Vegan, Interrogated: Mary

Name: Mary
Location: Phoenix, AZ

A little about yourself: I have been vegan for over 5 years, I love hiking, horror movies, baking vegan goodies and all things artsy!

What made you decide to go vegan? I was inspired by my friend Scott who was Vegan and his “V” Vegan baseball hat. I had always been interested in being vegetarian and always had a love for animals, it just made sense.

What was the reaction from your friends/family? When I first became vegan I don’t think most of my friends and family knew what to think of it. My friends didn’t say anything outright, but after I had been vegan for a year, one of my closest friends told me they were all betting it would last 3 months. My family went through different phases of indifference, annoyance, and finally acceptance. Offering to buy my own groceries when I became vegan was a big step. Now my family is extremely supportive and even swap out their meat meals for veggie burgers and ask me for recipes.

What is the biggest misconception people have about being vegan? That vegans don’t eat anything but vegetables or tofu! Don’t get me wrong, veggies and tofu are awesome! However, vegans eat way more! There is a whole world of flavors and foods to explore that people never open their minds (and their mouths) to. I enjoy Indian food such as samosas or aloo gobi and I like to munch on kale chips and my latest vegan cookie recipe, I can still eat pizza and burgers, I just have daiya cheese and veggie burgers instead.

Do you have any advice for people toying with the idea of becoming a vegan? If it’s something you want to try, or something you believe in, go for it. Read everything you can, reach out on-line or in your community to other vegetarians/vegans and find out ways to get the nutrition you need to maintain a healthy vegan diet. Salad for every meal is not the way to go! You can do it! I believe in you!

Do you think your veganism has an impact on something greater than yourself? Definitely! Just being able to talk about our veganism and help others explore new foods and try new things, even in the smallest of ways we are broadening minds and inspiring positive change. I have friends who will text me or go out of their way to let me know when they’ve eaten a vegan meal. Everyone has heard the Ghandi quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I truly believe that by being vegan we are already inspiring change in those around us, which can lead to amazing things.

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