Eating more plant-based meals is the fastest way to shrink your carbon footprint. And beyond helping Mother Earth, you’ll also improve your own physical and mental health.

Miki is the creator of Simple Happy Kitchen, a crazy-delightful illustrated guide for plant-based living. We spoke to him about making plant-based nutrition accessible, fun, and engaging.

Splendid Spoon: Hi Miki! Why did you create Simple Happy Kitchen?

Miki Mottes: I wanted to share the benefits of plant-based eating with everyone. Veganism is introduced to people in a range of ways, but they’re normally very serious! I use fun visuals to make learning and understanding easier.

SS: When and why did you go vegan?

MM: I went vegan 8 years ago, after 12 years of being vegetarian. I never believed in eating animal products: I always had pets and couldn’t understand why we treat a cat better than a cow. When I left my parents’ home, it was easier for me to become vegan.

SS: How has being vegan changed you?

MM: I physically felt much better after a few days of being 100% plant-based, and realized I wanted to share my experience and knowledge. I’m also more involved in animal rights issues and more passionate about eating well.

SS: What’s the biggest myth about veganism that you want to dispel?

MM: That vegan food isn’t tasty and is complicated to make. I want to show how amazing and simple it is!

SS: Why are you so passionate about educating people on plant-based eating?

MM: For me, the main reasons to be plant-based are the suffering of animals and our planet. Education is the best way to create change. I focus on the positives of veganism rather than the negatives of non-veganism. Teaching people that animals deserve to be happy and free– introducing them to the world of plant-based foods–is more effective than telling people what not to do.

I hope my work will help everyone — vegan or not — learn more about plant-based nutrition so they integrate it into their lives. I also hope my work can help parents introduce plant-based food to their kids (who often dislike eating their veggies!).

SS: What’s made you so passionate about the health of our planet?

MM: We only have one planet: we need to protect it. Animal agriculture wastes water, takes up land, destroys the oceans, and creates air pollution. I can’t ignore it! We all need to work to together to fix these issues. This illustration shows why I care so much about veganism and the planet:

SS: If everyone changed one thing about their eating habits, what would you want it to be?

MM: I wish people would think more about the impact of their habits and decide what they want to change. Of course, I wish people would stop consuming animal products, but I don’t expect everyone to do that overnight.

SS: As a busy working vegan, what do you eat in a day?

MM: Hummus is my favorite! I eat a lot of vegetables, legumes, and nuts. It’s become very easy to eat out as a vegan, so when I don’t have time to cook, I eat at the same places I’ve always loved, which now serve more vegan food!