What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
Well, it wasn’t an overnight thing for sure. But I’d say I’ve been vegan for about 3 & 1/2 years. For me it started with the doctor telling me I needed to cut out greasy foods for my vocal protection and acid reflux, then my brother decided to try eating vegan for a week (during Thanksgiving of all times of the year) to see what the worst that could happen was. The result? All the reasons to be vegan were met with NO competition health or taste wise. He found out so much about new vegan foods and meat replacements etc. And a few months and some deep conversations later I cut out meat, and dairy slowly found it’s way out after watching a series of documentaries, but specifically one called Cowspiracy. I still champion that doc to this day haha.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
The food was pretty simple conceptually; next time I go to the store I am not going to give my money to people & companies that do despicable things that I now know about. The clothes were a little different because I don’t think it hit me until a little later when I moved to LA about 2 & 1/2 years ago. Leather comes from cows. Duh. Yea I know, but it’s just one of those things you don’t REALLY think about until you just… well, think about it haha. But the concept remains the same: I will not support any company that participates in un-empathetic and inconsiderate farming of other living creatures.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism? For example, how strict are you with your children’s veganism at school or at family gatherings?
No. Luckily I’m a single 24-year-old living in LA so, no kids or family yet. But I don’t accept excuses. That goes far beyond veganism. But I’ll tell you what, the introduction into the knowledge that encompasses veganism sure did help that thought process. The beginning of my journey as a vegan was met with a LOT of “Okay. Stop what you are doing / thinking / about to do for a second. Do you know better? Think for a second. Am I allowing myself to be willfully ignorant to things I am NOT ignorant about… for the sake of my enjoyment?”. And as soon as I ask that to myself I can usually find the answer to whatever I’m about to do.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Absolutely. I am of the thought process that everyone should know what they are involved in. And if you’re going to support that thing / that human / that candidate / that whatever, then you should know what you are supporting. You should also know what’s going into your body. I think if there were glass walls around factory farms the world would be a very different place.
What does being vegan mean to you? For example, does it extend to not killing bugs and bees? Does it include not patronizing vegan companies owned by non-vegan parent companies? Does it affect the way you treat another humans?
Well, my journey started on a more spiritual note. Which did affect the way I interact with another human; and all living things in general. To learn more about the way I perceive the world watch a YouTube series called Spirit Science. But at the end of the day, I support people and companies that do well for others. And “others” is not exclusive to humans. That goes for all living beings. A friend of mine once shared his perspective on this and it seems to have stuck – to a certain extent: “If a company that normally does bad things but then does something good, I will reward that good behavior”. What he was referring to in this quote was Taco Bell and how he will gladly eat their vegan options because A) He thinks they’re delicious, & B) He is putting his money down on the thing they did well. Now let me take this opportunity to say I do NOT support Taco Bell in the slightest, but that is mostly for health reasons, not to mention the all the treacheries they commit to animals.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
I don’t know. I’ve thought about this for a long time for myself and I really believe that people should go about it however they are comfortable. That being said, I believe that if you DO feel the urge to speak out and you DO feel the urge to give your knowledge to others that may not know it then yes, you should speak out. I personally have decided that I don’t accept ignorance as an answer ever (there’s that part of me I told you about earlier lol) and, being an artist on the rise and having a voice, I feel that I would be throwing away a HUGE opportunity to spread awareness about an issue so large I would be doing the entire world a disservice; humans and animals alike.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
They are my friends. I love them for all the good things they do. I can not affect free will. I will lead by example and educate when opportunities arise to educate.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Never actually read a book on veganism, most books I read are self-help or semi-spiritual.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
My brother and his girl run the coolest Vegan / Gluten Free / Sugar Free / Lectin Limited blog around with so many delicious, easy, recipes that are great for your health, animals, and the environment, I would be remised to not mention them: No Eggs Or Ham |Instagram| @noeggsorham
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Well, my all-time favorite documentary in this area of discussion as I said earlier is Cowspiracy. But my favorite series of movies is Ace Ventura 🤓 And of course, I would love for people to check out my music videos on YouTube. They are all posted on a creative collective account called Gold Souls.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
There’s this little vegan restaurant in Silver Lake / Los Feliz area called Green Leaves and not only is everything vegan, but they have the largest menu I’ve ever seen and they are super cost effective.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Don’t be a sheep. You know what happens out there. And if you don’t, you probably have a good idea. And if you don’t have a good idea? Then you should learn about it. As goes for any subject. Especially if we’re talking about things you put into your body. You are what you eat. Don’t be GMO’s. Don’t be Pesticides. Don’t be an Anti-biotic filled puss. Don’t be something you wouldn’t want to be. How do you do that? Well, start learning about animal agriculture. Don’t be ignorant.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
Massive. It is LA after all lol. But the city I’m from and started on this journey? (Tampa, FL) Extremely, extremely small. There are maybe a couple restaurants that cater to a vegan diet, but most of it is store bought, and even there they don’t have huge organized plant-based sections like we do here in every Whole-Foods around town.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Get excited when you find out someone else is vegan. You and that person share a level of compassion that most do not. Celebrate that.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Absolutely. I mean, I’m not going to support your new leather bracelet company or anything even if you are my friend. But I love you. And nothing can change that.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Need is a strong word. But I used to be in LOVE with a nice light brown pair of thin, pointed leather oxfords (shoes). But ever since I hung my few pairs up and put them into retirement after many years of use, I have yet to find a company that does it right AND is cost effective. So I stick to my Authentic-Vans-Style shoes cause those are much easier to come by and still fit my look.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Let me start this off by saying that I LOVE fashion. Fashion is such an amazing way for people to express themselves without really saying anything. That being said I think the most notable time I struggled with my veganism was a day I was at Top Shop and found a beautiful pair of light brown, thin & pointed shoes. They fit perfectly. AND, they were the last ones in that size. I asked associate after associate if they could find out if they were Suede (leather) or Polyester (man-made material that can look exactly like Suede). After the immense frustration of not being able to find out something that was seemingly so simple I finally did some research myself, I wanted these shoes THAT bad. All come to find… they were Suede. Let me tell you that I sat on that bench in Top Shop at The Grove for literally over 30 minutes going back and forth in my head if I was really doing THAT much bad by purchasing these and how good they would look at being an empathetic and compassionate being that doesn’t support such absurd actions such as the mass production of animal goods.
I finally decided to set them down and walk away – empty-handed and a little bummed. But ultimately I walked away a brand new person that day. I don’t know why that decision caused so much headache, but it was literal torture; I think most of it was me beating myself up mentally for even needed to have this conversation with myself. I was really hard on myself. But that was the day I decided to never purchase another item that was made from selfishly desire driven animal products. It might sound silly, but that was a big day for me and ultimately a big win for a theme that I want to be.