Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Danni McGhee, and I currently live in the Washington, DC area. I am the founder of DAM Good Vegan, an educational platform dedicated to encouraging and inspiring individuals to choose a plant-based diet as the fastest way to improved health and overall well-being. I am a plant-based nutrition coach, food educator, and author of the book, Ready To Go Vegan! At DAM Good Vegan, we educate individuals on plant-based nutrition and vegan cooking through our online courses and programs, local cooking demos, nutrition workshops, as well as private in home cooking classes. We also enjoy whenever we have the opportunity to speak at schools, offices, and vegan events and festivals. Our online courses are available at ReadyToGoVegan.com and designed to give you all the tools and knowledge to confidently make the transition. Our online recipe membership site, TheVeganSkillet.com, will help you learn how to prepare and cook amazing plant-based meals with ease. For more vegan inspiration follow us on Instagram at or on Facebook.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I tell people that I went vegan overnight on accident. LOL! In 2014, I was on a weight loss journey. After having some success, I hit a plateau and stopped losing weight. I needed something to boost my progress, so I signed up for a 21-day plant-based challenge. Within 3 days, I had lost 4 lbs.! I couldn’t believe it, but I was super motivated to keep going to see how my body would respond during the remainder of the challenge. During week 2 of the challenge, I literally binged on all the vegan documentaries that were out at the time. I watched all of them in 2 days!!! I had lived my whole life not putting the connection between animal cruelty and what was on my plate. This newfound information was so transformative that I knew in that moment that not only should I be vegan, but it felt like it was my duty to be vegan. Veganism aligned with my beliefs of living a compassionate lifestyle. I simply didn’t want to contribute to the cruelty or exploitation inflicted on animals. So, at this point while on the 21-day challenge, I decided to never go back to eating meat, dairy, or eggs… vegan cold-tofurky!
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
When it came to non-vegan food, I was able to continue eating plant-based with less challenging because I had the support of the 21-day plant-based group that introduced me to this diet. I also did plenty of research on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram to learn how to cook vegan food. When it came to clothing, body care products, and non-vegan activities like attending the circus and zoos, it took at least a year for me to realize that some of those things were not vegan. It was a slow transition. Watching Earthlings was the catalyst! After seeing that documentary, I decided to be more mindful of the clothing, body care products, and activities I invested in.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
I don’t make exceptions consciously. I say that because I’m sure there are ways, I am not 100% vegan that I am not aware of. I do the best I can at all times though. I also patronized non-vegan restaurants so that may be considered not being strict, and I’m ok with that. I don’t have children yet, but when I do, I plan to raise them vegan. If they choose to eat non-vegan when they are outside the home, then they will be equipped with the knowledge of what it means to eat non-vegan food.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
I think that is a bit graphic for children see that process, but I do believe that we should explain the process to them. When we children to connect with animals in their natural habit, they would naturally choose to not want to inflict harm on animals. I believe that we are born to be compassionate and naturally want to protect and love animals.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Being vegan to me means being conscious of the choices I make and choosing options that do no harm on animals or other humans. I do not kill bees or bugs (with the exception of mosquitoes and roaches – maybe one day I can work on that). I usually capture and release all other insects. I always strive to patronize the vegan brands over the non-vegan brands, but I’m not super strict on this, mainly out of convenience. After going vegan, I’ve become more compassionate and treat other humans with more love, patience, and understanding.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Absolutely not. People should be able to express themselves only in ways that they are comfortable with. Activism work isn’t for everyone. Being vegan within itself is an act of activism because they are reducing the demand for animal products, but it’s not a requirement that every vegan be on the front line to defend veganism.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I’m compassionate to all beings. Your dietary choices doesn’t change how I would treat you. As a plant-based nutrition coach and food educator, it is my goal to help people make the transition to a healthier diet and lifestyle. I believe in meeting people where they’re at and not judging them for their food choices because our journey to improved health is just that… a journey.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Yes! My book, Ready To Go Vegan, A Guide for Making the Transition to a Plant-Based Diet Simple, Affordable, & DAM Good! It’s available at ReadyToGoVeganBook.com.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Definitely follow DAM Good Vegan’s Instagram. Also, I love using Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration for vegan recipes, ideas, and tips.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
I love the Invisible Vegan & Feel Rich documentaries because they are focused on educating the African American community on choosing a healthier diet. African Americans are dying from preventative diseases at a high rate and it’s directly linked to the quality food we are choosing to eat.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
How can I choose just one! I can pick one per category though! Pow Pow for Asian fusion, Sticky Rice for vegan sushi, Farewell, for vegan chicken and waffles, Khepras for raw vegan food, Fancy Raddish simply for their Dan Dan Noodles, and NuVegan for soul food, and that’s just in DC. I hate picking favorites!
Please share your favorite vegan recipe.
Ahhh… I really don’t like picking favorites, but if I must pick one… raw vegan taco salad with walnut meat.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Be patient with your transition. You’ll always be learning new things are you continue on your journey, so if you make a mistake, just take it as a learning lesson.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
Currently, I live in DC and there are so many amazing vegan restaurant, meetup groups, and events. I love that so many restaurants also have vegan options.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
I love meetup! I think it’s an awesome space to find great place to find groups of people that share similar interests. My bro, Ajani, and I started a vegan meetup group called the DC Vegans of Color as a support group to help bring together like-minded individuals to learn more about veganism while having fun hiking, doing potlucks, going out to local vegan restaurants, and volunteering in the community. For info about that, visit www.dcvegansofcolor.com.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Living cruelty-free mean to offering the highest level of compassion to all beings as well as Mother Earth. I believe it’s important to not only take care of our fellow humans, but also the animals and our planet. We are all one and need each other, so I believe in showing everyone and everything grace and love whenever we can.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I’m a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s products. I use their castile soap to clean everything!
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Fashionable vegan clothing and shoes. I’d love to find brands fit my style but are also eco-friendly.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I recall someone asking what’s the best and worst thing about being vegan. I answered the best thing is that I get to eat amazing plant-based food and still maintain excellent health. That felt like pure freedom. The worst part was what got me thinking. The hardest part about being vegan is watching others not embrace a healthy lifestyle while watching their health decline. It breaks my heart knowing that plants heal but people choose to suffer instead of embracing a healthy change in their lifestyle.