My name is Alexa Stonebarger. I am currently a bit of a nomad, but Orland California will be a home base for the next three months as I intern with Farm Sanctuary. I make my income primarily through freelance writing as well as vegan influencer marketing on my various social media accounts:
(@thewellsoul on Instagram, Youtube, Musical.ly, Aminos, and unroll.tv and https://www.thewellsoul.wordpress.com). My passion is traveling and experiencing new places, people, and cultures as well as sharing my own.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I remember being five years old when my grandparents brought an uncooked ham over and set it on the kitchen counter while they prepared our Christmas dinner. I asked my mom why there was red “sauce” on it and she explained it was blood. That day, it hit me that the meat on our plate came from sentient beings and I decided then and there to never touch meat again, and I haven’t.
Fast forward to age 11, I was told that some obscure ingredient in some snack I was eating was actually made from pigs, so I took to the internet to learn which ingredients to watch out for as a vegetarian. My google searches led me to some animal welfare websites where I was informed of the gruesome life dairy and egg agriculture animals lead and decided immediately… Against my parents’ will! They were actually so against it at first that I had to go on a hunger strike until they agreed to purchase vegan groceries for me. Now they love the vegan food that I cook for them over the holidays and are super supportive of my lifestyle after learning what it entails
How long have you been Vegan?
I have been a vegan for over 9 years and was vegetarian for 6 years prior.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Veganism is more than simply a way of eating or living for me, its understanding my place in this universe and its ties to all other life. I struggled with depression and disordered eating tendencies as a teenager and while mental illness isn’t something that just goes away, what ultimately helped me choose to recover and seek good things in life was coming to an understanding that I have brought about a change in this world. Ethical living brings about a purpose, a message to spread, and a positive light in a world that had previously seemed so dark.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
Any recommended Vegan books?
The China Study is always a good read for those interested in the health benefits-I’ve found its converted a lot of my friends and family to a more plant-based lifestyle even if the ethics of veganism hold little appeal to them.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Vegan Aminos is an app created entirely by vegans and for vegans. It has loads of chat rooms, forums, blog posts, etc and is just a great way to connect with other vegans. RawTillWhenever and Just Vegan are some of my favorite facebook groups, and the vegan youtube community is growing vastly. Bonny Rebecca is one of my favs to watch!
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy are some of my favorites to share with interested friends and family. I wish there were a version of Earthlings with proper fact checking.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I promote veganism through my Instagram, Youtube, and other social media sites as well as simply sharing tasty vegan treats and living through example and having open minded discussions with interested friends, family, and acquaintances.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
I struggled without my cheese for a long time. There just aren’t tasty store alternatives…. and cashew cream wasn’t doing it for me…. However, I recently discovered a SUPER simple baked “feta” type cheese made from almond flour, garlic, lemon juice, ACV, olive oil, and salt. My entire Omni family is in LOVE with it!
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
Probably the stereotype that vegans tend to be weak… This one is my favorite because I can almost always outrun, out plank, and outlift my friends who make these generalizations! I also love when people assume that vegan food is gross because they always love the food I cook for them!
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Probably my very favorite is a Fud in the crossroads KC. I’ve been so excited to see their restaurant is always packed to the brim lately 🙂 I also adore Mud Pie, which is a vegan coffee shop and bakery in downtown KC and GirlsGoneVegan, a cute little patisserie in New Orleans. I honestly love making my own food and entertaining guests at home even more than going out!
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
Banana Streusel Muffins:
Mush four overripe banana’s into 2 flax eggs, add ¼ c maple syrup, ¼ c applesauce, a tsp molasses, and a tsp of vanilla, Whisk.
Add 1 c oat flour, ½ c regular unbleached flour, ¼ cup rolled oats, 2 tsp baking powder. Mix.
Fold in ¼ c chopped walnuts
in another mixing bowl mix ¼ cup brown sugar with ⅓ c oat flour and just enough earth balance to give the mix a wet sand consistency. sprinkle over batter and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
Also, nicecream. Just frozen bananas in a blender 🙂
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
We need milk for calcium. Our ancestors may have eaten meat, but dairy is such an unnatural concept and food group… It’s proven to have some nasty effects on our health and there are TONS of plant food that provide more easily absorbable and more ethical forms of calcium.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Eating and living ethically becomes second nature. You’ll explore so many new and exciting food, clothing, and beauty products and feel wonderful while doing so. Veganism is also vastly expanding its reaches. It’s easier than ever to connect with other like-minded people and find vegan options no matter where you are!
Are you a cruelty-free vegan?
It’s impossible for anybody to live an entirely cruelty-free or even entirely vegan life in this day in age. Water is filtered through charcoal, fruits, and veg are grown in animal based fertilizer, and necessary technology like smartphones are often unethically sourced. However, within the confines of society, I do my best to live as ethically as possible which means purchasing as many fair trade, local, and ethical products as possible, avoiding products tested on animals, and leading an overall minimalistic and minimal waste lifestyle.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Elf cosmetics are so affordable and really great quality
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need? Toothpaste, Deo, glue, etc..
Affordable Hiking boots