HI! My name is Marisa (@missmarisa27). I”m originally from Philadelphia, PA but currently reside in Los Angeles. I’ve been working as a dog groomer for 16 years now! I am currently manager of a dog grooming shop called Sydnee’s Pet Grooming in Sherman Oaks CA. Please check us out on Instagram @sydneesshermanoaks. One of the most rewarding things about working at Sydnee’s is that I get to volunteer my grooming skills in a professional environment with the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation. Some of the dogs have been extremely neglected before their rescue and I love getting to transform them to clean and cute so they look more desirable to potential adopters. I also post a lot of dogs on my own Instagram page.
What was the moment you realized that you wanted to go vegan?
I had been vegetarian for 20 years. Almost from the moment, i saw the first clip of the horror that is factory farming. But I just couldn’t seem to give up small amounts of dairy such as chocolate. One night I had a date from OkCupid and I we went out for pizza. He asked me why I still consume dairy because it’s basically the same thing as meat and I didn’t have a valid answer. The next day I gave up all animal products because I didn’t like feeling like a hypocrite and he was 100% right.
How long have you been Vegan?
I’ve been vegan almost two years.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Being vegan is everything to me. The very thought that I’m not doing everything I possibly can to help animals is something I just can’t live with. They go through unimaginable horrors and torture. It touches a part of my soul that I didn’t know existed until I’ve seen the things they endure. Since becoming involved in the vegan/animal rights community, I’ve found my absolute true purpose and exactly who I am. Nothing has ever felt so right in my entire life.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Vegans of LA, Los Angeles Animal save, the save movement, Vegan girlfriends of LA, Vegan Outreach, and I’m a huge visitor of vegan merch/apparel sites like Beetxbeet, ftlaapparel, humane apparel, and herbivore clothing. I also like to go on Etsy and just search for animal rights stuff, be it jewelry, patches, pins, tanks etc.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Oh my god ..everyone in the world must watch “What the health” – If I wasn’t vegan before for the animals, after watching this, I would be for my health!
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I do. I wear a necklace every day that says “vegan”. I got it for myself but I’ve found it’s an amazing conversation starter. I get asked about it all the time. That definitely starts a conversation. I can then usually suss out whether or not reaching this person could be reached more by having a compassion for animals or if they’re more interested in their personal health or the environment. Anyway, I can reach them, I go for. I also find that Facebook is an amazing tool for promoting veganism. I’ve had a few messages from people that said b/c of something I posted, they don’t want to eat a particular animal product or even better ANY animal product again. Sometimes / MOST times, people just don’t know the truth. They’ve been SOOOO indoctrinated with false facts from the animal agriculture industry that it’s hard to believe they’re doing anything wrong. But videos, pictures, scientific facts, and data is now being so widely shared you can almost FEEL a shift of perspective.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
Gosh, there are SO many good ones! I think the one that has a drawing of a person saying: WORDS “I care about animals” then underneath says ACTIONS “I pay people to kill animals” – while eating a steak.
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?
That vegans think we’re better than everyone else and have an entitled attitude. I respond by saying it’s not about that. We just want you to stop hurting animals.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Hope Kitchen in Studio City.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I’d have to say my favorite recipe is a simple stirfry. I’m soo not a cook. So most nights I’m heating up a frozen Amy’s dinner.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You are doing the best thing you can for yourself, the planet, the animals, and the world! Get involved in activism.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
It’s kind of impossible to be 100% cruelty-free, but in addition to being vegan, I make sure to buy products from companies that don’t test on animals and do the best I can to trap and release bugs 🙂
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Makeup! e.l.f., NYX, Urban Decay, Wet and Wild
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I’m having a hard time with this one b/c it’s like SO easy. Anything can be vegan! And here in LA, it’s so easy to find what you need. I guess maybe granola. I know that’s a very random thing…but it all seems to have honey in it!!
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
About a year ago, over a friends house all day. was STARVING and all she had were granola bars that contained some milk chocolate. I really wanted one.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans?
Wanna be friends?