Being Vegan, Vegan Being : Lainie Smith – A Vegan Gnome in Portland – Open Your Eyes to Suffering and Help Whenever You Can.

My name is Lainie Smith! I’m a board advisor at Out To Pasture Sanctuary located in Estacada, Oregon. I organize events and create art for the animal residents there. Many of which can be found on my Etsy page. I have illustrated a sanctuary coloring book, and also am working on a children’s book aimed to connect little minds to the love and purity existing in the hearts of all earthlings. My husband and I table at various events in Oregon promoting the work we do in the sanctuary; including Vegfests and the Eat Drink Vegan events. Sharing the stories of the individuals rescued and informing the community how they can help animals further is a huge part of our lives.

In addition to my sanctuary work, I nourish people for a living at an organic juice cart! Creating vegan food and health drinks in the kitchen is a huge passion. I love to cultivate dishes with foods in-season that I get from local farmers. I believe that in good health we can be the happiest humans, so I find it gratifying to share what I know with others. I believe it is important to establish a relationship with who grows one’s food and encourage everyone to eat with the seasons for the greatest connection to your individual environment. I am studying plant-based nutrition and will be attaining my plant-based nutrition certificate this year.

I am a naturalist, minimalist, artist, yogi, and curator of creativity. I practice walking meditation in nature and found healing within the forests of the Pacific Northwest. I am a happy wife, a dog momma, and a grateful friend. I believe in the power of energy manifestation and have found that through a positive mindset, ANYTHING is possible. I believe in random acts of kindness, laughter, and dancing under trees. I wake every day seeking growth, hope, and a vegan world.

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

As a longtime vegetarian, when I saw the truth behind the dairy industry, my heart burst. It was the only way.

How long have you been Vegan?

3 years

Why is being Vegan important to you?

It is the gentlest, and kindest way to live your life. To lessen suffering on this earth by one’s own actions is incredibly rewarding and a gift to the whole world. We are a particle of a whole, everything is interconnected.

Any recommended Vegan books?

Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stuart. The illustrations are beautiful and the information is dripping with truth.

Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?

I recommend everyone explore social media for all the smaller animal sanctuaries that really need help. Then, GET INVOLVED. Reach out to them and see how you can help them near or far. Share photos of animals needing homes, organize events, raise money, go out and help clean up sanctuary grounds, etc. There is no limit on love and how far it can travel.

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

Please watch the cartoon, “The Goode Family” created by Mike Judge. It is one season of solid gold, it’s all about a vegan family navigating life. As for the film, I cannot pick just one, as I am a connoisseur of sci-fi from the 1940s-50s. Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond, and Night Gallery are my favorites. I love the film aesthetics of those eras and feel that everything was executed so much more tastefully than a film of today which is heavily focused on too much action and overly sexualized images.

Do you actively promote veganism? How?

The folks at Out To Pasture Sanctuary are our family, so we give our whole hearts into helping them in any way. There is no job too large, we are willing to figure it out. We also use our creative bones to chalk in the streets, stir up a conversation, and create art with animal infographics.

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

I’m a sucker for any meme with a cute pig.

What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?

That I have strict dietary restrictions. Then my inner foodie comes out and I crush their assumption by talking about the abundance of foods I eat and my newest recipes I’ve created! Then I pull out my phone and show pictures of the rainbows of foods I eat, and how amazingly healthy I feel.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Farm Spirit for fancy small plates located here in Portland, OR. A close second is Black Water Vegan Bar for the best burgers, music, and pinball.

Please share your favorite vegan recipe?

I actually rarely follow recipes, as I love to create new ones every time I cook. BUT! any dish that looks beautiful and has flowers in it is my favorite.

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

You are NOT alone. Get out into the community and find your tribe.

What does living cruelty-free mean to you?

It means living altruistically and going above and beyond what is expected. Research, grow and facilitate change by living the kindest and gentlest as possible. Treat resources as finite: use cloth napkins, bring your water bottle, refuse plastic, by using, FIX things before you throw them away, repurpose, ride your bike, open your eyes to suffering and help whenever you can. Living cruelty-free means living more for others than for yourself.

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

Herbivore Clothing and Drizzle and Shine eco-boutique

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

Pineapple-leather shoes to jive in

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

Trying to defend myself in front of my father who happens to be the least mindful and negative person I know.

What is one question you would ask other Vegans?

How can you become a better animal advocate?

Get this bag here!

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