Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Keala Denea – Your Choice to be Vegan is Beautiful and Pure.

Tell us about yourself

I live in Los Angeles and am exploring singing. Follow me on Insta! @kealadenea 🙂

What lead you to veganism? How long ago?

My journey into veganism is actually quite strange. I’ve always loved animals and felt weird about eating them, so it’s not too weird, but here’s the story. On April 29th, 2018, my friend wanted to try the Impossible Burger at a restaurant in San Francisco. He had heard about it and was intrigued. While eating, we talked about killing and eating animals-which made me uncomfortable. I jokingly said, “from now on I’m not going to eat meat. I’m a vegetarian.” I was joking, but from that day on I actually didn’t eat meat. It started as 1 day without meat,  then 2 days, then a week, and a few months. I guess I wanted to see how long I could give up meat since I don’t want to cause harm to animals but ended up giving them up for good. About 6 months later I watched a video by Paul McCartney called, “If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls”. I couldn’t get past the piglet thumping without crying and turning off the video. At that moment, I realized if I couldn’t even get through a video on this then I didn’t need to partake in it. From that moment on I’ve been vegan.

Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?

Uhh, duh! When I showed my 7 year old cousin some vegan video he pledged to give up meat. Children don’t want animals to be tortured and killed but they don’t realize how they are actually partaking in it. They are so far removed from the process that they don’t see it.

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?

If a non-vegan donut shop has amazing vegan donuts, you can bet I’ll be there at least once a week chowing down. I love supporting vegan businesses and will go out of my way to visit them, but if there’s something that I want from a non-vegan place I won’t (really) sweat it. And I’m way too squeamish to kill bugs anyway so that’s off the table.

Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?

Well, yes in a way. Just telling people around you is a form of activism. If you’re not out there leading protests, then lead your peers by example. Be proud of that.

How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?

Very empathetic. I didn’t grow up vegan and used to think I could never give up real meat or real dairy. I get it. There’s no reason to be such a judgmental, high and mighty person now that I’m vegan.

Any recommended Vegan books?

The China Study! If you don’t like reading, watch the documentary Forks Over Knives. It covers the same stuff.

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

I like Dairy Is Scary. It’s a 5 minute YouTube video on the dairy industry.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Crossroads Kitchen in LA.😍😍😍 Look it up. Be amazed. Drool a little.

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

Experiment with different culture’s cuisines and find new food that you really like. If the food is making you tired or you don’t feel your best, change it. Get the nutrients you need. Don’t starve yourself. Going vegan can heal your body if done correctly but do the research and do it right. Your food doesn’t scream. Your body is no longer a grave for dead animals. Your choice to be vegan is beautiful and pure. Keep it up. 🙂

What is the vegan scene like in your city?

LA makes being vegan really easy. Lots of vegan restaurants and vegan options and vegan people.

What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?

Introduce yourself like, “Hi, I’m vegan” and people will tell you if they are also vegan. Hahaha no, I’m kidding, don’t be so stereotypical. Join meetups, get a vegan mentor, join social media groups and hashtags that relate to “vegan in [your city]”. If that doesn’t work, convert your friends and family😜.

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

I struggle with veganism the most when I receive criticism from my family. My immediate family is supportive, but some of my extended family really don’t understand it. They live in a small town in the Midwest and aren’t exposed to vegans or vegan food. They were shocked to find out about vegan burgers-even though the Impossible Whopper was released at Burger King. I continue to be vegan around them, but often it’s too hostile of an environment, so I don’t eat with them much when I go back home.

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