I was born and raised in Washington heights living in Inwood, Manhattan in NYC. Single, never been married, and no children. Mother born in Quito, Ecuador. My “sperm donor’s” side is from Puerto Rico. (I don’t give him the title father because that’s when a man takes care of his children). Single mother worked a lot so I was left to my own devices and was always a creative spirit. I have been drawing since I was 3 years old, got into poetry when I was 8. That turned into making hip hop beats/composing music, 2004 poetry slam spoken word semi-finalist at the nuyorican poets café and featured poet at the house of tribes. Co-Facilitated creative writing workshops at a few nonprofit org in NYC. My 16+ Career has been in Art Direction/Graphic Design for advertising agencies and entertainment/sports companies. I am now freelancing selling paintings, working on children’s books, t-shirt line and working on pitching original stories for television, film, video games and books/children’s books.
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What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
After a breakup, I realized I wanted someone to be with someone long term who was vegan. I couldn’t see myself being with a non-vegan because if I ever did want to have children I would want them to be vegan because I knew deep down that we didn’t have to make other sentient beings suffer to thrive as human beings. I made the ethical connection and I knew that I was vegan for life.
How long have you been Vegan?
I’ve experimented with a plant-based diet since 2009-2010 but I didn’t truly make the ethical connection until Nov/Dec 2015. My Veganversary came up recently.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Now that I know the truth about the impact it has on other sentient beings. I know by being Vegan I am making a choice to not invest/participate in the enslavement, torture, rape, and slaughter of animals/fellow sentient beings, fellow earthlings. I’m reducing the negative animal agriculture has on the planet. I am also greatly improving my health and quality of life. At 34 years old I feel like I’m now in the best shape of my life.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
I consume most of my content via YouTube so I’d say I watch these vegan channels most. Happy Healthy Vegan, Eco-Vegan Gal, Carrots and flowers. I believe they all have websites/social media channels too so check them out!
Any recommended Vegan books?
“The Happy Vegan” by Russell Simmons He also wrote an amazing book called “Do You!” where he draws parallels on being resourceful and Hip-Hop. Great read highly recommended in general.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Not YET! I have a 2nd children’s book I have in the pipeline which is vegan focused.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I used to be 275 pounds at my highest weight. Recently on March 30th, 2016 I was 244/245 pounds and dropped down to 206? In a few months. I get messaged often via DM or facebook about how I lost the weight and what do I eat.. so in my dedication to losing weight and fitness I inspire/intrigue and convert people to be more open-minded about a plant based diet. I am not militant about it. Everyone has their own method. We all have the same goal which is to stop unnecessary cruelty. My preferred approach is to be compassionate. I remember when I was not vegan. I ate meat. If someone was forceful with me I would automatically push back so the same way I don’t like people pushing religion onto me I don’t push it onto them. I notice a lot of people appreciate my approach so this is why I prefer to do it this way. I am also working on tv shows, films, books, video games that involve the vegan message. This to me is a much more efficient use of my time to promote veganism.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
The one thing that used to really trigger a craving is the smell of Pernil (It’s a Spanish dish, I believe its fried pork shoulder?) but I have since quelled that craving. Once you make the ethical connection it’s very natural to not want the flesh of animals.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
I’m gonna have to say Franchia its in downtown manhattan. Awesome cheesecake and “chickn” wraps.
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
Recently I’ve been in love with a new recipe I came up with. Mushrooms, red/white onions, tomatoes, garlic, teriyaki sauce, bbq sauce, soy sauce, sesame seed sauce, little salt… and some lime juice. Stir fry it and it goes great with rice, in a burrito.. or you can throw noodles in there and stir fry it together.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
That we can’t get muscles/protein being vegan. I direct them to my Vegan Instagram account #iBegToDiffer. I tell them what is needed for the body to grow and let them know all the great plant-based protein options there are available.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Remember to heed your intuition. What is popular is not always what is right. Don’t care what others think. Know your truth. Walk your path with meaning. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
Is there any other kind?
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need? Toothpaste, Deo, glue, etc..
I’ve been looking for a product for cleaning like Lysol wipes to kill germs and is vegan.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Lots of people judged me for it. I don’t get invited to dinners very much. LOL! But, it’s okay. It’s worth the sacrifice. People will either understand or they won’t. I make peace with either choice.
Do you remember when you were not vegan?
I do remember when I ate animals, I thought it was normal and nothing wrong with it. I had no idea the impact I was having on others and myself.