Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Boston MA, where I lived until moving to Los Angeles when I was 21. I began modeling in Boston at 16 years old and knew eventually I needed to move to Los Angeles to pursue my passion for acting. I knew it was my purpose. Since then I have been in some incredible pictures like “Star Trek Into Darkness”, Garry Marshalls “Mother’s Day”, I Can Only Imagine” and Universal’s “Unbroken: Path To Redemption”. My website is www.GiannaSimone.com and socials are listed below!
Social sites, blogs or pages?
You can follow me on
My husband Ronnie Penn’s Instagram: Instagram.com/Ronnie_Penn
What lead you to veganism?
I was struggling with health issues for a while and was getting fed up with not understanding why I wasn’t improving with antibiotics and time. I started doing a lot of research and watching many documentaries about true health and healing, then took the leap. I started juicing, went mostly raw, and saw improvements right away. Since then, it has been 7 years. I now eat a whole food plant-based diet and have never felt or looked better. I’m so grateful God led me to see the truth and understand what it looked like when I saw it.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
First, I went pescatarian and only ate fish and eggs for a while then realized those products were not good for me or encouraging any healing. After I realized this, I went about 99% raw and juiced a lot. It was definitely a progression for me. I stopped wearing animals the more I realized what happens in order for leather, suede, silk, furs, etc. to be produced. I now look into everything before I purchase it, so far as to call the companies and speak with their supervisors to be sure. I just try my best and know that one person can make a difference. I am sure some things slip through the cracks and aren’t 100% all the time because that just isn’t realistic. However, I am VERY conscious of my vegan lifestyle and very passionate about it because I feel such a responsibility to help save the innocent victims being so horribly and shockingly, taken advantage of, used, abused and mutilated.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
I am married to a VERY handsome and sexy vegan man who is SUCH an inspiration to all men who may be concerned with losing muscle on a vegan diet. His name is Ronnie Penn if you want to be inspired with some serious vegan muscle look him up on Instagram @Ronnie_Penn
We are both very thankful to have one another and to have the same type of lifestyle. It’s so refreshing to find a partner who has the same interests and views on very important matters in life. We enjoy our vegan lifestyle together and always try to inspire others to improve their health and save the lives of the innocent.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
I believe each parent knows how to handle telling the truth to their children. I believe children are all different, like adults, and have their own preferences and capabilities to accept and see the truth. I trust that each parent will know what the best way to show the truth is. If that means showing them some videos, they will understand then that is a helpful tool for them and great. If eating a plant-based diet is the best way to have a child understand this is how we save animals- then that is great too. If the child is responding well to something do more of that, if a child doesn’t respond well, try something different.
What does being vegan mean to you? For example, does it extend to not killing bugs and bees? Does it include not patronizing vegan companies owned by non-vegan parent companies? Does it affect the way you treat other humans?
I believe we should show and demonstrate that being vegan is a loving way of life. I think we should support all efforts making a way for vegan products and support those aspects of a business so that part of the business grows; more demand more supply. Being vegan is being more compassionate to all of life including ourselves. Understanding that it is important to try our very best and then to be loving and patient with the process, at whatever stage. I think encouraging others in their stage of veganism is so much more impactful and powerful than tearing someone down. I love the saying “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
When people feel called to vegan activism, I think it is so great and admirable. I think everyone can be an activist in their own way, whether it’s sharing their own story with a friend or coworker, promoting it on social media, volunteering or giving funds to support farm sanctuaries, vegan businesses, or even just showing up at a vegan event to help spread the message. There have been some very clever ways of encouraging and inspiring others to go vegan and it’s so exciting to see!
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
No mercy! Ha-ha, I’m kidding. They need the most compassion! Since they need the message the most, we must show love to them, this doesn’t mean excusing anger, aggression, or needless killing, but loving them into seeing a more compassionate way of life and a healthier way of living and being. Change can take time and resistance can come up. I always like to remember there are three stages of truth: 1. Ridicule 2. Violent opposition THEN: 3. Acceptance.
Any recommended Vegan books?
How Not To Die and How Not To Diet by Dr. Michael Gregor
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
The Cheese Trap by Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr, Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease by Dr. Dean Ornish
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell PhD
Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis
The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall
The Plant-Based Solution by Dr. Joel Kahn
Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Furhman
Breasts the Owners Manuel by Dr. Kristi Funk
The Trifecta of Health by Dr. Angie Sadeghi
The Pleasure Trap by Dr. Doug Lsile
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Yes! I have a show on Amazon Prime called “Love, Gianna” Which is also a Podcast and can be listened to on all major podcast platforms.
Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Gianna/dp/B07SG82P85
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Hands down my all-time favorite restaurant is, “Lotus Vegan” In North Hollywood, CA.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
My favorite recipe is a 3 ingredient cookie: 3 ripe (very spotty) bananas, with 3 cups of oatmeal, and cut up some dates. Mix all together to form a cookie dough consistency and then separate into cookie-sized chunks, pressed down on the parchment-lined baking pan. Bake in the oven for 10-12 min on 350F
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Thank you. I’m so proud of you. Keep being amazing.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
The vegan scene is so big in LA, and it’s growing! I love how we all come together under one umbrella of compassion for all life and feeling the love that exists to move that compassion forward. It’s so powerful and beautiful. We all genuinely love one another and support each other.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Go to pig, chicken or cow vigils in your area. Look up farm sanctuaries, or even “meetup” groups. Social media is a pretty helpful tool to find vegan events happening in your area.
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 has taken on so much meaning to me. It extends to how I live my day to day, what choices I make, what I eat, wear, buy, and what I support. It is very eye-opening when you see the truth, and I believe it’s our responsibility to do the right thing after we are enlightened to it. We can change, and it can be a great thing!
Also, yes, it has definitely changed the way I am down to my core. I have become so close with God and with people. It is an all-around very profound thing that happens when adopting a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I love Matt and Nat, Stella McCartney, Free people, and Anthropologie vegan items. Sometimes I’ll just veg out and search vegan in their search bars and see what funky stuff they have. Sometimes I’ll find some pretty neat stuff! I have come across some companies that I didn’t even know existed by just browsing social media and searching for vegan companies online.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Really nice heels for the red carpet! However, I’ve learned to buy them when I see them and just hold onto them, rather than wait for an event to come up, be in a time crunch, and hope Stella has something nice I like that season.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I didn’t know if it was the right thing at the very beginning and stressed a lot about needing “protein” but I was just ill-informed by people who were ill-informed and it was making me ill! I took it upon myself to learn the truth and was so hungry for it. After being vegan for 7 years I can honestly say, in addition to accepting Christ, and marrying my soulmate, Ronnie, it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.