excited to introduce our guest today, Kingston Zoom Walters, also known as King Zoom the Vegan Kid. He's an 18-year-old vegan, neurodivergent, feminist, social justice activist, and environmentalist.
He was born and raised vegan, which led to his interest in animal activism. His early passion for speaking up against injustices toward animals, humans, and the planet evolved into speaking at many events across North America. He's the author of two books: King Zoom the Vegan Kid: Animals Used for Food, and the recently published King Zoom's Quarantine Cookbook: Plant-Based Recipes to Save Our Planet. Kingston uses his personal experiences to motivate others to take action when they see injustices, whether it's smiling and acknowledging someone who may be living on the street or stopping trucks at a slaughterhouse. He's gained a reputation for inspiring others with his enthusiastic and passionate presentations. Kingston's activism has included bearing witness and stopping trucks at slaughterhouses, speaking at City Hall to ask them to choose new methods of non-animal research, locking down bridges for climate change, and solo disruptions at places of violence.
Kingston also enjoys speaking to members of parliament to ask them to support bills that liberate animals. In 2018 his speaking and writing efforts led to the historical passing of Bill S203, the ban of cetaceans in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium, and the ban of cetaceans in captivity in Canada. Kingston contributed his recipes to Animal Hero Kids, Afro-Vegan Society, and PETA Kids, and is a regular contributor to Jane Unchained Lunch Break Live. Post-pandemic, Kingston has been pursuing his interest in film and editing. His favourite meal is a vegan banh mi. Here's our discussion.
Hey Kingston. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Great to speak with you.
Kingston Zoom Walters: So happy to be here.
Karina Inkster: I'm very excited. I'm glad that we could connect. And also for the listeners here who don't know, I had no idea how geographically close we are. You're on Vancouver Island. I'm in Powell River. It's like right across the way. I had no clue.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Exactly! Just across the ocean.
Karina Inkster: Yep.
Kingston Zoom Walters: We're close. We’re very close.
Karina Inkster: I had no idea. Very cool. So let's jump in. You have done some absolutely incredible work speaking at so many events across North America.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you.
Karina Inkster: Doing hugely multifaceted activism on veganism, climate change, really important issues here. You've got two published books. I mean, come on, come on! You've done more at the age of 18 than some people have done in their entire career. So kudos to you. Very impressive.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you.
Karina Inkster: I would like to hear your reasons to be vegan though because I'm sure in your work, you talk to folks all the time about veganism. So let's jump in.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. You know, for sure. Well, it's obviously for the animals, you know, because we just see what's happening in the world. It's crazy. And people just really need to step up and, you know help the animals. It's so obvious, but you see humans destroying the planet with deforestation, climate change so much. And humans take advantage of animals because like they can't fight back, right?
And that's terrible, you know? I've been to so many protests, so many outreaches. And when there was this cow going to slaughter, I looked him right in the eye and that was incredibly painful. It just shows you how messed up our world is and when it's so easy for people to change. But you know, it's so hard. Yeah. It's just crazy how it's not changed yet, but people just need to visit sanctuaries, look at brochures, just take tons of action wherever you are across the world. Find other groups to do outreach, activism about speaking. Even for the younger generation, get them to speak up for the animals too. What is incredibly important I've been saying in my speeches too, for the upcoming generation to speak up now more than ever, you know, because in a few years it's not gonna be the same.
Karina Inkster: Yeah, absolutely. So what sorts of things do you talk to when folks are not yet vegan and who might see your work and are exposed to some of these, whether it's your books or some of your talks, and they say, well, why should I go vegan? Like, what's in it for me? You know, how do you respond to something like that?
Kingston Zoom Walters: A lot of people sometimes get mad at vegans or like vegans. You've probably seen that too.
Karina Inkster: All the time.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Vegans getting mad at non-vegans, but it's not all about that. It's their choice. I know that kind of seems non-vegan on me. But yeah, I try my best not to be mean at all, but just to give them a better understanding of how to go vegan, maybe not overnight, but possibly to come, you know, over the weeks. Do a challenge, you know, do a challenge with your family. A month challenge of just being vegan for a month. You know, no dairy, no fish, no cheese, et cetera. And yeah, that's what I say to them. You know, like a lot of people come up to me, well before COVID, and they were like, that was the best speech I have ever heard from a young person. Like I'm so fascinated by that. What can I do?
And I was like, well, you know, just, I think I had like a huge, like, just like something on my hand, just what to do, because I was kinda like forgetting. I was like, you know, visit sanctuaries, do outreach, go on Facebook, find other groups that have the same personality and same values that you do about the animals, about climate change, about deforestation, whatever, right? So I think that helps. If people aren't gonna go vegan overnight, I'm not gonna get mad or angry because it’s their choice at the end of the day. But still, it would be really good for people to go vegan if they can.
Karina Inkster: Absolutely. I mean, look, we're all ethical vegans. At least we two are. And a lot of our listeners are. Our listeners are all somewhere on the vegan spectrum, whether they're not, you know, just kind of interested or whether they're fully lifelong vegans like yourself, they’re all in there somewhere. And I think what you're saying about getting angry at people, that shit never works.
Kingston Zoom Walters: No, I know.
Karina Inkster: Like, on either side of any sort of debate. So I think where you're coming from with compassion, meeting people where they are, but also providing next steps and making it clear that like, hey, you actually can take action and make a difference.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally, exactly. And I agree with you for sure. 100%. And you know, since I was a kid, since I started doing activism, I saw some people, you know, getting mad at vegans and just protesting signs and just like pushing them out of the way at something and just yelling at them. I'm the total opposite. I'm about positivity. I'm about compassion. So yeah, I'm always trying to teach people the better lesson. Instead of yelling at them because that's not gonna help, and then it's gonna get more conflict and more angry and you know, it's not the way to go. Maybe it's okay to get mad, but it's not the way to go. That actually might make them worse, you know?
Karina Inkster: Well, that's exactly it.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Teaching them the better lesson.
Karina Inkster: Exactly. And sometimes it's about keeping in mind how your message is being delivered right? Like we all have the same message. We all want the entire world to go vegan, of course. I mean what vegan wouldn’t, right?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally.
Karina Inkster: But just keeping in mind how that message is perceived. I think that's super important. So I love your approach. It's brilliant. Love it.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you.
Karina Inkster: So you've been vegan your whole life, born and raised. What’s the backstory there? Are your parents long term vegans? How did that come about?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, for sure. This is when I need my mom to come in. My mom's been vegan for a long, long time. I was born in 2004. She made me vegan since I was born. That's my speech. That's what I say.
Karina Inkster: I love that!
Kingston Zoom Walters: I was born vegan. That's my first thing on my papers: I say I was born vegan. That's what it is.
Karina Inkster: Yes! I love that.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. I was taught not to eat cows' milk and I was like, yeah, screw that, right? Totally. Because you see what is happening in the dairy industry, one of the worst industries of all animal agriculture, you know, when they're beating them, they're beating the calves. It's incredibly terrible. But it was like, you know when you're young and you're kind of like, you still don't know what the whole vegan spectrum is about. Once I got older, I felt more involved in activism.
I felt more independent. You know what I mean? So it was way easier for me to kind of understand it than when I was young, but I was still vegan when I was young. More like I didn’t do any activism when I was younger, like when I was like 2, 3, 4 toddler ages. But I felt like I got more independent. I got better at understanding what it's more about. And it was so much fun, you know, just meeting other people. And as I got older, I felt more confident to approach people and talk to them about you know, climate change and just exactly what's happening in this insane world. What is happening, you know, animals are being killed by the second. And lot of people just have no idea that it's really insane and terrible. Some people are just like, yeah, I enjoy my meat. I'm a carnivore. I enjoy my milk. I enjoy my eggs, whatever right? But people don't see the backstory at all until people approach them in a good way.
Karina Inkster: Yeah. Yeah. So, this is what you're doing for folks, is you're approaching them with positivity, but also with a really important message that hey, we can and should be doing things differently.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Absolutely, absolutely.
Karina Inkster: Yeah, I love that. So what have you learned? I mean, you started your activism pretty young. So I realize, yeah okay, when you were two and three, you probably weren't doing some acts of activism.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Exactly.
Karina Inkster: But you started very early. So what are some things that you've learned as a child activist at the time?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, the number one thing I learned was just to approach people in a good way without, you know, making conflict and just, I think just from being a young self and how compassionate I am as a person, it was really easy. And I learned from that. You know, my mom was a very big help for that. You know, I really admire her as much as I can. And I felt like, yeah, I could go with that. From her positivity, we share the same DNA and everything. So what she shows me, what she tells me, what her values are, I can say that to people. And that's what made me who I am today. And to approach people in a good way. Yeah. Just to do a lot of protests. Yeah. For sure.
Karina Inkster: Mm-Hmm. Well, part of this might be the self-care piece. So I know that was an important discussion point. Now, interestingly, the person I was just speaking with before you, also for the podcast, completely different industry, also vegan of course, but talking about the culinary industry and one of her discussion points was self-care in the culinary industry. So the self-care piece is coming up a lot. So what do you mean when you say self-care for vegan animal activists?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, for sure. I mean, self-care by just taking control of yourself. I think that's one of the biggest in the whole animal agriculture, you know, because it could be a very emotional state when you're doing protests and sometimes you just, you can't bear it anymore. So and that's what I have in my cookbook about self-care, about how people need to know it when they're protesting with people, and they're just in that hardship time. So what I said in the cookbook was just about how I experienced it and how I wasn't like just, it was so hard, like doing all those protests, doing all the speaking and how I learned to really self-care myself right? You know, regulate myself when there was hard times with me. When people, you know, just odd people who you're meeting you feel so stressed and scared about maybe you're not the best. Maybe you're not doing the best.
So you really need to regulate yourself in a peaceful way. You know, breathe, drink water, go in nature, you know, take some time off social media and just be with yourself. And, you know, with the whole animal agriculture stuff, a lot of people keep that inside and not really like actually have time to express that to you and really think about self-care. Like the huge, huge animal activists, like James Aspey and Joy Carbstrong and all those other people are very like into conflict with other people, you know? And that's not my way. I don't think they're like really involved in that whole self-care. They feel like just worrying about the animals, talking to people, being - not really gonna use the word angry - but just kind bringing up a bit of arguing and conflict when it's not gonna help the other people with self-care too.
Karina Inkster: Yeah. Well, this is kind of what I was wondering even before, you know, earlier in our conversation, when you were talking about some activism practices and things you've done - like, how do you not get burnt out doing all this? So this is why self-care is important.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I know. Yeah, totally. Yeah. I got burnt out on a lot of things, you know, protests, talking to people, you know, just being there in the protests, taking photos and just recognizing what's happening, recognizing how many animals are in danger, how many, you know, people getting mad at you and everything. You need to know when there's a time to regulate yourself and put yourself into like self-care mode. You know, you need to realize that because that's the biggest thing in the whole animal agriculture spectrum. You need to learn to practice self-care, no matter what kind of action or protest you are doing, you need to think about that. And you need to take some time just for you, to stop, you know, rewind, just have a stop to know what's happening, to breathe. Like I said before, just to have a break.
Karina Inkster: Totally.
Kingston Zoom Walters: From all the burnout you are going through, you know? As many other people were burnt out in all the protests, like the Animal Liberation conference I did a few years ago in Berkeley. People are so tired. They're like make this end and everything. People really need to practice that self-care. That's why they're feeling so burnt out. Because they're taking too much time to worry about the animals and yeah, that's a big priority for sure. But they also need to have time for themselves.
Karina Inkster: That’s huge.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Just to think about their health and wellness, to think about their body, to think about what's happening inside them.
Karina Inkster: Are you open to sharing some tips for folks? What are some things that you would recommend? I mean, you mentioned going out in nature, taking time to breathe. What are some things here that are kind of in the self-care sphere?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, totally. Well, it kind of depends where you are, but you know, because I'm not doing a lot of protests now because of COVID and I'm on Vancouver Island. I just try to do a lot of yoga sometimes, meditation, bike riding. I'm like, you know, Vancouver Island’s full of beauty, full of nature.
Karina Inkster: It’s amazing.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Full of trails, full of hiking, full of everything, you know, just so serene. It's beautiful. So yeah, sometimes if I'm just not totally on animals, but I'm just not feeling good overall, whatever it is, I sometimes just, you know, drink a huge glass of water, go for a walk with your family, your companion animal, or just have a drive. Just have a drive to go somewhere by yourself, rewind from all the stuff that's happening in your life. If that's about animals if that's about some illnesses or deaths in your family or anything, what is happening. So yeah. My grandpa, he got diagnosed with lung cancer in December.
Karina Inkster: Oh no!
Kingston Zoom Walters: And then he died in March. He died on March 1st and that was really - I know this doesn't really go well with animals - but that's when self-care was my first priority, because I have never witnessed a real death in my whole life. And, you know, my grandpa was such an amazing guy to me. He was not vegan, unfortunately. I tried to, not make him vegan, you know, just try to transition, you know, maybe go without dairy. Just don't have your dairy - he had bran flakes cereal - try not to have cereal with cow milk or just transition to some oat or soy milk. And he tried to, but you know, when people are carnivores, they're like, nah, screw that, right?
Karina Inkster: We all know them. We all know them.
Kingston Zoom Walters: But yeah, totally. When he died, it was just really hard for our whole family because he's the person who was my first role model even before like - I love my mom to bits. She's my favourite person in the world. But my grandpa, you know, when we're two men, we bond together. We've had such a great time since I was born. He also taught me you know, just to practice self-care because he did it too. Not at his age, but you know, he loved Buddha. He loved all that stuff and that showed me he loved positivity and he showed everyone positivity. And that's why, yeah, he was a really good role model for me, for sure.
Karina Inkster: That's incredible.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. To visit animals, to just speak out for what is happening in this insane, screwy world we're having right now.
Karina Inkster: To say the least! Haha.
Kingston Zoom Walters: For sure.
Karina Inkster: Well, I'm really sorry to hear about your grandfather.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you.
Karina Inkster: But I'm happy to hear that he was such an important role model and such an important piece of your life up until now. I mean, that's huge. That's an amazing gift.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally. Yeah, exactly. You know, and as hard as it is, you just need to practice that rewinding. You know, you just need to take some time for yourself, just experience what's happening, but also, you know, take a moment off your phone, take a moment off social media.
Karina Inkster: Good call!
Kingston Zoom Walters: TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, whatever. And you know, that can be hard. Even for me, sometimes I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna get off my phone, stop looking at what other vegans are doing. And as you take a moment to do something for myself, what's not on social media, you know, maybe do some kind of protest, but it's not really on social. Ah, anyway. But yeah, take it.
Karina Inkster: It's hard to do.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, for sure. And that's the hardest one everybody struggles with is devices, no matter what age you are. And definitely, when you're in that world with a lot of, you know, animal agriculture, all this crazy emotional stuff you see, that is burnout too, but you need to take a moment for yourself because you know, when you follow all these great people, you see all the bad stuff that's happening and you can't handle it anymore. You just can't handle it, right? And that's with everything that's with vegan activism, that's with like the dairy industry, that's with politics, that's with climate change, you know? And it does make you in a real emotional state, just from that, just from seeing all these graphic images of what is happening in the world, these animals being exploited in the worst of ways, is that it's crazy.
Karina Inkster: It's pretty intense. I was just thinking when you were talking about self-care in general for other industries, like yeah, of course, it's important to everyone if you're a healthcare professional, us fitness professionals, like we're not gonna be helping other people if we're not operational ourselves in whatever industry you're in. But I think the vegan thing, it's a little different because we have other beings that are involved and we feel empathy and compassion toward these other creatures that, you know, is kind of different. I mean, I realize people get really involved and emotionally invested in things. And yes, of course, there's so many important causes out there. Other humans too, I mean, let's not forget about them of course, but it's pretty intense emotionally doing specifically vegan activism, I think.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally. Yeah. No for sure. I mean it's with everyone, you know, definitely with like marches, you know, definitely, with other kids like families joining, they can get burned out too. Maybe their family didn't teach them what’s exactly happening and they're very burnt out, you know? Some people don't like to show their feelings, you know what I mean? So it's kind of hard for sure. And I saw a lot of that. A lot of burnout in people. You know, everyone is so happy, and upbeat on the first day. And then, you know, you witness all these chickens being transported at the open rescues you see, or the activism protests, everything. It is crazy.
Karina Inkster: It really is.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally. And you get home and you just feel like what the hell?! It’s crazy.
Karina Inkster: What is the world coming to?
Kingston Zoom Walters: I know! Totally. And that's why people need to do something. I believe that if we don't shape things up for a better future we're not gonna have a good world. We know our world is on fire from deforestation. For example, the Amazon rainforest, they’re making land for cows to graze to have cheap hamburgers in the US. You know it's crazy! And for the indigenous people, who are in the Amazon and it's sad too. You know, they're humans and they've been here before anyone and you know, it's sad for them too. For sure.
Karina Inkster: Absolutely. How do you keep going with self-care and just generally your overall positivity when there's all of these really heavy, negative things weighing on your mind? Like how do you deal with that?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. How do I… huh. It's a hard one.
Karina Inkster: I mean, there might not be an answer. There might not be an answer.
Kingston Zoom Walters: For sure. I'll try to because I'm not like really as much into it as I used to be, you know, because of COVID and how hard it has been with my grandpa and everything, yeah I just try to deal with it as best as I can. Like sometimes I still see the odd stuff on my phone and I just try to pass it on. Like make it get out of my brain, you know? Because I think doing more activism independently by yourself is kind of personally, I think is better than watching other people do it, you know? Other people are doing great causes, but when you're doing it independently, you know it's amazing. You feel like you're accomplishing something, you know? And there's a lot of vegans in the world, tons of vegan out-reachers too, you know, like Earthling Ed for example. He's really good.
Karina Inkster: Mm-Hmm. Well, maybe what you're saying is you know, like individual action is a super important part of the picture, obviously. And that probably actually helps, I would think. Like, yes, I'm doing what I can to make a difference on an individual level. The world isn't perfect, but I'm taking action, you know, I'm taking responsibility, right? But then there's also community out there. And of course, it's been hard over the last two-plus years with the pandemic and fewer in-person things happening and stuff. I think your point about self-care kind of goes with the positivity and the, you know, managing your brain, in a way.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Right. Yeah. It's hard to self-centre yourself really, you know, and definitely, when you're really into all this outreach, you're going through - you know, when I spoke across North America, it wasn't like I was doing like a tour across all America - but when I went to like Toronto, for example, that was really hectic. You know, we were at this cow slaughterhouse and you could just see the guts of the cow just going into the incinerator. It was crazy. That's when you need to see yourself and actually be like, what is going on? How can I help myself when I'm surrounded by people, I'm surrounded by exploitation? What can I do to help myself? That is the hard part everyone deals with. And some people don't actually know what to do to help their soul, to help their health and overall body.
Karina Inkster: Yeah.
Kingston Zoom Walters: But once I'm getting older, I feel like I can try and control that positivity and self-care and not let go of it, keep thinking about it. Have it in your brain. So when there is something wrong, you can know it’s there, you know it's in your brain and you can self-centre yourself right away. I learned that from my mom. That's how she raised me, to be a positive young vegan boy. And I'm so proud and appreciative for that. You know, I'm appreciative of her.
Karina Inkster: That's amazing. I love that.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally. I do too. She's a great role model for me. She's a great person. Absolutely amazing.
Karina Inkster: We should do a joint podcast episode with her at one point.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. Totally. That would be amazing. For sure. Totally. No arguing allowed.
Karina Inkster: Yeah, no arguing. Exactly. It's kind of funny, cuz this is gonna make you sound way younger than you actually are, and me way older than I actually am, but you're literally half my age. Like I'm twice as old as you and I did not have my shit together anywhere near your level when I was 18.
Kingston Zoom Walters: No worries. No worries.
Karina Inkster: I mean, come on. So I think your work is amazing.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you.
Karina Inkster: You just came out with your second book at the age of 18. How awesome is that? So let's talk about your new book. So this is your Quarantine Cookbook. Folks who see the visual, the book is Ooh, King Zoom. Hey also what are you going to call yourself when you're not a kid anymore? King Zoom, the Vegan Kid. Are you just gonna be a kid like forever?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Exactly. You know, I was telling all my followers the other day, I was like, folks, I'm not a kid. I'm not a kid anymore. I actually went to Instagram username, how to change my username and I said, I just think I said King Zoom because Zoom is my middle name, and I can't change it anymore because it's like permanent now. You can't change it every day.
Karina Inkster: Oh, you mean on Instagram as a handle?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. I don't think you can. Like, I think you would have to like delete your account and then do it again. It’s unfortunate, but now that I'm 18, it's been my handle forever, you know?
Karina Inkster: Yeah. Of course.
Kingston Zoom Walters: You know came up to me, they're like, King Zoom I want a business card! Not like an autograph or anything, but like, you know, and that's what I enjoyed. I enjoyed having that attention to people that actually were proud of me and enjoyed what I'm doing for these causes. And you know, it's good when people come up to you and they say, oh my god, that was an amazing speech. That is the best speech I've heard from a young vegan kid like you.
Karina Inkster: That's amazing. That's a pretty cool compliment to get, like best speech I've ever heard. And you're like 15 years old.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, totally! Exactly. For sure.
Karina Inkster: At that time. Very cool. So this new cookbook -
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah.
Karina Inkster: You mentioned earlier that it has a section on self-care, so clearly this thing, other than recipes here. So can you tell us a little bit about what's in this book?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, for sure. I have to open it. You know, it's like, Why Eat Plants? Why Wat Plants is a really good section in it because it really shows you like, some people are like they love their dairy. Why should I be eating these veggies? Why should I be having this? And that's a really good section because it really goes into detail about what the protein is, what the food's good for you in it, the calories, et cetera. But you know, self-care is probably one of the biggest I have at the end of the book, just because I'm so involved in it, you know? Since I was a kid I've just been positivity 100%. Just watched a lot of other videos about people sending positivity. And I was like, yeah, I wanna do that in a different style, making a book about self-care, being vegan rather, right? So just eating healthy foods, you know, just the recipes are the best. That's what really hits people, the recipes.
Karina Inkster: You reel them in with food. That's how you do it.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Exactly. For sure.
Karina Inkster: That's cool. So was this entirely done through the pandemic? I mean, it's called your Quarantine Cookbook, right? So did you start working on this when things shut down or what did that look like?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Well, I started it when COVID like was first bad, like I think maybe in May of 2020.
Karina Inkster: Might have been, it sounds about right. Yeah.
Kingston Zoom Walters: You know, when no one could go shopping. We had to wear gloves before we had to wear masks, and we had to wash our food down when we brought it home. It was crazy. Restaurants were closed. Takeout was closed, everything. I was like, come on. Why not make a cookbook? It's easy. It’ll make my time fun. I can have less free time. I can actually do something very creative for people who are gonna enjoy this. So in quarantine, I was like, I made it off Blurb Books which is like, kinda like a book platform. I was very busy but very enjoyable. We were in quarantine. People could not go anywhere. So I was like, why not make a book about quarantine with amazing 100%, whole foods recipes, you know, that people will enjoy, with and definitely nutritional facts. And another thing I was really happy for was the reviews I got on it. I have Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA.
Karina Inkster: Wow.
Kingston Zoom Walters: We have Gwenna Hunter, founder of Vegans of LA, amazing, and Will Tuttle. He's my favourite. He is the best-selling author of The World Peace Diet. That's amazing.
Karina Inkster: That is! You’ve got connections. I love that.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Exactly. You know, Ingrid, Newkirk. She said it’s really, that's gonna be a surprise for people to read it. That's what gets people, right there.
Karina Inkster: Mm-Hmm. It's true. Well, congratulations on this project. I mean, this is big. You wrote and published a book, I think in less time than most people take to get their first chapter done. So that's pretty impressive.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. It's hard work. It's hard. It's really excruciating work. You know, because a lot of steps go into it. You need to take the photo. If you need to download them to your computer, you need to crop them. You need to put them into a book and it takes a lot of time. You know, you can't just sit around and watch TV. You need to make that your whole day’s work, you know?
Karina Inkster: Oh, it's your whole life for a long time.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. For sure.
Karina Inkster: I didn't come up with my first book till I was 25. So way older than you are right now. And it was actually a cookbook as well. And I did not do my own photos, even. I had a pro photographer doing it, so he dealt with all the photos. So I can only imagine the level of work involved in like preparing the dishes, taking photos, editing. That's pretty amazing. Did you come up with all the recipes or did you have contributors involved?
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah, I came up with all the recipes. I've eaten as a young boy which I've really enjoyed. For example, I think it was like around Halloween and I made a pumpkin pie for like, Nan and Grandpa. They enjoyed it so much and I made it. Grandpa's oatmeal. My grandpa made me oatmeal. He loved it, you know, in the winter it was just so easy and it's hot, right? Hot off the stove. So that's why I put Grandpa’s in it. He really admired it. And I was like, put it vegan, you know, make it vegan! Put the chia seeds in it, right? You know, hemp hearts, all those great things that’ll give you more good nutritional value.
Karina Inkster: Genius. That's so cool. So he has a shoutout in your cookbook. That’s great.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Yeah. He has a shoutout in my cookbook. Yeah. I'm really happy for him too. So yeah. I think he even said, why not? He enjoyed it. He really enjoyed it. So like, just make it funny, you know? It’s very, kid-friendly. It's nothing like a regular cookbook with just like plain white background. I really made it cartoony. That's why I'm not putting my full details, so when people read it, it'll be like amazing.
Karina Inkster: I love that.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I have an introduction that's me with my mom.
Karina Inkster: Oh, cool.
Kingston Zoom Walters: You know, just saying welcome to my first cookbook. Scrambled tofu, which I think everybody loves
Karina Inkster: Scrambled tofu, it’s an institution basically itself in the vegan world.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Who needs Just Egg, like really?
Karina Inkster: It’s true.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Who needs that? We have smoothies. Yeah. you know, ban mis? Like the Vietnamese food? Oh my god!
Karina Inkster: Didn't you say that was your favourite vegan meal?
Kingston Zoom Walters: That is my favourite food! It’s like the best thing. Gosh they're good. You know, with like vegan mayo and cucumber.
Karina Inkster: Oh, sign me up! Now I'm getting hungry. Thanks a lot. Do you have in your family, like some traditional type foods that you have for either celebrations? You know, we kind of have some special foods that only come out at Christmas or birthdays or stuff like that.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I made this because -
Karina Inkster: What is that? A nut loaf?
Kingston Zoom Walters: It's a nut loaf.
Karina Inkster: Oh, that looks amazing!
Kingston Zoom Walters: This was around Christmas time too. It is kind of, not really a tradition, but you know, when people around Christmas or whatever you celebrate, you know, people usually have like turkey, right? You know, like some kind of loaf with it too. So I want to make this with clean ingredients, 100% plant-based, you know, with walnuts, chickpeas, all that great stuff. What can be vegan, and what can be a substitute? And I think that was probably one I thought about a lot just because it would be really hard to kind like make a vegan turkey or make a vegan chicken loaf or something and you know, it's not like I'm gonna make it, so that's why I made the not loaf right? Because it's delicious, you know, you put the toppings on it. Maybe like a vegan gravy or maybe like a sweet apple sauce layer to go over it or something.
Karina Inkster: Okay now I'm seriously hungry!
Kingston Zoom Walters: Now you're seriously hungry! Yeah! When I tried it, my mom was like, can you try it? I'm like, yeah, I'll try it. I was like, no! We gotta redo it. We gotta redo it.
Karina Inkster: It’s gotta be perfect.
Kingston Zoom Walters: She was like why? It’s just a cookbook. I'm like, we have to redo this thing. Okay.
Karina Inkster: Well that's how recipe testing works, right? You gotta do it a whole bunch of times. You change little things, you try new things. Some of it works. Some of it doesn’t. It's a whole process.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Totally. Absolutely.
Karina Inkster: Yeah. Is there anything in the cookbook or on any of our other topics that we have missed, anything that you wanted to kind of put in?
Kingston Zoom Walters: I think just water is the number one thing. People really need to realize, you know stop drinking, juice, stop making juice addictive and drink water. Keep hydrated, you know, even when you're not thirsty. That’s a big thing. What a lot of people don't focus on is water until they absolutely think they really need it or people say drink some water, you know?
So I think wherever you are, you should bring a bottle of water. A lot of cookbooks don't really have all those hydration kind of self-care tips. That's why I put it in. That's why I thought it'd be a good space to kind of go in there with kind of my values and stuff. What I think about. So that's why I put it in.
Karina Inkster: That's brilliant. Good reminder for folks now, too, if they're listening, grab some water! Don’t forget!
Kingston Zoom Walters: Grab some water. Exactly.
Karina Inkster: Yes. Oh, you've got yours there. I have my decaf tea here. So that kind of counts, I suppose.
Kingston Zoom Walters: It has some stuff in it. It just has water.
Karina Inkster: Yeah! Well Kingston, thank you so much for coming on the show. It was great to speak with you. Lovely to connect.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I enjoyed it so much.
Karina Inkster: I appreciate speaking with you.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I enjoy it too. I could go on!
Karina Inkster: Well, we'll have to do part two at some point.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Exactly. It's been so long since I did a podcast, you know, with my grandpa's passing and everything. It's been hard with as much self-care as I’ve been doing. It’s been hard for my whole family. The last thing I probably did was with Jane Unchained. You know Jane Unchained?
Karina Inkster: Mm. Jane Unchained sounds familiar, but I don't know. Not 100% sure there.
Kingston Zoom Walters: So I did a recipe with her, not really like a recipe kind of, I don't know what you would call it. Like we had her on video and I think I made chia pudding one time and it’s live.
Karina Inkster: Oh cool.
Kingston Zoom Walters: So people watch me making the food then I eat it. That was the last thing I was doing. And you know, I was saying to myself, I'm getting older, I'm not really interested in doing more work and everything. And I was actually saying, that's my last thing, like for sure, because, you know, with my grandpa passing I didn't wanna do any outreach. Not like I can anyway, but didn't wanna meet anyone. Didn't wanna talk to anyone. You know, it's hard for sure. But now that I'm doing this, I could go on. I have like tons of papers here. I kind like printed them all out to say more, but, you know, it's kind of hard when you're in it.
Karina Inkster: It is.
Kingston Zoom Walters: But it was good. I enjoyed it.
Karina Inkster: Yeah, it was great! I think I mentioned that we're syndicated here on local radio. So we have time constraints, unfortunately, but otherwise we would chat for like three and a half hours I'm sure, and still have stuff left to talk about.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I bet! I could go all the way to dinner.
Karina Inkster: That's right. Well, thanks again, Kingston. So great to connect with you.
Kingston Zoom Walters: Thank you, Karina.
Karina Inkster: Thanks for coming on the show.
Kingston Zoom Walters: I enjoyed it so much. I would love to see you soon.
Karina Inkster: Sounds good. Hope to see you in Powell River!
Kingston Zoom Walters: Would love to! I'll come there soon. Thanks.
Karina Inkster: See you later. Kingston, thank you again for joining me. I loved our conversation and I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Check out our show note at nobullshitvegan.com/127 to connect with Kingston and to get your hands on his brand new book, King Zoom's Quarantine Cookbook: Plant-Based Recipes to Save Our Planet. Thanks for tuning in.