I am a lover of animals and experiencing all that the world has to offer. I love to volunteer and have volunteered at many animal shelters and sanctuaries. I lived in Greece for a month volunteering at a wildlife animal hospital. I no longer pursue acting, but should an opportunity present itself, I may accept the role. I am filming in August for a role that I am very excited about. I currently coach boys JO team and girls excel team gymnastics in Colorado. I have a wonderful vegan husband and two lovely adopted vegan dogs. I have a Masters Degree in psychology and the human psyche fascinates me. I am available via online platforms for coaching and mentoring for self-love, fitness guidance and transitioning vegans. You can follow me via Twitter: @cortneypalm5 or Instagram @vegan_actress If interested in coaching please follow this link –> http://www.veganlifecoach.com/cortney-palm.html
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
Around 5 years ago I got a smartphone and downloaded Instagram. I am not sure how it all progressed from there, but I followed a number of people who posted about animal rights, undercover factory farming footage, and amazing vegan recipes, and due to the combination of those posts I went from vegetarian to vegan. It was tough for the first two weeks or so to give up dairy because of the addictive properties. But I wrote a blog post on the subject of why dairy is bad for your health, the environment, and the animals. I never thought dairy would be a bad business, but due to propaganda and commercials promoting dairy we become a brainwashed society.
I wrote a blog post on the subject: “Ditch Dairy, Ditch it Today”
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I was vegetarian and an animal rights “activist” first. I did not use products that had been tested on animals or contained animal ingredients. I did have leather shoes. I eliminated eggs fairly easy and sold most of my leather shoes; however, as I mentioned earlier, dairy was harder to phase out. I craved it almost every day. I gave in and made an excuse to myself, which wasn’t valid, but I went to Chipotle and got a burrito with cheese and sour cream. As I went to eat it, I was so disgusted with myself and I threw up. That was it. I was 100% vegan from then on. It’s easy being vegan in the west because there are so many products widely available at almost every store.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
I really wouldn’t be married to a non-vegan. I wouldn’t be able to share a bed with someone who doesn’t care about the environment or animals. I don’t want that energy around me. If I had kids, I would make damn sure every parent and school teacher knew that my child did not consume artificial poison or animal products. I would pack their lunch, etc. At family functions, there is always a vegan option, or I don’t go. I hate being around people who shove dead bodies into their mouths, I find it gluttonous and I don’t need to be around that energy. If I get negative, or angry, it doesn’t help the animals. I will share vegan dishes, but I won’t be pushy (at least, not anymore, I don’t find it very effective. Instead I find leading by example a better approach to veganism).
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Yes, keep in mind that children need love and support and guidance, but they should not be sheltered. I know many children (vegan from birth) who, at only six-years-old, knew what happened to the animals. Children are not ignorant, only if we adults allow them to be. WE shouldn’t keep truths like that from them. We spoil children in the West. I am around children every day as a coach, and all I see is blind, sheltered, ignorance with an egocentric attitude. That is not how I think we should shape our youth.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Being vegan means to me to live simply, be chemical free, cruelty-free and show kindness and compassion to every Earthling (everything on planet Earth). Humans, animals, bugs are my equal. I am connected to everyone and everything. I shouldn’t hate someone I do not know just because of the way they choose to live their life. The biggest thing we can do for the greatest impact here on Earth is to live simply, and spread love, period.
I don’t think it smart to boycott vegan companies that are owned by non-vegan companies. If vegan products are making a profit, those companies will follow the profit and vegan products will continue to rise and outshine competitors. That’s the goal. Vegan options need to be widely available. And in due time the course of evil will change.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
I don’t think so. Not everyone can be Kobe Bryant. Likewise, not everyone can be Marc Ching or Anita Krajnc or Jane Goodall. I do think every vegan should show compassion, speak up when necessary and lead by example. It’s very hard to change people’s minds. It’s best to be the best influence you can be. Try not to spread yourself too thin, because it will drive you mad. Step up when and where you can, donate when you can, spread the word, maybe join a protest, adopt, volunteer, but not everyone can be a hardcore activist, and if you aren’t you can’t beat yourself up over it.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I do my best to show kindness and compassion to those who choose to turn a blind eye and to share the vegan goods and lead by example. If I show hate, my energy changes, and I attract hate. I must spread love because, only love, and positive energy can change the world. The human animal has a great capacity for love and compassion and we have to remind others that it’s there. By being angry or showing hate, we attract hate.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
ONE “The illusion of separation ends once you become aware of our true interconnectedness to all that is. We are all one.” ONE – Directed by Amy Johnston and co-written and co-produced by Amy Johnston and myself. Cinematographer Ezra Spurrier
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro in California – go to menu item: raw tacos
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I love this banana bread! Oh She Glows
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Don’t let the actions or verbal abuse from others make you feel like you made the wrong decision. Don’t over eat fake meats/cheeses. Be sure to eat a well-balanced whole-food, plant-based diet. Don’t watch too many animal abuse videos, but don’t forget about them either. Stay strong and know that the vegan community is there for you. Make sure you get a B-12 supplement, and iron if you need it as well as primrose oil. Don’t be a junk food vegan (as I write this I am eating Nada Moo ice cream! haha). Your body is your temple, take care of it.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
I am still learning the vegan scene in Colorado. I found some great vegan places in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, but those cities are far from me. I am looking to find some activist friends, I participated in an Anonymous cube with some people I met at a vegan restaurant, but if you’re in CO and looking to connect, please reach out!!
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Instagram, health food stores, facebook, vegan restaurants. Speak up and talk to peeps, you never know who you’ll become friends with.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Cruelty-free: reducing your carbon footprint, buy products that are not tested on animals, buying fair trade, I usually only buy second-hand clothes and shoes (to avoid sweat shops and production) Living simply so that others can simply live. Being cruelty-free means you care about all Earthlings.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Wills Vegan Shoes. Compassion Co. The Anti-Carnist. For make-up I just look for plant-based, cruelty-free brands (hopefully independent or with a vegan parent company, but that’s not always the case.) I do like 100% Pure cosmetics and I wrote a blog post on my favorite toiletries.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Living in the west, almost anything food-related is easy to find at a health-food store or online… For camping I find it hard to find a Lightweight synthetic backpacking sleeping bag, they’re all so heavy! Good Vegan snowboots/hiking shoes, because almost everything has leather.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I mentioned this earlier when I first transitioned I was craving dairy and it was difficult to break. Otherwise, the only thing I have struggled with is trying to find friends to break into a factory farm with and rescue some animals.
People will get angry with this, but I do buy second-hand leather shoes. Synthetic causes more harm to the environment to get made, and they don’t last as long. I hate buying new things because of the number of resources it takes to make them. But If I see a pair of snow boots or hiking shoes that have a wee bit of leather on them at a thrift store, I see no harm in purchasing them. Do I feel weird for wearing the skin of an animal? Yes. But I must profess that the shoe will last longer than synthetic and is kinder to the environment as it’s second hand, so I am not supporting any retailer. You can argue that I am promoting the use of leather, but there are so many vegans out there wearing synthetic leather that looks real, so how I am I doing anything different? I will not wear faux fur, or even second hand fur. That takes it too far.