My name is Lexis Heron. I live in the beautiful Okanagan area of British Columbia, Canada. I am currently enrolled in my first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Shift Power Yoga in Kelowna, BC. Here, I am learning the principles of Baptiste Power Yoga. I have grown an intense love for Baptiste Yoga and all the life skills I have gained from my Yoga Teacher Training with Pam Rader and Dustin Handley. Their training is life-changing!
I live a bit of a nomadic life, flying between home and work and traveling as much as I can. I am in a different city each week! It keeps my life exciting and full of Adventure!
I am a new Vegan – discovering new information and meaning every day. Being vegan is still a fairly new concept to me. But it’s one that just makes sense.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across an article listing some of the must-see documentaries available on Netflix at the time. One of the documentaries listed was Cowspiracy. When I got home that night, I decided to watch it – mostly out of curiosity – and was horrified. My whole perception of the food industry was vastly changed. I was hooked on the new information! Following Cowspiracy, I developed a list of food documentaries to gather more research. This included Live and let Live, Vegucated, Sugar Coated, and Fed Up.
Ever since discovering the way the food industry really works, I have made changes to live less harmfully – both towards myself and other sentient beings.
How long have you been Vegan?
I don’t have a set date that it all changed. I am still making changes as I learn more about the industry. I began making the switch in August of 2016. I began by not eating meat, then eliminated all animal products from my food. I have made mistakes in ordering food or assuming that there were no animal products involved. I make the choice to learn from these and make better decisions in the future. I have switched all my skincare products and cleaning supplies to Vegan products.
I make the conscious decision daily to do no harm to other beings and put my best effort into accomplishing that.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Being Vegan is important to me because it means that I am living without cruelty towards other creatures. It means that I can live a fulfilling life without unnecessary suffering being caused.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
I read a lot of the articles posted by PETA and The Mercy for Animals group. I love reading any and all the information I can get!
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Vegan.com has a lot of good information and support for new Vegans. It gave me a list of products and facts that I would have otherwise been lost.
Mercy for Animals shares a lot of articles! I look at their Facebook page often for news in the food industry and new discoveries – good and bad. They also share a lot of recipes and general health information related to a Vegan diet. Very Informative!
Editor’s Note. Here is another great site: All the Health Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Cowspiracy – so incredibly eye opening.
Do you actively promote veganism? How?
I promote my veganism by practicing it. When asked about my lifestyle, I provide as much information as I can to those that are interested.
I share with my best intention – what I’m for, rather than what I’m against. This allows me to talk to people openly without putting up defensive walls that block the understanding.
At family gatherings, I cook vegan meals and offer them to everyone. It’s easy to ask people to try something you’ve created for them. Often, they are surprised by the flavors and actually liking the “weird vegan food”.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
At first, I was so lost on what I could and couldn’t eat – confused by hidden animal products. I missed the ease of just being able to pick up whatever and eat it. However, with knowledge and practice, I have found new products and recipes that serve me far greater than any non-Vegan foods ever have. Being Vegan has shifted me into a much more mindful eater. I am able to enjoy and appreciate every meal consciously.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
The Naked Café in Kelowna. It was the first vegan restaurant I ever went to! I was so excited to be able to order whatever I wanted off the menu without concern of any hidden animal products! It is a modern style café with delicious breakfasts, mains, burgers, and coffee drinks. The people are so friendly and they have vegan books at every table! They also provided me with my first vegan cupcake experience – hitting me right at the heartstrings!
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
One of my favorite things about being Vegan is that I keep finding more recipes that I fall in love with! I never used to be the cooking type and now I thoroughly enjoy it! My favorite recipe to date would have to be the Creamy Squash Mac and Cheese with Hot Sauce Bread Crumbs from Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck. The cheese sauce is so creamy and delicious and the hot sauce breadcrumbs are pure genius! And the best part? It’s all plant-based and healthy!!
Their cookbook is so fun to read and easy to follow! I feel like a bada$$ Vegan whenever I make one of their recipes!
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
That being Vegan is hard or that you need to be some “enlightened” soul to do it. It’s not difficult. If you decide you want to live a cruelty-free life, you just do it. Without question, to the best of your ability. There are animal products in a lot of foods that we eat as a society and a lot of them aren’t necessary! AND you probably eat a lot of vegan food already! Get that salad without meat or cheese, get the veggie soup. Have a stir-fry or anything really – just without the animal products! All it requires is a little more awareness of what you are actually consuming.
Today’s world has so many options for Vegan living – you just have to pause for a moment and look around! If I can eat vegan with ease in a worksite camp in Northern Alberta – surrounded by meat eaters- you can eat vegan anywhere! And it’s enjoyable!
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Find a network of people with like-minded principles. Feeling alone through the process may make it seem more difficult when everyone around you is questioning it. I began my Vegan journey independently and was faced by heavy questioning on my new lifestyle. Having a network that supports your decision and new lifestyle will make the shift more easeful.
Remind yourself why you made the decision to live cruelty-free and live from that intention.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
I am as cruelty-free as I can be from the knowledge I have obtained. I live by the following definition of Veganism: “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practical – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose” – The Vegan Society
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I struggled with my Veganism primarily when I first started making the switch and my peers questioned me on it. During meals with non-vegans, I was interrogated. Heavily questioned on my values, health, and the information I had researched. Whenever I made a mistake, I was put down greatly by my non-vegan peers who noticed. The small mistake would feel like a huge failure and I would question why I was making the choice to be Vegan.
To mediate the questioning, I questioned back and kept an open-mind. Reminding myself that I am still new at this and that my peers have not put in the research I have. I do not have all the answers, but I can lead those that are curious in the right direction. I often find that discussion leads to great learnings.
If I make a mistake, I do not dwell on it. I take note so that I do not make the same mistake in the future – use it as a learning experience for growth rather than a put-down.
What is the greatest benefit living a Vegan lifestyle has given you?
The greatest benefit for me would be the feeling of fulfillment with intention. I live with a higher awareness of what I put into my body and am aligned with my deeper intentions. I feel a greater sense of integrity when I live without causing harm to other sentient beings.
I feel that becoming Vegan has greatly aligned my mind, body, and spirit. Who I want to be present as in this world vs how I act to become that person.