Written By Sason Bishope Parry
All of us grew up wanting to portray our favourite superheroes, like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and so many others that we see in comic books and now in feature films. However, we fail to realize that many superheroes live amongst us and our ordinary people doing inspiring things to create change in our world. One such person is the inspiring Andrea Mason, the owner and founder of Vegan Circus. Vegan Circus is a food truck and pop-up serving the most delicious vegan circus carnival food imaginable. From signature corn dogs, funnel cakes, burgers, and even a pretzel doughnut. Your favourite childhood carnival and circus food is made entirely vegan. Andrea’s mission became evident years ago when she realized the plight of circus animals and how much cruelty was involved in animal circuses. Like many, she wasn’t born vegan, but after realizing that eating plant-based helped her with many ailments, she turned completely vegan and is now celebrating a decade of being vegan.
She knew she wanted to do something to help liberate animals in captivity and bring more awareness to the cruelty behind the scenes at many animal entertainment shows. As a single mom to her daughter Malawi, running businesses can be challenging, but with her passion for veganism and animals, it was clear that she had a mission to follow. For years, she has had the opportunity to travel the world photographing animals in the wild and eating at some of the most amazing vegan restaurants the world offers, from Amsterdam, Africa to Mexico City with her Eye Dream Photography business. But Andrea knew that she wanted to do more for the animals. So, with her love for corn dogs and carnival food, she thought, what if she created vegan versions of these carnival favourites and used part of the proceeds to help liberate the animals? Light bulb moment! Her incredible passion for helping animals in need and creating a unique food and dining experience in the vegan community, offering organic vegan carnival-style food, seemed like the perfect formula. All her passions centred on the mission of ending animal cruelty. With her clear vision, Vegan Circus was born and created, playing off the similarity of the name so people could relate, vegans and non-vegans alike. Vegan Circus
“Vegan Circus Carnival Food was created to offer cruelty-free Carnival-style food options at events and to our community. We believe that animals in captivity, such as in circuses and zoos, need to be relocated to sanctuaries and deserve to live out their lives being treated with dignity and respect. As well as our love for animals, we also have a love for delicious food!” – Founder Andrea Mason
With a great mission and delicious vegan food, Andrea Mason and Vegan Circus have been serving 100% non-GMO vegan carnival-style food since 2020, right at the heart of the pandemic and going steady for a few years now. 15% of all profits are donated to organizations working to liberate animals in captivity, and she shows no signs of slowing down.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the inspiring Andrea Mason about her excellent Vegan circus food and her mission to liberate all Circus animals.
Sason Bishope Parry: How did you become vegan?
Andrea Mason: I became vegan over 3 years after realizing that dairy and eggs were causing me to have skin and digestion issues. I’ve always had a connection to animals as a young child, and being brought up in this traditional American education system regarding how we view food as a culture, I didn’t realize or make the connection that I was contributing to cruelty by eating factory-farmed animals. Once I made that connection, I couldn’t turn a blind eye.
SBP: Tell us about the Vegan Circus, what it is, and how that came about.
AM: I have always loved food and love creating unique dishes that could be made vegan. It is very rare to find a vegan corn dog anywhere in the world, and I’ve loved them since I was a child. There was a vegan bar/venue called High Line in Seattle that offered the most delicious vegan corn dogs, and sadly, they closed. So, it sent me on a mission to create my version, and that was the very first menu item for the vegan circus that was created.
SBP: Your mission is to help circus animals. Tell readers how vital this cause is and why circuses are cruel.
AM: Circuses are cruel because they steal animals from their wild habitat, forcing them to perform but withhold food, care, and love. They train them in the cruellest ways, and it heart-wrenching once you see what goes on behind the scenes.
SBP: Do you donate proceeds from the sale of your vegan foods?
AM: Yes, we donate 15% of profits to sanctuaries that rescue animals from animal exploitation. Every purchase that customers make helps us save animals.
SBP: What inspired the name Vegan Circus?
AM: The name Vegan Circus came to me as a play on words because circuses are infamously known for their animal exploitation and cruelty. So, I thought, what a great idea to create a cruelty-free circus-themed menu and design a business model to help animals be liberated from captivity. This is why we donate 15% off profits to organizations that do so.
SBP: What is your best-selling vegan circus food?
AM: The corn dogs!
SBP: Have you run into any challenges or naysayers pushing veganism? And what do you tell them?
AM: I’m constantly dealing with that. People are very combative, protective, and defensive over their diets and habits, which include eating animals. I understand and can relate to them. Before I was vegan, I was like an addict to animal-based foods and couldn’t even comprehend ever completely changing my diet. But I think once people realize that vegan food can be very delicious, they start opening up to the idea. Many of my return customers aren’t vegan, so it’s a start and a bridge to get them to try vegan food.
SBP: Why do you think so many businesses exploit animals?
AM: I think it has been normalized for millennia. In some of the oldest stories in history I can remember, people have been exploiting animals for food and entertainment, which is why it’s considered so radical for most people to think about veganism. Veganism is a social justice movement, and today, it’s more important than ever.
SBP: Do you see a future where circuses and other animal entertainment businesses will be no more?
AM: I see a future where this will no longer be accepted as normal. More and more people are connecting to their childhood instincts of protecting and loving animals. All kids love animals. The good news is people are waking up to the idea that all living beings deserve love and respect. We push that daily.
SBP: What is your biggest inspiration?
AM: My biggest inspiration is seeing animals liberated who lived a life of pain and suffering.
SBP: Where can people find Vegan Circus?
AM: We are offering private catering as well as attending community events and festivals. We always post where our food truck will be next on our website and our Instagram pages. @vegan.circus.carnival.food
SBP: How can people support your cause?
AM: Please come out and try our food. You will not be disappointed! Our food is delicious, and you will enjoy trying vegan organic carnival foods that you may be used to, knowing you are also helping animals in need.
SBP: What’s next for Andrea Mason and Vegan Circus?
AM: Vegan Circus could use the spider of the vegan community! We are just over a year into our mission and struggling to stay afloat. The support of our community is everything to our survival. Every little bit helps, and every purchase helps us continue our mission. You get delicious vegan food, and the animals are cheering us on. Follow us on Instagram, and we hope to see you at our next stop.
For more info on Vegan Circus and where to find them: