Being Vegan, Vegan Being: AJ – Love Druggy the Vegan Weirdo

I live in Atlanta, Georgia, I have two kids, and I just live for a living! *smile* No seriously, I do several things to make money but money isn’t the driving force or the motivation of my life. I want to explore myself and the world–I don’t want to be trapped in a job in order to pay bills for things I hardly get to experience. Just my take on life. So I started Love Druggy, an online store as a way to generate income. I also will start a YouTube channel and blog soon. I have plans to write books and I am also finishing up my yoga teacher certification so I can teach others about the physical and spiritual magic that a yoga practice can bring to everyone’s life.

You can check out my store at LoveDruggy.com. I am currently in the middle of changing all of the products to Fair Trade certified suppliers because I believe in being good to animals and to people. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @lovedruggy and @lovedruggyco.

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

I went vegetarian when I was nine after finding out where chicken nuggets came from. And no, my parents weren’t plant-based–they were and still are very much meat and potatoes sort of people. My mom did, however, support me in my vegetarianism by cooking separate meals for me like lentil sloppy joes and chili with tofu crumbles in it. Then I was back and forth with being a vegetarian when I went to middle school up until age 30 when I decided to go vegan, which started off purely as a vanity thing. I saw Annette Larkins, a raw vegan from Miami, and she looked better than many 35-year-olds at age 70. So I initially went vegan because I wanted to be a hot 70-year-old.

How long have you been Vegan?

Almost six years now. I went vegetarian when I was 9 once I found out where my chicken nuggets came from (I was on and off for years). I went vegan when I was 30 once I saw a 70-year-old raw vegan that looked better than most 40-year-olds!

Why is being Vegan important to you?

I am vegan for my health, the animals, and the planet. We cannot survive if we continue on this destructive path with the animals. I definitely believe in food energetics so I do not want to take the energy of fear, cruelty, sadness, and death into my body. Animals do not deserve the life that they are forced into. They are totally innocent and helpless. We are ruining our planet in order to mass produce them like we do with everything else and it is just not sustainable.

Any recommended Vegan books?

The China Study, Thug Kitchen, Eat to Live (and the cookbook), Afro-Vegan, and the African American Vegan Starter Guide (free download)

Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?

Vegan Social Clubs, Action for Animals. I also always recommend new vegans get connected with PETA and PCRM

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?

I haven’t watched many vegan-related movies lately because I am already well-aware of what is going on and why veganism is important. Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and Supersize Me were the last documentaries I have seen. But I have heard great things about Vegucated, Cowspiracy, and What the Health.

Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.

I actively promote it on my Instagram account and as I meet people in-person. People are always very interested when I say that I’m vegan. Especially children. When I went to my youngest daughter’s school to eat lunch a few weeks ago, the kids were all very interested in veganism. Some of them had vegan family members, others commented on how they always like sharing my daughter’s lunch with her. Years ago, one child asked, “You don’t eat meat? Won’t you die if you don’t eat meat?” We have so much opportunity to change our future by opening the minds of the children.

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

Ohhh how do I pick just one?!

What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?

Probably the same as everyone else: how do you make sure you get enough protein? I tell people that it’s pretty impossible to be deficient in protein in America–vegetables have protein in them, rice and beans, nuts, nut butters, tofu–all have protein along with other things. I don’t do protein shakes, I rarely eat “fake meats” and I a don’t have any problems in being underweight, tired, or any other issues some people associate with veganism.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

It’s hard for me to pick just one! Soul Vegetarian, Cafe Sunflower, Herban Fix in Atlanta, Choices in Miami, and Blossom in New York. I have many more places to try, though.

Please share your favorite vegan recipe?

I have so many! Here is an easy dip recipe. I always triple it. Tangy Curried Chickpea Salad

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

You must remember WHY you decided to go vegan–was it something you needed to do for your health? Did you find out how damaging our current system is for the environment? Do you truly care about what is happening to the animals? Just remind yourself. And don’t be afraid to eat! It seems like people will say they’re “so hungry” when they first go vegan. I always tell people to eat when they’re hungry, don’t starve yourself because you’re vegan. Veganism doesn’t equate to starving yourself. At first it may seem more difficult because you’re just exploring and finding the things you like and the things you don’t. When you find what you like, just eat more of it.

Use your resources. Google your vegan versions of your favorite meals, look for those that are rated four or five stars. The beginning can be the hardest (it doesn’t have to be) but don’t give up! It’s so worth it!

What does living cruelty-free mean to you?

Being kind to everyone and all things. Being grateful for life and showing gratitude to others. I think humans feel that we are above animals because we have technology, are able to develop plans, and all the other modern days niceties we have grown accustomed to. But how smart can we be when we are ruining our habitat? We think we’re above animals but animals And theye meetings about how to live or how to eat properly–they just know. And they don’t ruin their habitats or kill each other unnecessarily. I think we need to honor the wisdom and the divinity of the animals–and stop killing them.

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

Besides my own, Love Druggy (lovedruggy.com)? *smile* @Tattedvegan sells shirts and coffee mugs, @Torre.Washington sells shirts and training programs, @Badassvegan sells shirts and protein shakes, @CraziesandWeirdos sells shirts, @Organigrohairco sells hair products, @bahicosmetics sells skincare products, @wullyouterwear sells jackets. Also, the Holistic Plant-based Dr. Bobby Price.

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

None that I can think of.

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

In the beginning. Like most people, it was hard for me to give up cheese.

What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.

Do you only date vegans? I didn’tused to but now I decided it is important to me that someone I am physically intimate with is vegan. I believe in something called “food energetics,” which basically says that we take on the energy of things that we consume. There was even a study done with worms (planaria) that proved that we take on energies (memories, in the study) from things we eat. I don’t want to take on the pain, suffering, fear, torture, confinement, and sadness from animals–and I don’t want to exchange bodily fluids with anyone else who does.

And it’s not just the physical aspect. It is important to me that I connect with someone on a mental and spiritual level. It is difficult for me to connect with someone long term if we have diametrically opposed values and beliefs.

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