Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Marlon Rison, and I’m a 45-year-old Texan who began living a vegan lifestyle a little over a year ago after watching “What the Health?”—I immediately knew where my life was headed. I woke up the next day, cleaned out my fridge and haven’t looked back.
I’m passionate about the changes I’ve made, and I strive daily to be an inspiration to others through social media and in person.
You can follow my journey on IG @plantbasedg.life, and be sure to peep my new website plantbasedg.life for motivation, recipes and exercise tips.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I think I always knew I’d choose veganism at some point in my life. I constantly seek knowledge and enlightenment. Veganism is clearly the path for me. My first venture into the lifestyle, in July 2017, was purely a healthy choice. Once I knew that I needed to eat life in order to LIVE there was no turning back. I jumped in feet first or maybe it was head first, but either way, I was all in.
As I dug deeper into the lifestyle, my appreciation for all sentient beings evolved and I have become much more compassionate to the plight of animals raised for the sole purpose of food consumption (with no choice in the matter). In addition to becoming healthier, I am a much better person for the change.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
As I learned more about the mistreatment of animals, phasing non-vegan products out of my life was easy. I believe once you know better, it’s your responsibility to do better. I’m also one of those people who makes intentional decisions in my life so the choice is easy for me. Clothing is one of the more difficult processes but a necessary one. Love for all beings supersedes fashion for one person.
Are you a vegan Parent? If so, what are some of the challenges you find raising a vegan child? How have you dealt with this challenges? We would love to share your wisdom with others. If you are not a parent, skip this question.
As a parent, I believe in teaching my children through my example. My oldest son, Collin, is following my lead and helping me spread the message about the vegan lifestyle. He is in the transition phase but knows plenty about the benefits and is focused on upgrading his lifestyle. Teens can be a completely different issue. I don’t pressure them but I do educate them on the benefits of foresight and taking care of your body. Over time, they have tried more vegan dishes and continue to experiment but it is a work in progress. The advantage I have is there are few if any animal food products in the household.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into products? How are you educating your child/children on veganism and compassion?
Each parent should make that decision for his or her children individually, but I would recommend teaching your children to be responsible and compassionate consumers by providing them with the information they can handle at the time. As with any education, learning should be age-appropriate.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Being vegan touches every part of my life, and my philosophy is that we may pay a little more on the front end when purchasing quality products from responsible companies, but that’s far better than paying greatly on the back end by suffering from disease, perpetuating animal cruelty and destroying our planet.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist? What form of activism do you take part in?
Every vegan’s duty depends on his or her level of comfort and commitment. It is not my place to tell another what his or her best life looks like. But for me, speaking out and participating in demonstrations aimed at increasing knowledge is of the utmost importance. I didn’t know how quickly I would come around to being an activist, but I was recently invited to attend my first animal vigil. It wasn’t something I had thought of doing before, but I am willing to go where my path leads me. The event was one of the most powerful experiences I have had. It’s one thing to read about factory farms and the conditions in which animals are raised for slaughter, and it’s another to see it… smell it…feel it.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
“What the Health?” It was life-changing for me.
“Forks Over Knives” Great info.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
That’s a hard one…I have had the pleasure of eating at vegan restaurants in Portland, San Francisco, LA, and Dallas to name a few places.
My top tier group includes (in no ranking order):
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I believe I’m a pretty good cook—judge for yourself and check me out on IG. Here’s a link to one of my go-to favorites: https://plantbasedg.life/2018/10/03/veganpasta/
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Live your best life. Stay positive. Exercise. Most of all, follow your path. It’s YOUR journey!!! Decide that you will achieve what is best for you and do whatever you must to get there. This is such a beautiful life. Enjoy it!
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
The Vegan scene in Texas is a little different than what I’ve seen in the Western part of the US, but I’m fortunate to live in the Dallas metroplex so I do have options. LA is absolutely my favorite vegan scene!
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Seek out like-minded people. I travel to cities where I can find others who believe as I do. I surround myself with people who support my beliefs and whose values I can get behind, as well. I also recruit new members to the vegan family. If you have trouble meeting others, develop them.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Living cruelty free means that I do no harm: Not to people and not to animals. And I support businesses and people who embody those beliefs, too.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
There are options for everything!!!
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
It honestly hasn’t been a struggle for me. I choose this lifestyle. I choose LIFE. Once I made that decision, I was where I needed to be. I am grateful.