Location: upstate NY
A little about yourself: I love food, music, and traveling! If I’m lucky I get to do all three at once. I strive to see the positive in every situation and hope to inspire others to do the same. My best friend is an orange kitty named Boris. I love Bon Jovi & Motley Crue, and have an obsession with both Nikki Sixx and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I enjoy making clothes with lots of metal, and still carry metal lunchboxes. Oh, and I have been vegan for over a year and a half! 🙂
What made you decide to go vegan? Research. I love animals so much, and learning about the pain and suffering they go through just so I can wolf down a Big Mac or a bowl of ice cream, or wear leather boots, was too much. I am not more important than them just because I am human. Their lives mean just as much as mine, and they deserve a chance at life just as any human does. We are WAY past the time when we needed to hunt to survive (in most parts of the world anyway), so I see no reason to continue slaughtering and abusing animals to satisfy the human ego.
Favorite meal to make: Mac-n-cheez!!! Pizza with Daiya vegan cheese, and spicy “sausage” from scratch 🙂
Favorite restaurant & why: Blossom in NYC!! Because it has the most amazing Cape Cod Cakes, awesome desserts, and great memories of umbrellas being stolen. Blossom du Jour also rocks, as well as Candle 79, and Franchia. I also LOVE The Organic Grill, even though they are not 100% vegan, their vegan dishes are AWESOME! They do a great job and I hope they do go 100% vegan at some point 🙂 (All in NYC!)
Who/what inspires you? Life inspires me! There is so much within one day that inspires me, it’s unreal! The sky, someone’s face, a fabric, a song….there is so much going on!! Also, my friend Bianca from ReLove Plan.et inspires me, because no matter how good of a person you think you are, you can always be better. She’s a gorgeous ball of energy and sunshine! My friend Kylie (umm, the one asking me these questions…) also inspires me with her dive into veganism, and her beautiful open mind. Also, that Metal Motivation guy…he’s so damn smart! Check him out. Oh, and the Vegan Black Metal Chef 😉
Favorite organization/cause & why: Farm Sanctuary and Woodstock Sanctuary. Both of these animal sanctuaries are close by, and visiting them really opened my eyes further to how important it is to treat all living things with respect. Meeting animals that were rescued from slaughterhouses and testing facilities, really opens your eyes to what is really going on to bring you the food you’re eating, or the cosmetics you’re using…it’s a sad state of affairs my friends. Both of these sanctuaries do an awesome job at taking care of these animals for the rest of their days, and educating the public.
What was the reaction from your friends/family? My stepdad said I’d be back through his door asking for his meatballs I loved so much 😉 (He was wrong!) Everyone was pretty open to it, and have been awesome at making sure there is something I can eat at family gatherings. My co-workers sometimes made fun of me, and would make jokes at lunch time, but they just needed some education 😉 There’s a joke or two made once in a while, but overall I think everyone understands why I chose this lifestyle.
Do you find going out/social situations difficult? Not at all! If anything, adopting a vegan diet has made me more creative and most of the time the things that I order grab the attention of the people with me! I usually get a “Hey, that looks pretty good!”
What changes have you noticed in yourself since going vegan? The first changes were an increase in energy, weight loss, and a general feeling of being “lighter”, both physically and mentally. My mental strength has improved and I do not get as irritable as I did before. My body just feels cleaner, and there’s definitely more of a bounce in my step 😉 I don’t have belly aches anymore after eating a big bowl of mac-n-cheese, and I can eat more cookies with soy milk than I could with regular milk!!! How cool is that??
Do you have any advice for people toying with the idea of becoming a vegan? Focus first on living a cleaner life! If you find it scary to give up meat or dairy, start small and work your way up to it. But honestly, I think nosediving head first into it is the way to go 🙂 I did, and am so glad! I think I would have had a harder time if I only had cheese on Saturdays, or made some other silly deal with myself. You need to have a clear picture of why you’re making this choice & really believe in your decision! If you don’t believe in your reason, or yourself, you’ll fail. Do what you feel comfortable doing…utilize the many prepackaged vegan options that are out there if you’re not a cook, veganize your family favorite recipes, or cook everything from scratch! Whatever you’re doing now, continue to do it, only in a vegan way 🙂 OR branch yourself out a little bit and explore, you never know what you’ll find out about yourself!! Becoming vegan is such a fun experience!
Do you think your veganism has an impact on something greater than yourself? Yes, I do believe that becoming vegan has not only saved lots of animal lives, but that it’s helping the Earth in general 🙂 There’s just too much research on the positive effects of veganism for me to think otherwise.