I am Danielle. Most of my friends call me Yella. I was born and raised in Moreno Valley, Ca. & now reside in Riverside. Fun fact about me: I loathe driving. Not a big fan of cars. However, I have worked in the automotive industry for 10 years, at the same company! I just recently left my job, to explore new ventures as well as do some volunteering. I am not getting any younger, and seeing as how unbelievably fast ten years went by, I am ready to try something new. I am lucky enough that leaving was within my means. I recently just started up my vegan IG page which is @yosoyvegan. I wanted to be more involved with the vegan community. I am working on a few fun things that we will be selling, and a portion of the proceeds will be going to Foster Army Animal Rescue, who are working on making Riverside a no-kill community for the animals. Check out my items here. They are great people and are doing amazing things. Definitely, check out their Facebook page!
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
Well, I originally ended up at a PETA vendor stand at a concert, back when I had never even heard the word vegan. I watched a few videos they gave me and I was unsure what I was watching. It had never occurred to me where my food came from. (Totally disconnected). I had been very sick with stomach issues for a few years prior to that, and so I figured a vegan diet would help. I naively began calling myself a vegan, and it was a major fail. So many aspects of being vegan, and I didn’t have a clue. This was before IG, so I was lost! I tried and failed many times. Fast forward 3 years later, my dog buddy died. I really dove deep into reading about the connection and relationships between humans and animals, and the compassionate side of veganism really hit me;… and that was it. I was vegan for the animals, and that’s when it stuck.
How long have you been Vegan?
I THINK, I have been vegan for four years. The years have a way of sort of blending together, and I don’t have a vegan anniversary date. One day I just got it right, and never went back. I won’t say that I haven’t accidentally taken a bite out of an Acai Bowl that had some honey in it. Things happen, you learn as you go.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
I am not just into animal rights, but I am also very passionate about human rights. I am vegan for everyone and everything. I do believe that peace starts in our homes, and what we serve on our plate. The core of my belief system is gratitude and love. Eating animals doesn’t coincide with those beliefs.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
You know, I don’t have a favorite blog, but I do have a favorite YOUTUBE page. The Vegan Zombie! When I first went vegan I lived off of their recipes. Those recipes got me through some major confusion when I first started out. I made a raw cheesecake from them back in the day and everyone loved it. You gotta follow them, they are awesome!
Any recommended Vegan books?
The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy by Afya Ibomu. Not only are there recipes for vegan soul food; but she also provides nutrition information, assistance in grocery shopping as a new vegan, eating out, etc.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This is a nonvegan book, but I think is a helpful book for all vegans to read. This book provides advice on talking to others and has really helped me in talking to those who oppose my lifestyle. I would say this book is a game changer.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I would say my IG @yosoyvegan is a sort of active promotion of veganism. I am actually suprised. I have only had the IG since June, and I have gotten tons of questions from strangers, and even friends who see what I am posting, and want to know how to make the change, or if it’s difficult. In the big picture I know those are small steps, but they make me happy.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
NO WAY! I ate a bowl of vegan fettucine last week that changed my life ha-ha. Vegan Korner in Colton, Ca. is a hidden gem!!
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
That vegans are weak, for sure! I love that one. I don’t bother responding to those statements. My recent favorite thing to do is wear my vegan shirts to the gym, and just kill it. Lead by example. If people know you are vegan and see you killing your workouts, it gets their wheels turning. I have been so weak my whole life. I have gotten so much stronger and gained so much muscle since going vegan.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Equelecua Cuban Cafe in Inglewood! It’s a truly spiritual experience! HA-HA, The food is crazy amazing!
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
I have, to be honest, I don’t have one! What I love most about this lifestyle is the lack of cooking I have to do. I am a beans, rice, potatoes, greens, pasta, smoothies, fruit, dates, and vegetables, girl. I keep all of those staples on hand and depending on what time of the day it is, get everything in a bowl throw some salsa on top, and that’s it. My husband says I just open the fridge and dump whatever I have in a bowl! It’s true! There is a huge misconception that this is an expensive lifestyle. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. I have never eaten more simply in my life and I truly enjoy it.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
Just like I mentioned above, that being vegan is expensive. I saw a little old woman at the store yesterday actually, and in her cart was some loose greens, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, and some fruit. This is how we have eaten historically! It is the healthiest and cheapest way to eat!
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You may eat an acai bowl drizzled in some honey. The vegan Gods will pardon you , I promise! Ha-Ha. Things happen. You learn as you go. One day at a time.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
100% cruelty-free. Our cleaning products, down to the soil for our plants, have been switched over. It’s insane how many things you use daily that have animal products in them.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I am sorry but I have to say Modern Times Beer. All the beer is vegan. They promote it on their bottles that it is a vegan beer, which NO ONE else does. You can search on the internet to find out if a beer is indeed vegan, but Modern Times is proud to have a vegan beer and I just love them! Modern Times for the win!
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I am a huge shoe fan. I do miss my NIKES, & ADIDAS. Really NIKE & ADIDAS? Get with the new world. I promise there is a demand for current styles with vegan materials!