Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Marlene Blanco – Promoting Compassion and Unity for ALL Earthlings!

Photo above by Sarah J. Hardt.

My name is Marlene, I live in Los Angeles born and raised in LA. I am Hispanic. I am an animal rights activist, a mental health therapist, and I also do Spanish and English guided tours at Farm Sanctuary. I am currently an organizer for the Direct Action Everywhere Los Angeles (an animal rights group). I have two animal companions (2 adorable dogs).

You can follow me on Instagram: @veganlene_8

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

I realized that I wanted to live a compassionate vegan life when I started learning about the cruelty that animals face at factory farms. As I educated myself on how animals are exploited for food, clothes, entertainment, and products I knew that I did not want to contribute to their suffering.

How long have you been Vegan?

I have been vegan for 7 years

Why is being Vegan important to you?

Veganism is important to me because it promotes compassion and unity for all beings. Love, empathy, and respect for me are the foundations of being vegan. By being vegan you respect and love Mother Nature, all beings, and yourself.

Any recommended Vegan books?

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy

Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?

Liberation Pledge: www.liberationpledge.com
DXE Los Angeles Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DirectActionEverywhereLosAngeles/
The Save Movement: http://thesavemovement.org/
Nation Earth
Anonymous for the Voiceless: Anonymous for the Voiceless

Do you actively promote veganism? How?

Yes, I do many protests, outreach ( pass out flyers/pamphlets, vegan starter kits, stickers), attend weekly vigils in which bear witness to animals about to go to slaughter we document their conditions, share their stories and give them a few mins of love, I also give guided tours at Farm Sanctuary.

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?

“It is hard to go vegan” “the food won’t taste good” and of course where do you get your protein. When people say it is hard and the food won’t taste good I respond with “ it is the easiest thing you can do, living a compassionate life is not hard, once you educate yourself and decided to make a difference in the world the rest is easy, and nowadays we have endless amount of delicious vegan food. Also, you can get our protein on a plant-based diet; nuts, grains, dark leafy greens.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Au Lac, Veggie Grill, and Donut Friend

Please share your favorite vegan recipe?

I am not a big cooking person. My fav smoothie is Banana, dates, and water or plant-based milk.

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

You are making a difference in the animals life and in the world, no matter what others say stand up against injustice and live a compassionate life. There is a community out there of lots a vegan and you are not alone.

What does living cruelty-free mean to you?

Loving and Respecting ALL living beings and living in unity and harmony with nature

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

V-dog, Eco- Tools

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What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

Vegan Hot Cheetos

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

Being surrounded by others who are not Vegan is the main struggle, holidays, work gathering where there is “ food” involved was a struggle in the past for me when I was younger because I felt the pressure of being “ the weird one” who was different from everyone else. Also at times knowing the truth about what animal go through makes it difficult to keep going.

What is one question you would ask other Vegans?

What would it take for you to join the animal rights movement and become an activist?

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