Tell us about yourself.
My wife and I live in Vancouver WA. I am a middle school special education teacher. We are the organizers for the Anonymous for the Voiceless chapter, Vancouver.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I was vegetarian off and on for 18 years when my wife, who had only been vegetarian for one year, said that we had to watch Cowspiracy. We went vegan on the spot, almost 4 years ago Jan 1. We are Vegan for the animals.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
When we went vegan, we tried to not throw out a lot, gave most away but in the end, just threw out all of the dairy food items. Shoes, belt, wallets and leather jackets took a bit longer, maybe 6 months to phase out.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
We make no exceptions, in our house or when we are with non-vegans. If they want to eat non vegan, they can’t sit with is. Our children are all out of the house. One daughter is vegan, one is vegetarian and our son is part of the dark side.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Yes, I think we should teach children how animals are processed.
What does being vegan mean to you?
What being vegan means to me: we don’t eat or use any animal parts or products. We strive to do no harm to any living sentient being
We try to support vegan businesses when we can, but at the same time I do believe in supporting things like Carl’s Jr. Beyond Burger or Burger King’s Impossible burger. If we don’t support and show these companies that they can make money with these plant-based items, we have a harder time convincing meat eaters to go vegan.
We take bugs outside unharmed if at all possible.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I try to always show compassion for the non-vegans I talk to but being Vegan affects how I interact with them.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Yes, I believe every vegan should become an activist in some way, if we are going to enact social change. Going vegan is the least you can do.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Last book I read was The Sixth Great Extinction. Not a vegan book but very powerful information that we can use in out activism
Favorite Vegan restaurant?
Favorite restaurant is No Bones Beach Club
Favorite Vegan recipe?
Favorite recipe is my wife’s Picadillo (need to ask her).
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
For new vegans, find your vegan community. Volunteer at an animal sanctuary, join AV, Portland Animal Save, DXE, PETA or any other group, there are many. Get involved, go to meet-ups, talk with other vegans. We are an amazing community.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
The vegan scene in Vancouver is not too good but we live just across the river from Portland. Portland is amazing! Over 50 dedicated Vegan restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, ice cream shops, 2 grocery stores, even a vegan tattoo parlor. Plus, lots of restaurants with vegan options.
There are some great businesses coming along that have non-food, vegan items like Herbivore clothing shop, v-dog dog food.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I can’t think of anything that is hard to get. If it isn’t at Trader Joe’s or Food Fight, you can order it online.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Once my wife and I went vegan, we never looked back and did not struggle with it at all. We did and do struggle with our families and a few remaining non-vegan friends who will not even listen to us or refused to watch the documentaries we suggested.