My name is Beth Br00tality. I live in Cincinnati, OH, I’m 24 years old, and I’m vegan and straight edge. I live with my boyfriend, his two cats, and my Boxer/Ridgeback mix. I work in cosmetics, both as a freelance makeup artist and in retail. You can find me on any major networking site as Beth Br00tality, but most notable on my YouTube and my blog. I have a Facebook as well, so please look me up and add me (http://www.facebook.com/bethbr00tality.yt).
What made you decide to go vegan:
There is, of course, an answer to this that spans the twenty four years of my life, but let’s start a little more recently and simply. I’ve always been really close to animals, and in my teens I decided to be a vegetarian. My parents weren’t really that supportive, they assumed it was a phase, and do to a lack of options at home, I eventually went back to eating meat. When I moved into my boyfriend at the time’s place, I went back to being vegetarian one January, and the following March I went vegan. It’s been about six years maybe? Not only is it better for the environment and my body, I just really can’t get over the use of animals in products, and how cruelly we obtain those sources. Say what you will, but I believe that animals are not here to be used by humans; they’re just here to be animals the same way we’re here to be humans.
Reaction from friends/family:
My family assumed it was, again, a phase. When I was still doing it a year later, they started to believe me, haha. My mom grew up on a farm and my dad was a very efficient eagle scout by the age of like fourteen or something crazy like that, so neither of them share my views. My dad still makes jokes about it but I know he supports me. My mom has learned how to make a few vegan things here and there and tries to randomly get me things when she finds out they’re vegan. It’s really cute. They never pressure me to eat something at a family function to make someone happy, and I really appreciate that. I know a lot of vegans lose their way because of the implied guilt from family members. They’re good to me.
Do you find going out/social situations difficult:
The smart vegan is a prepared vegan. The dumb vegan is a whiny little brat that makes us all look bad because, “well I can’t eat anything here!!” Unless you’re picking the restaurant, don’t ever assume you’re going to have something to eat, haha. You might be scraping by on flavorless veggies (“hold the butter please”) and if you’re lucky, bread. Eat a snack beforehand, or stash something substantial like a hearty trail mix in your bag or car. That way not only will you not be a whiner, people won’t be able to try to exclude you from outings based off of your dietary needs. The important thing to remember is that they’re your ethical convictions, not anyone else’s. It should never seem like a chore…you do it because you believe in it.
What are the biggest misconceptions people have about you being vegan:
People always expect me to be this malnourished little waif; I am a thick girl! I have had people tell me before, “You can’t be vegan, you’re to thick.” Well, in the past I was offended but I’ve come to terms with my extra twenty or so pounds, and would like to consider it a compliment to veganism that while I could be eating healthier for my body, I’m not some sickly little string bean that blows away in the wind (not that there’s anything wrong with being skinny; I’m focusing more on the sickly part of it). If anything, my health has drastically improved since I embraced a vegan lifestyle. I used to have chronic IBS issues and those have mostly disappeared. I used to get ridiculously regular ear and sinus infections, and since cutting out the dairy the only time I have issues with those are when my allergies flare up (and I don’t think there’s much my diet can do for my allergies to the air I breathe). Dairy is associated with ear, nose and throat issues a lot so I wish I would have cut it out a lot sooner so that I could have spent my childhood with the ability to move and breathe a little better.
Do you think a vegan diet could be universally adopted:
Sadly, no. As forward thinking as I would like to think my generation is, they have still been brainwashed since childhood to maintain the disconnect between a living, breathing animal, a cruel, disgusting slaughter practice, and the slab of flesh on their plate. There’s a reason we don’t call beef a hunk of cow. Pork is rarely called pig flesh. They’ve worked really hard to keep this crazy image of cow’s milk being good for growing human bodies for centuries. Are you a baby cow?! C’mon! Sadly, it’s going to take a lot of change to get people to see things differently. That certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Just being a vegan raises a little bit of awareness to those around you; “hey.. that person eats differently and believes different things than me.. there are options.” Being a happy, prepared, balanced vegan will help create a better image for all of us, not yelling at meat eaters and being snotty to vegetarians.. the important thing to remember is a lot of people don’t know. Sit them down, hand them a plate of vegan cookies, and turn on Earthlings. Those two things can speak volumes about our way of life.