Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Monica I live in Riverside, CA. I went from being a preschool teacher to a full time stay at home mom and took a leap of faith to grow on Instagram to spread awareness on veganism and self-love. I always knew that I wasn’t meant to work a 9 to 5 so I quit my job and I do my best every day to spread awareness on veganism and on how to be compassionate not only with other beings but with yourself too. I dedicate a lot of my time connecting with people who are starting a journey of veganism and need help. In general, my page on IG welcomes all. I’ve had people who were non vegans sending me mean messages and over time those same non vegans transition to veganism. So, to me no matter how much negativity comes my way, I always try to come from a place of understanding. I welcome all to my IG vegan account. Find me at @Veganlove03.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
In 2013, something just clicked in my mind. I was struggling severely with post-partum and all I did was eat junk food and binge on whatever I could get my hands on. I remember thinking well how I can get better by eating an animal who felt all these negative emotions right up to it being killed. That’s when that saying came to mind “you are what you eat”.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
To be honest I was so determined that I switched out cold turkey. I was doing so much research as to what am I going to be able to eat. When I became vegan, I didn’t know anyone who can give me tips and advice. I did all the learning and research on my own
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
The great thing about my home is that everyone decided to switch to veganism over time. At first, I would make exceptions for my son and I would give him cow’s milk until I saw first-hand what it did to him after that I said nope my baby is going vegan as well and I didn’t care what anyone would think. I knew in my gut I was doing what was best for my son.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
I believe that we should show children truth while being age appropriate. I bought my son reading books about veganism. “I am not a nugget” is an excellent book. As my son gets older, he will ask me questions and I always try to answer the best I can.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Vegan to me is another word for being compassionate not just to one living thing but to all. Everyone is different but over the years I’ve grown more and more compassionate to bugs and insects. The world looks different when we choose to see with love.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
No. I believe that every vegan is free to become whatever they choose. I feel that as long as people are making the change no matter what they become is more than enough.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I’m compassionate and empathetic the best that I can, but sometimes it’s not worth wasting your energy on non-vegans who just want to yell in your face, “Where you get your protein bro?”
Any recommended Vegan books?
For kids, I recommend vegan children books for sure. A few books that helped me in the beginning of my journey is Skinny B***. Other than that, just research and grow your knowledge on veganism the best that you can.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Instagram has many great accounts. I love following accounts with lots of recipes such as @hotforfood, @jonny_juicer, and @veganfatkid.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
My favorite movie is Flashdance. Check out my IG (veganlove03) for videos I share.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Grain cafe is my go to spot for sure!!!!
Please share your favorite vegan recipe.
Hot for Food has many amazing yummy recipes. I always get recipes from this account.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Keep going and don’t quit. Ignore the outside noise and negativity and watch little by little the benefits of being vegan start blooming.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
It’s really, really, small lol I actually spend most of my time in LA going to vegan festivals and checking out restaurants when they open.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Vegan festivals for sure! The energy is amazing and I always meet amazing people who share tips and other cool stuff about veganism. Plus having access to a lot of vegan food is awesome.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Living cruelty free to me means doing the best that I can to not support anything that has to do with harming any type of animals/insects.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I love wearing clothes that support veganism. My favorite vegan clothing company is iapparel.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Well back when I started my journey many of the markets here is riverside didn’t have a lot of vegan options. I would always go to the markets in LA to find vegan cheese.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
The first 2 months when I started was really tough. I didn’t know what I could eat, how to get all the nutrients I needed. I even learned my lesson on how to read labels right. Lol I remember all I ate for those 2 months were lentils/beans with rice and a lot of fruits and veggies.