I don’t know exactly how old I am, but I do know my life really began when I was adopted about 4 years ago from the Pasadena Humane Society. Being in a pound was not fun. Can you imagine living in a cage without a soft bed? These were tough times for this four-pound diva. I was just a number. One misfortunate earthling out of millions that end up in the pound every year.
I was one of the lucky ones. After a few weeks of sub-standard living conditions, I was adopted by some people who seemed pretty great. I was a little surprised when I arrived at my new home and there were already 3 other dogs there. I didn’t see that memo. Don’t get me wrong. I was beyond GRATEFUL to be in a forever home.
Now, besides me, my humans have 5 dogs. I have three brothers, Drogo, Duckie, and Peebo, and two sisters, Sasha Velour and Patty Potato. We are a unique family. Not only are we all rescue pups, but we are all vegan, too! Btw. Hope all my brothers and sisters in lockup find homes soon. Please, adopt don’t shop!
You may ask, “Can a dog be vegan?” I thought the same thing. When I first arrived at my new home, I asked my human, “Why Vegan? Aren’t I a carnivore? Won’t I die if I don’t eat meat?”
My new brothers and sisters laughed at me. Not nice, but I was uneducated. We all sat around and chatted about veganism. My sister Patty Potato asked me, “Would you eat one of us, Yolandi?” Shocked, I replied “NO! ARE YOU INSANE?” She said, “Then why would you eat a cow?” Hmm. Interesting.
My brother Drogo asked me if I’ve ever looked at the ingredients in dog food. I hadn’t. He pulled up this article and read it to me. I was pretty grossed out. I, like many dogs and humans, just ate what was given to me and never questioned what was actually in it. I question EVERY TORTILLA CHIP now!
My human told me, SOOOO many humans are switching to a vegan lifestyle and diet because it can lower heart disease, protect against certain cancers, protect against type 2 diabetes, lower blood sugar levels, improve kidney function and so much more. My brother Duckie talked about all the hormones and antibiotics that are given to farm animals. How they live in utterly disgusting conditions; filth and feces everywhere, in over-crowded, dark places where they go to die premature deaths. Some of them get sick or hurt and are killed, thrown into dumpsters or left to suffer. Oh, and the things they do to the babies. They are called useless too! Can you believe they call animals useless and treat them sub-animal? Do you know what they do with the “No good & Useless” ones? They are ground up for dog food.
UM, EXCUSE ME?! I have a level of decorum that I like to keep, and eating ground up chicken heads from sick and battered chickens is not part of my agenda. Hearing all this made my head spin and ache. I wasn’t feeling too hot.
“OK, what do I eat?” I asked my siblings. I was envisioning a life of an endless buffet of lettuce leaves and raw carrots. I do like carrots, but there was no way I could eat them all day long. I also worried about giving up butter. I LOVED butter. I LOVED ice cream. I even loved my old dog food. I was sad and started to shed a tear. Even though I wouldn’t be eating my brothers and sisters – the sweet farm animals that deserve to live just as much as I do – I would be missing out on all the delicious food the world had to offer.
My humans decided to take me out to a vegan restaurant, Little Pine (owned by King Vegan Moby!), and let me taste some things. WHAT THE HECK! I ate grilled cheese, Caesar salad, and a tofu scramble that I SWEAR tasted like eggs. I ate biscuits & gravy, croissants, sausage sliders. The food kept coming and something snapped in my brain. WHY ISN’T EVERYONE VEGAN!? But really, WHY?
If you don’t have to abuse and hurt animals, don’t have to imprison dairy cows for their whole lives, don’t have to kill pigs and lambs and baby calves and horses and dogs and chickens and turkeys for meat, why are we still doing it? If you can have vegan cheese, and ice cream and cream cheese, sausage and hamburgers, and even vegan pork… WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL EATING Animals?!
So I took to Instagram and started checking out some vegan Instagrams to see what message they were sending to the world. I saw a LOT of cute vegan girls hovering over their monstrous burgers and showing the world how delicious eating vegan was. The lightbulb went off. I AM A CUTE VEGAN GIRL! And I was now, eating all this vegan food. So I decided to start my own Instagram (yolandi_eats_la) showcasing vegan food all over Los Angeles!
I LOVE the 100% plant-based restaurants in Los Angeles. They are the pioneers at the forefront of saving the lives of animals and our planet. They have all put their heart & soul into their food and truly want to make the world a better place. I want to support every single one of them and give them all a big hug. (lick)
But I also want to support restaurants that have ONE token vegan dish on the menu. That’s not something to complain about, that right there is change. Regular restaurants having vegan options on their menu is serious progress. I went out the other night to a non-vegan restaurant and ordered a salad. The server said the dressing had honey in it (honey is not vegan FYI) and asked if I wanted a different dressing. This was a NON-vegan restaurant but look how educated the server was! I praise any restaurant that while they may not have a full vegan menu, they think to have some vegan options. AND, the more people that go into non-vegan restaurants and ASK for vegan options, the more restaurants will offer plant-based options. Speak Up, Humans!
People often wonder how I can weigh 4 pounds and eat so much. I’m a chihuahua. I have a very fast metabolism. I do pilates and play with toilet paper. It keeps me pretty fit. I also just had a checkup a couple of months ago, and I was in such great health, I didn’t even need a teeth cleaning! I eat raw broccoli like it’s candy. I have a happy life and am very thankful that I am now vegan. I want to share with other people and dogs that you can be vegan too. Being vegan isn’t denying yourself things, it’s a gift. All wrapped up nicely in a tofu box with a zucchini bow. : )