I've spent countless hours talking to people about veganism.
I know, I know - life and soul, right?
It can be incredibly uplifting, but it can also be soul-destroying.
But, especially in the early days of being vegan, I'd have taken talking to a hundred total strangers on the street about veganism over "having the chat" with my close friends and family... 10 times out of 10.
Then, a few months ago, while feeling burnt out from talking to people a little too much (Lord only knows how they were feeling...), my partner and I cracked out the old Monopoly set.
And, while joking around for an hour or two, it struck me.
Board games are powerful.
For many families - mine, certainly - board games are a time when we suspend our disbelief about reality around us and just get buried in one little 20" x 20" cardboard square for hours at a time.
Issy and I were laughing, messing around, and generally having a good time, forgetting about the world and just enjoying being together, talking about everything and nothing at the same time.
Because it's not just about the game, it's about creating a paradigm separate from the world that you share with one or several other people at a time. Like a film or a play, only interactive.
That was when we had the idea to found This Is Not A Game, the world's first vegan gaming company.
What the heck does that mean? Well...
All our board games, card games, and (one day?) mobile games are designed to create conversation and spark thoughts about key issues in animal rights, animal welfare, climate change, and human health - but to do so in an accessible, friendly, even fun manner.
I'll be the first to admit that we vegans often take ourselves a little too seriously and are unable to take a joke.
Which is why at least a few of our games are going to be funny - like, actually funny. (Trust us - we have at least 3 friends who have told us so already.)
Other people - many vegans and veg-heads included - also often don't actually know much about what we stand for.
That's why we'll make games that are educational and trivia-based, putting you on the spot to answer some of the tough questions that may well get thrown at you as you work your way through the fourth salad of the morning.
And, for the many people that just don't really get it, we're designing games that will expose them to the trials and tribulations of sanctuary life, injecting them with just a tiny bit more empathy towards the animals that unwittingly (and unwillingly) constitute our food chain.
What's this going to look like, you ask?
You'll just have to wait and see.
First things first, we need love, support, and (mostly) investment.
To this end, we're going to be launching our Kickstarter campaign in a few weeks' time. We need to raise around £5,000 to get 500 copies of the first two games designed, printed, and shipped. From there, we can build from strength to strength.
The details of these games are going to be announced soon, alongside some suitably juicy teasers.
In the meantime, stick your email in the box below, like our Instagram, and follow our Facebook.
If you do that, you'll see our Kickstarter when it goes live. If you invest even just £10 in it, we swear that we'll love you forever.
Plants be upon you,