My name is Kelly Anne and I’m 21 years old. I live in Puerto Rico and I’m a student at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUCPR). I’m currently studying social work and a minor in psychology. And I consider myself to be an open book, filling my soul with knowledge everywhere I go.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
Hi! My name is Kelly Anne and I’m 21 years old. Like many vegans, I was a self-proclaimed huge animal lover. But I’ve never thought about those animals that I was eating and how they were being massacred day by day. There was a time where I wanted to become a vegetarian but since all the people I knew ate meat, I feared to go through the process alone since I didn’t know how to replace the “protein” and all of those things we think we need but actually don’t. Until one day I met my now boyfriend, Angel, who is a vegan. We were talking about veganism and I started questioning myself. I didn’t understand why I hadn’t left meat earlier since it became obvious to me that I was being a contributor to animals’ suffering. Literally, that same day I promised myself to never eat meat again or any animal products, and I started doing my own research about veganism. I cut all meat, dairy products, animal cruelty products and clothing with animal skins all in one day. Now I’ve been vegan for 1 year and 4 months and I couldn’t be healthier and happier.
How long have you been Vegan?
I’ve been a vegan for 1 year and 4 months.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Veganism has changed the way I view life, the way I think and the way I treat other living beings. It surely has become a hot topic in my family since I’m Puerto Rican and meat is a HUGE factor in our traditional foods. Not everybody understands but I believe that tradition isn’t always ethic or correct. I try and always leave a little seed to everyone that I talk about veganism and how it contributes to our health, the environment, the animals and the world. I believe that one day the world is going to be vegan.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Puerto Vegan Cookbook by Chef Natalie Mattthews. It has over 45 delicious and healthy Puerto Rican vegan recipes.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
You guys should definitely follow our page @PuertoRicoVegano on Instagram and Facebook! My friends and I share lots of information about veganism, animals, quotes and other fun things that will surely interest all of you. Also, you should follow @Backtothegarden_pr, they have amazing information on their Instagram page and YouTube on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
I’m a full-on movie person. I love movies and the inspiring messages they can have. But a veganism related movie that I adored was Cowspiracy. It helped me open my eyes about the meat industry and everything they don’t tell you on the news. Also, I like the video by Gary Yourofsky “Best speech you will ever hear”, for every non-vegan is a must watch.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
In my experience, I can honestly say that many Puerto Ricans don’t want to go far from tradition when it comes to “their” meat. But I try my best to spread the message and inform people about how veganism can change the world and our lifestyles. So far I’ve helped two friends of mine and my mom understands the benefits of being vegan and they are currently embracing their vegan lifestyles.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
Honestly, I don’t think I have one. But in @Puertoricovegano we do share some funny ones.
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?
I’ve faced many people claiming that I’m not going to survive without protein, the “you’re being way too radical and extreme” and my personal favorite “if everybody became vegan, cows will overpopulate and it is chaos” YES, they went that far. But honestly, I respond to it by being the very best example. I eat healthy, exercise and I radiate positive energy everywhere I go. I’ve noticed that by doing this many of those who criticized me at the beginning are now asking me questions and seem interested in veganism.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
I live in Ponce, Puerto Rico and we don’t have many vegan restaurants here. The only one I know and cooks amazing is Origen. It’s a cafeteria style place, also fast food and they also do deliveries. If you live in Puerto Rico you can find it at 1306 Calle Campeche (at Calle Salud corner), Ponce, Puerto Rico, 00732.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I loooove food! And I honestly can’t figure out which vegan recipe is my favorite. I could say that I do love the “Tostada Puebla” they serve it at a Mexican restaurant called “Puebla”. It’s like a giant fried tortilla, with rice, black beans, guacamole, salad and it’s just amazing.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Sincerely, you’re amazing! You already took the first step towards helping the world be a better place. You shouldn’t be discouraged by what people say or when they try to bring you down for wanting to make a difference. Remember you have lots of people like us who understand you and support you. Always try to radiate positive energy everywhere you go and remember that you shouldn’t judge others for not being vegan or vegetarian. It’s with actions that people make the difference. Slowly but surely everyone will understand that we vegans are united and we fight for a cause greater than our own. We are already making veganism known all around the world so we must keep spreading love and compassion everywhere we go. Never give up!
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Cruelty-Free means that no animals were harmed in the process of making or fabricating a product. It means that those are the products every one of us should buy.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Honestly, I’m not a “favorite” person. I just use whatever I can finance, obviously, cruelty-free. But, I don’t think I have a favorite brand or product that I like.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
In Ponce, Puerto Rico there aren’t many vegan options like in other countries. And some of them can be a bit pricey since you can’t find them anywhere else but I think I manage very well. One of those things that are very hard to find in Puerto Rico, or at least that I know of, is vegan toothpaste.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I’ve never struggled with veganism. I made a promise to myself and since that day I’ve never thought about going back. I’m a very determined person and I wouldn’t want to go back to a cruel and uncompassionate lifestyle.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.
I would love to know which are the best options to cure chronic allergies? I’ve suffered from sinus allergies all my life and even though I occasionally use natural allergy pills and other homemade recipes, I would like to know more options to treat them if you know any.