Instagram: Long Beach Vegan Fest: @lbveganfest
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I was vegetarian for 17 years before committing to veganism. Dairy and eggs we’re not huge in my diet. I still purchased some things with them in there and when out, I didn’t worry about what had dairy in it. Two years before conceiving my first child, I even went fully raw vegan. Once I was pregnant, I ate more cooked food, and dairy sometimes. After the birth of my daughter, I battled with a number of breastfeeding issues in her first month. I had bloody painful nipples, mastitis and Raynaud’s. Going through those issues with my newborn, made me really think about what animal mothers must go through in the dairy industry. On top of being milked, they are also taken from their babies. How could I, as a nursing mother deny another mother’s right to her body and baby. I had always known that the dairy industry was horrific, but around that time, I also watched a documentary that highlighted just how horrific it is. On top of all those things, dairy is terrible for human health. It was clear that my family and I would now make the commitment from vegetarian to vegan.
How long have you been Vegan?
Vegan for 6 years, vegetarian for 17 years before vegan.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Veganism is the most logical and ethical choice. Being vegan is LOVE. Love for yourself, love for others, love for the Earth and love for life!
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
I don’t have a favorite but keep up with what’s going on in the vegan world and my vegan friends on social media. I highly recommend for any new vegans or older vegans looking for inspiration or community, connect with other vegans via social media.
Any recommended Vegan books?
“Where Does Dinner Come From?” and “My Mama’s Milk” are children’s books. Children are naturally compassionate to all beings, but society teaches them selective compassion, and animals are things not beings. I aim to nurture that compassion through my books. Representation is also extremely important and many times you don’t see people of color represented in the vegan realm. My books reflect my family and I know that’s important for other families as well as my own.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
The Corporation is the movie that added to my transition from vegetarian to vegan. Forks Over Knives is great for connecting the dots to what you put in your body to your health. Earthlings and Cowspiracy, if you want to get right into why all of us should be living vegan.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
Yes, I do. I feel like the greatest activism is living your life well. Let people get curious and ask questions. Share with them and see change happen.
I also speak at various events about raising vegan children as well as teach workshops about vegan and natural family living.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
Absolutely not. I learned early on that what we love about our favorite foods is the seasonings, the texture and the feelings we associate with them. I can have all of that being vegan!
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
I love everything from Vegan Sidekick. His memes are brilliant!
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
I can’t stand vegan stereotypes just like I can’t stand everyday life stereotypes. Many people don’t know any vegans personally and they especially don’t know any black vegans. People are surprised and start asking 100 questions. So, I get all the protein, nutrient questions vegans get, but I also get the people of color questions too. It’s all about education, so most of the time I’m happy to answer and converse with people. Honestly, at other times, it’s exhausting.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I can only pick one? Seriously, I can’t! We’re fortunate to live in an area with some great vegan restaurants.
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
My children love simple foods the most, so that’s generally what I prepare. Big kale salads, Brown rice and veggies, lots of smoothies. My fav salad dressing recipe from my 1st book “Where Does Dinner Come From?”
1tbs almond butter, 1/2tbs tamari, 1/2tbs acv, 1tbs lime juice, 1/2tbs pure maple syrup, 1/4tsp sea salt, 1/4tsp ground cumin, 1/4tsp onion powder, 1/4tsp garlic powder. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1 head of washed kale to the bowl along with cherry tomatoes and mixed bell peppers. Massage everything together and enjoy!
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
There so many, so let me just say this. Vegans are as varied as people are. You have very vocal vegans, not so vocal vegans, rude vegans, nice vegans, big vegans, small vegans, healthy vegans, unhealthy vegans, etc… Saying all vegans are one thing is like saying all black people are one thing. Those types of statements just aren’t true.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You have made the right choice. Choosing compassion and love or killing is the right thing to do. You will come up against obstacles on your vegan journey just as in life, but keep going knowing that love is always the answer. If you’re feeling discouraged or alone reach out to vegan groups online or in person.
Are you a cruelty-free vegan?
Yes, I live my life as close to nature as possible. Least harm to my family, animals and the earth is my goal.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I like Dr. Bronner company and products immensely. Only their lip and body balms aren’t vegan and we don’t use those.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need? Toothpaste, Deo, glue, etc..
For the most part, I’ve had no issue finding vegan alternatives for our healthcare, body care, household and cleaning items.
Are you compassionate across the board and fight for all beings rights or just for the animals?
Yes, I am. I am for all beings living their life without fear of death or persecution. I feel like some vegans miss the big picture and march for the animals, but do not have the same conviction when it comes to women’s rights, black lives, and other pressing issues humans face. The whole point of veganism is compassion and quality of life for all beings.