Vegan Parents Spotlight: Talisa Mara – Being Vegan is the Act of Loving and Allowing the Experience of Life for All

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Tucson, AZ. I work for a company called FoodInRoot that promotes local farmers and smaller businesses in the form of farmers markets and other great events. We also host several events throughout the year. Our biggest event is VegOut!, which we hold in AZ 2-3 times a year plus a few in other states. VegOut! specifically is a vegan festival featuring anything vegan from food to products. I love working for them as I believe in supporting smaller, good-hearted business, local organic farming, and of course the vegan festivals. My position is the Director of Social Media & Marketing. So far, the position does not require much therefore I am able to be at home with my kids and focus on being a mother.

What lead you to veganism?

My first reason for becoming vegan was for health. My vegan journey began around 3 years ago.

How many children do you have? Were they born vegan?

I have two kids, a daughter who is 3 years and a son who is 2 years. They were both born vegan.

Did you have a vegan pregnancy? If so, how’d it go? Please share any challenges or victories.

I did not have a vegan pregnancy with my daughter (first child) but I did with my son. There were no challenges and only victories. I felt a boost in energy and recovered really quick for having kids back to back. I only gained belly weight, was very healthy, and had no complication during pregnancy, none during the birth, and none after. It was an amazing pregnancy but I will say that my pregnancy with my daughter went perfectly as well.

What are some of the challenges you find raising a vegan child? How have you dealt with these challenges?

I have not had any challenges whatsoever!!!

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?

I think that being truthful to kids is always the way to go! So yes I do believe that we should educate our kids but at the proper age. As an adult, a lot of what I learned and am still learning is quite disheartening and painful. I would not want to put my kids through that at such a young age. Currently, we teach our kids that everything can be delicious and good for your health through this lifestyle, our most common saying is that they can be “BIG STRONG”. When it comes to compassion, we make sure they are kind to all life. This includes bugs and insects, though, like all kids they find insects gross, we teach them not to cause harm purposely. Along with this, we practice an earthly spiritualism where all life is connected. Meditation, kind words, grounding, and love through actions are very important.

What does being vegan mean to you?

I am always discovering myself and what it means to be Vegan. As of now, I find that being Vegan is the act of loving and allowing the experience of life to come to all. Compassion through all actions, gratitude to mother earth for providing us with Vegan food, being healthy inside and out, and also connecting me to a power stronger than myself. I believe Veganism is tied to spirituality as much as it is for health, saving our planet, etc. I do not patronize anyone from individuals to large companies. I do celebrate those making an effort to change for the better. Being Vegan has not affected how I treat other people nor does it affect my parenting since this has been my style since becoming a mother.

Any recommended vegan books, social sites, or blogs?

I absolutely love the book Vegan’s Daily Companion! I highly recommend this book for so many reasons! As for social sites..there are too many to list from Instagram that is very educational and uplifting for all Vegans whether beginner or lifelong. As for blogs I love minimalist baker, though I do not know if she is vegan she offers a great number of recipes that I have tried that come to be amazing! I also enjoy blogs, like my own, that I recently started, that provide information on local vegan spots and what they offer.

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?

I do not have a favorite movie, video, or media. I have not seen the documentaries on Veganism yet, most are too hard for me to even think about watching.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

This is a hard one because I love many for each a different reason! I think right now my favorite is Urban Fresh in Tucson. Its a small quaint spot that offers very clean and raw vegan dishes with so much savoriness…. if savoriness is a word!

Please share your the vegan recipe your kids love most.

My kids love Fiesta Vegan Bowls!

We layer black beans, a varitey of veggies ( this can be anything and just steamed and lightly grill with a fiesta blend ), lime juice, cashew sour cream, salsa, brown rice or quinoa, and AVOCADO of course! I make this all homemade.

Some encouraging words or advice for vegan parents.

Do not give up! Do not be scared! And trust in the plant based lifestyle!!!

Have you connected with other vegan families in your city? If so, how did you meet?

We have connected with a few through farmers markets. We have only lived here for a short time so we are just now settling in!

Do you make any exceptions for your child’s veganism? School snacks? Family gatherings?

No. Absolutely none. I make sure everything they intake is Vegan. Vitamins, all food and drinks, body care prodcuts, etc. I home school my kids so the I do not have to worry about snacks or food as I make it. When it comes to the family gathering I am usually the host on my side of the family so it is always Vegan. On my husbands side, they know and respect our Vegan lifestyle. They always make sure to have plenty of options for us when we go to their home.

How do you think you will react if your is out with his/her friends and they eat animal products?

I do not ever worry about this. The bond that I share and consitently strengthen with my kids is very strong. I know they know that I love them and hold their health and lives at an equal level to my own and my husband. We are all number one and I make sure they know this. I know that the bond has unlimited trust and therefore I myself can trust they will make the right decisions for themselves when they are older.

What would you like to ask other vegan parents?

How did you tell you kids about the harsh truth of animal abuse in factories, some farming, etc? And at what age?

MooShoes—Cruelty-Free + Animal-Approved

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