I’m a filmmaker on a mission to make vegan living enticing, easy, and fun. I am the founder of World of Vegan, co-author of The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, co-creator of The Dairy Detox, and I share my passion for all things vegan through my YouTube videos. I have worked with many organizations including Vegan Outreach, PETA, PCRM, Mercy for Animals, One Step for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, and Animal Place, and take every opportunity to inspire positive change through upbeat and creative activism.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I picked up a copy of Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation at a used bookstore while I was in college. As I read it, my eyes were opened to the cruelties inherent in the dairy and egg industries. I had already been vegetarian for many years (since age 8), but at that point, I realized in order to live in alignment with my values, it was time to go vegan!
How long have you been Vegan?
About 9 years.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Because I want to live in a world where we treat others with kindness and compassion.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
I founded WorldofVegan.com to be the resource that I wish had existed when I first went vegan. At World of Vegan, you can find recipes, articles, product spotlights, advocacy tips, inspirational videos, and more!
Any recommended Vegan books?
I went vegan because I didn’t want to cause harm to others, but since that time I’ve learned a lot about the health benefits of choosing vegan. I highly recommend the books The China Study and Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease—they are guaranteed to challenge your beliefs and shift your world view. I love books like that!
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
YouTube is my favorite social site, that can be a great resource for new or aspiring vegans. I hope you’ll subscribe to my World of Vegan channel where I post vegan videos every week! A few of my other favorite channel are The Buddhist Chef, Eco Vegan Gal, Vegan Cuts, The Vegan Zombie, Bite Size Vegan, Brownble, Edgy Veg, Sweet Simple Vegan, and Brown Vegan. And of course, almost every nonprofit has a YouTube channel that I encourage you to subscribe to!
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
So many favorites. Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and Vegucated are the three that I believe every citizen of planet earth should see. They are both important and fascinating, and they’re available on Netflix!
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
Definitely! I’ve been a passionate vegan advocate since the day I went vegan! I’ve done it all—leafleting, attending protests and demos, organizing vegan food giveaways and bake sales, planning community talks and movie screenings, and more. Today my favorite form of advocacy is using video to spread awareness and inspire positive change.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
I used to miss croissants, but now I can easily find them vegan!
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
I like this one because it really makes you think 🙂 More than half of the human population is lactose intolerant, and yet many people still think that it’s “weird” or “abnormal.” In reality, it’s totally normal! Mammals are not meant to drink milk past babyhood, which is why most people stop producing the enzymes that break down milk protein after they wean from their mother’s milk.
I also love these comics by Liz Climo. I love that she shares messages in a positive, fun way.
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
My favorite is the stereotype that vegans just eat healthy, boring salads because it’s so silly and easy to disprove! Sharing delicious vegan food and baked goods wins every time.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Lately, I’ve been loving Cha Ya, a vegan Japanese restaurant in Berkeley. I’m addicted to their Yasai udon noodle soup bowl. Sooo flavorful, filling, and delicious!
What’s your favorite recipe?
This is one of my go-to recipes. I make a big batch of red rice almost every week to use in burritos, and just eat on its own!
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
That being vegan is hard. It’s really easy, once you get a hang of it! Especially today, with the plethora of new vegan foods flooding the marketplace and all of the resources that are now available to people.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You’ve got this! Have fun with it. Try something new every day. Take time shopping at the grocery store to explore and discover new options. Try new recipes, search for vegan-friendly restaurants in your area, and connect with some local vegan groups so you don’t feel alone. And if things get hard, remember why you’re doing this. It’s better for you. It’s protecting our planet. And it’s sparing animals from enduring horrific suffering. What you’re doing is awesome and so important. It’s worth the effort—and if you put the effort in, soon it will feel effortless.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
I try my best to avoid cruelty in all forms—whether it’s for clothing, cosmetics, entertainment, or food. I’m not perfect (reality: nobody is), but I always do my best with the information I have in every situation!
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Oh gosh, where to start? There are so many! I really love vegan clothing companies. A few of my favorites are Meaningful Paws, Alba Paris, Triple Threads, Herbivore Clothing Company, and Wills Vegan Shoes.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need? Toothpaste, Deo, glue, etc..
Years ago I would have said deodorant or mascara, but now both are easy to find! Today I’d have to say Men’s suits. I got married last year and it was challenging to find affordable vegan menswear for my hubby and his groomsmen!
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Honestly? Never once. I was very clear on why I wanted to go vegan, so as soon as I made that decision, I would have eaten pasta every day for the rest of my life if I needed to in order to prevent suffering. I expected more sacrifice and difficulty but found a whole world of delicious plant-based foods I had never even imagined. My palate actually expanded, and I eat a much more diverse, delicious, and healthy diet now than I ever had before.