Tell us a little about yourself. Where you live, what you do for a living. Please feel to share and promote anything you want here, business, social or websites.
My name is Racine Hiet. I was born and grew up in Montreal, have lived in British Columbia, Canada, for decades, on the West Coast for most of that time and currently just south of Kelowna, in a place called Peachland, in the Interior. I am recently the Founder/Publisher of LUV4All: Vegan Peace Movement for a New World
What lead yOU to veganism? How long ago?
I began as a vegetarian for animals, when it wasn’t understood at all, and I was not yet really familiar with the word “vegan”, and then later in life, with more knowledge, I became a vegan. All in all, I’ve been living the veg lifestyle on behalf of nonhuman sentient beings for almost fifty years.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I had been a vegetarian for a long time already, and because of my desire for a cruelty-free lifestyle, with no exploitation of animals, I was already using only products and clothing that were not derived from or tested on animals. Also, preferring a holistic lifestyle, I wouldn’t want to use any toxic, poisonous products anyway.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism? For example, how strict are you with your children’s veganism at school or at family gatherings?
My grown sons, who are vegan, grew up with my husband and me in a vegetarian lifestyle, where even insects were freed from the house with a lot of care. When they were at elementary school, we had to keep in touch with the teachers, for bullying, etc, for being able to play at home with gender-free toys, and so communication all around was important. The teachers were understanding. When my sons got into high school, instead of taking part in animal dissection–where I had to fail Biology when I was in school for refusing to participate–they could use technology, which I persuaded the teachers to allow with a computer program that would give them the same knowledge, without animal exploitation. And therefore, they didn’t have to learn the desensitization that follows such behavior in school and teaches children to accept a violent, brutal world that lacks compassion and oneness of all beings, human and nonhuman alike.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
It depends on the age and the sensitivity of the child, and how it would be presented, but the knowledge of the who behind the “meat” is vital, and an appreciation of how wondrous every creation is, should be taught to children. We, humans, tend to demean those whom we exploit, those who are “not us,” who we perceive as separate from us, who have no value and are therefore disposable, human and nonhuman alike, through our conditioned thought and beliefs, that become our derogatory words, and then our abhorrent actions. And that becomes our reality, “the way it is”, programmed and fully accepted. The mind and heart become closed, and children need to be able to decide for themselves on the morality of Carnism.
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?
Vegan to me is much more than a diet. It is the first step to opening that door that has shut close inside ourselves and has caused such separation, alienation, and compartmentalization in the world we know now. Yes, there’s no killing of insects. And yes, I do naturally feel empathetic toward other human individuals and help each in any way I can. Toward the human species, however, I feel so much anger at times and shame that we have allowed ourselves to become so incredibly cruel, greedy, self-centered. I would much rather be enjoying my life, then have to be on the streets fighting for animal rights or in a Cube of Truth, listening to the same stories I have heard over a lifetime, with the same excuses, when countless billions of beings are tortured and murdered, without thought or feeling, every moment of every day and night. This is not a victimless crime, and these feelings of helplessness to stop their suffering gives me sleepless nights and deeply hurts my spirit.
If I have the choice, I would ideally prefer to deal with ethical companies completely. If it is a vegan company owned by a non-vegan company, animal testing is prohibited in my personal world. Such as when Daiya sold out to an animal-testing pharmacy company. No more Daiya in our fridge. Vegan options are expanding all the time, so we are living in a much better situation, if still far from perfect, than decades ago, and even a year ago.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
There are many ways to live an ethical vegan life and it can be expressed in so many different ways. There are opportunities in everyday life to promote veganism that can range from animal activism to supporting others with their diet, helping children in schools, helping companion animals, or being an example of a kind human being. Each person has his or her own journey, their own life mission. But veganism, I believe, is the first step for any kind of social justice, as one oppression is all oppression. And it is also necessary for living an everyday compassionate life with a spiritual sense of the interconnection of all beings on Earth.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I’ve talked about this above in some ways. I feel deeply for individuals, if they’re not total jerks, though I will voice my feelings about veganism and animals passionately to all, as I’m pretty open with my feelings and my convictions, I admit that I’m quite burnt-out from the uncaring actions of the non-vegan species as a whole.
Any recommended Vegan books?
“How Not To Die” by DR Greger, “Food Choices & Sustainability” by DR. Oppenlander, “Dominion” by Mathew Scully, “Oh She Glows” by Angela Liddon and many more vegan recipe books.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Dr. Will Tuttle’s The World Peace Diet, www.Nutricianfacts.org, www.Adaptt.org, Carnismdebunked.org, https://freefromharm.org/about-us/ and so many other amazing sites I’ve come across in my research for my online magazine, LUV4All: Vegan Peace Movement for a New World http://www.loveunityvoice.com, as well as so many available websites that teach people how to cook vegan, stay vegan, keep fit, and generally support the vegan journey. And the 30-day vegan pledge, https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/take-vegan-pledge, with regularly updated tips and support.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Forks Over Knives ( Netflix-what to eat), Cowspiracy (Netflix-environment) and Earthlings (earthlings.com-animal cruelty), and so many more coming out.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
My husband’s Vegan Vegetable soup made in a slow cooker.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You’re a superhero, you’re doing the work of the angels, you are changing the world one bite at a time, you are becoming the healthiest and most beautiful version of yourself, you are now living authentically, aligning with your convictions, you are thinking independently, your heart is opening day by day with Universal Love, you are making the world a place where we will all want to live in, human and nonhuman alike, where everyone is good enough, and there is no illusion of separation.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
In Kelowna, the city closest to me now, there has been a miraculous growth in vegan consciousness, even from a year ago. The Vegan Kelowna Supporters group is thriving, there’s another group in the south of the Okanagan Valley as well, in Penticton, called the Indian Rock Vegans, started by a middle-aged couple, where the husband saved himself from a Cancer death sentence. The animal activist groups are equally growing throughout, and are particularly passionate, bonding, and generally life-affirming and hopeful for those of us who participate, and I have discovered so many like-minded human beings. It brings a sense of belonging. With the numbers of vegans growing every day, and passionate, enthusiastic foodies they are, so many mainstream restaurants are now catering to these vegans, who always return to the vegan supporter website group to swoon over the delicious vegan menus and options that are offered, an excitement that many restaurants can no longer resist.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Start or look for a Vegan Supporters group, join groups and get involved with vegan activities with others, vegan potlucks. Some vegans are even searching the supporters group for fellow vegan artists, or bicycle enthusiasts. The times are a’ changing. It can be a youngish group in general, though the animal activism seems to have a mixture, so be warm and friendly, and loving and open to all ages.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Yes, my future ideal vision of LUV4All is most definitely inclusive. We are all amazing, no matter what race or color, or sexual orientation, or species. If we hurt another, we hurt ourselves. Constant self-survival at the expense of another manifests fear and scarcity and separation and insecurity and is severely self-limiting for all.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Gabriel Cosmetics, Andalou, and Carina Organics Hair Products, Seventh Generation Cleaning products, Everyone Lotions, and Live Clean soups.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
These days, nothing.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
The only way I have ever struggled with my Veganism is to be forced to live in a brutal carnivorous society. Veganism is the only way to live for the animals, for the planet, for ourselves. It’s not a choice. Every single being on this Earth was born free and joyous and ready to be loved and to love. Sounds perfect to me.
Tastemaker Supply – 100% Vegan Footwear – Pictured – Women’s Taste Artistry (Red)[/caption