Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Shonda Cavalera – Know that I have Your Back No Matter What!

Tell us about yourself

Hey guys! First off thank you so much for having me take part in this interview! I am currently living in Las Vegas Nevada and I am originally from Colorado! I am a full-time model and you can see a lot of my work on Instagram @queenofblood as well as my website at Shondamackey.bigcartel.com!

What lead you to veganism? How long ago?

I actually randomly went vegan. What happened was over the period of a few weeks I just started realizing meat was disgusting. I went to eat chicken and I was like yo that’s a bird-like gross- I don’t wanna eat a bird so  I heard about this diet called vegan thought maybe I’ll try doing it. We had gone out to eat and I had a Ruth Chris steak with extra butter on top and then the next day woke up and said let’s try being vegan  so I cold turkey quit everything that day around May/June 2017 and have never looked back.

When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?

I did go cold turkey on food right away as for my clothing and makeup and skincare that came along the way it wasn’t that exact same day because I don’t believe in waste I didn’t want to just throw something away because at the same time those boots were a life and I have to take that into consideration and make sure that they get passed on to somebody to get reused.

Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?

I don’t have kids only a pup, he eats very healthily! I do still feed him meats but I did add a lot of vegetables and fruits that were allowed to his diet.

Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?

Depending on the age, I wouldn’t want to emotionally scar them. I do believe that children are not as naïve as we believe, a lot of children that I know are actually vegan by choice and I believe that our youth is definitely going to be a huge change in our world and the meat industry.

What does being vegan mean to you?

Being vegan to me is doing more for our planet. It’s not taking the king and queen mentality that we should take another life because we need it on our tongues for taste food is not about taste, it’s about health. Every living creature deserves to be here just as much as we do and I do take that to the extent of I don’t kill bugs and the bee population is another thing that we need to wake up to. I do not eat honey and have not since I went vegan. I treat everybody the same and equal always.  I don’t try to push my beliefs on anybody but if I can show maybe what I’m doing and maybe that can inspire somebody else to do it too that would be really freaking cool. 

Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?

I believe through our knowledge and through showing others what we are eating and how meat can have negative effects you are already partaking in being an activist simply by being proud of being vegan and showing it to the world. 

It’s up to you if you want to take it a step up from that.

How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?

I have to realize that I was once there and that I once knew absolutely nothing and also thought the vegan diet was crazy but at the same time like you really can’t judge it until you go vegan fully and then you see meat from the other side because it’s like alien it’s like you’re eating a piece of your own leg like it’s crazy to look at flesh on the other side. 

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Any recommended Vegan books?

I don’t have much for books on being vegan I am still learning along the way

Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?

I do follow a lot of vegan pages on Instagram: @weareveganuary @veganfitnessinfo @sustainable_duo @jonny_juicer 

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

I would recommend watching Game Changers if you haven’t it’s a great introduction and it’s very relaxing. Also, check out What the Health! 

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Out here in Las Vegas we are spoiled there is a bunch to eat but some of my favorites are Chef Kenny’s and Vegenation!

Please share your favorite vegan recipe?

I love to make barbecue tempeh with broccoli! You can fry it up in a skillet really easy or put it all together in tinfoil in your oven and bake it on 375 for 30-40 min! 

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

It might be hard but it’s definitely worth it! Keep going, keep learning new things! know that I have your back no matter what the people around you might say-we all went through it!

What is the vegan scene like in your city?

I have only been here in Las Vegas for about a year but there are a lot of vegans and it seems like fitness is very big here as well! 

What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?

Try going to vegan restaurants or often yoga you can find a lot of vegans or vegetarians. 

What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?

Living cruelty free would be incredible, it would mean that no animal suffers and I would love for that to extend to other humans as I come from child abuse and some domestic violence situations myself. I definitely encourage kindness because kindness is free and it could be the matter of making someone’s day and breaking it.

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

I love @iapparel they have some cute vegan clothes! 

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

Pre-made cookies & chapstick! The store keeps running out of them to fast! (Lucy’s cookies are the best!) 

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

In the beginning, I would say it was the hardest in the first three months. I felt like I was definitely overcome with cravings for fish and for butter and those dang Hawaiian sweet rolls oh my dear God I need to find those vegan styles! But I stayed strong and those cravings went away. I found an incredible butter replacement -Miyokos! Every year they’re adding more and more vegan options for food so it’s absolutely incredible! 

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