How did you two meet?
Jona (@jonaweinhofen): We met through a mutual friend. One of my best buddies was married to a work colleague of Michelle’s, but at the time I was about to leave the US to go back to Australia - I was here on tour with my band. We connected at an awkward time when I was actually leaving the country so we basically just kept in touch by Skype, Facetime and messaging. I came back for a tour with my band and Michelle picked me up from the airport and it was just like…
Michelle(@michelleweinhofen): ...We’re together now!
Jona, can you describe the moment you fell in love with Michelle?
Jona (@jonaweinhofen): When Michelle and I really first connected, I had just flown in from Australia and landed in the airport. Even though we hadn’t really spent any time together, Michelle was like “Hey I’ll pick you up.” She was waiting there at the pickup lane when I saw her. I picked her up and gave her a kiss like we’d known each other this whole time. Yeah...it was just, like, immediately comfortable and amazing and we held hands the entire drive home. That was really our first proper connection.
Michelle, can you describe the moment you fell in love with Jona?
Michelle(@michelleweinhofen): Yeah, piggybacking off of that, because we had all this time to get to know each other, meeting each other for the first time was a lot more profound. After getting to know this person for so long we finally got to meet in-person that was just a lot more intense in a good way. I felt like I found my soulmate; the person that I’ve been looking for for a while.
So you two are both vegan, how does that bring you closer together?
Jona (@jonaweinhofen): Both of us being vegan is definitely a big thing for us in our relationship. I think we’ve both had relationships in the past where we’ve dated people who didn’t have that alignment of this really core belief. It can get difficult at times when there's something that you personally believe in so strongly and the person that you care about doesn’t have that same belief system or ideology. We were both vegan when we got together and that was a huge bonus, obviously. It just makes things more simple and more natural between us and there’s no disagreements over the ethical choices we make every single day. At the same time, it’s a bonding point, you know? We absolutely love food - trying new food, cooking new foods and we bond over different vegan events like festivals and bands.
Michelle(@michelleweinhofen): It was nice coming together both as vegans because it didn’t feel like one had to do something different for the other. He (points at Jona) was actually part of the reasons why I went vegan. I went vegan maybe 3 or 4 months before we met, but it was a natural progression with me just being into yoga and changing my wellness. Upon meeting, we were already both vegan so he showed me all the cool spots where we lived. [Jona] just kind of helped me through the process of me being newly vegan and it’s just great to be with someone you see eye-to-eye with.
Why are you guys vegan?
Michelle(@michelleweinhofen): I initially went vegan for the animal ethics behind it (the treatment of animals). And, of course, the health and environmental reasons fell to place really easily once I started learning why people were choosing the vegan lifestyle and I just identified with all the reasons.
Jona (@jonaweinhofen): Yeah, it was the same with me. I got into veganism pretty young actually, when I was about 16 or 17 years old. I got into it through music. In the local hardcore and punk rock scene in Adelaide, I met a bunch of vegans in bands and guys that were going to shows that were having these little bake sales. I thought I was going to see these super heavy bands that were all political and screaming about all this angsty stuff and then they’re selling these cupcakes in the corner. It just really intrigued me, and that’s when I started asking questions and meeting people doing exactly this, asking people why they were vegan. They would tell me their story and I was thinking “Hang on, that sounds like something I align with.” I just didn’t know there was a word for it or a lifestyle or a process, you know? Over the next couple months, I identified more and more with it and was like “Yep, this is what I have to do.”