Hi, my name is Valerie and before going officially and permanently Vegan in November 2016, I was at the very least a pescetarian since I was 12 years old (I’m 29 now). I live in Las Vegas and am currently a pet stylist, but I am also a Reiki Master and amateur photographer and am working on some projects to promote Veganism. The name that I’ve created for all of the work I do is called Value All Life which is an acronym for my name: V.A.L. You can find it valuealllife.wixsite.com/valuealllife. Although I use Instagram the most: instgram.com/val_the_vegan
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
As I mentioned before, I went vegetarian at the age of 12 right after I had the thought: “I love animals so why am I eating them?” Later on, a friend introduced me to PETA and I decided to go vegan, but I didn’t stay and also my mother said that my memory wasn’t as sharp as it used to be and suggested that I eat fish again. So I yo-yo-ed anywhere between vegan and pescetarian for years up until 2016. I realized that I was not much better than a meat eater if I was still eating dairy, eggs, and fish, so I gave it up.
How long have you been Vegan?
I made the switch right before Thanksgiving 2016 and my body has never been so thankful.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
I am Vegan first for the animals, then for the Earth and by default, I am nurturing my own health.
Any recommended Vegan books?
No, but I would love to write one.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Las Vegas Vegans on Facebook of course! Also VEGANS UNITED on Facebook.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
The Post Traumatic Slave Diet is a documentary on YouTube that is a huge eye opener especially if you are of African descent.
Do you actively promote veganism? How?
Yes, a lot of sharing photos/videos of cruelty or photos/videos that show the Vegan diet promotes optimal health. I really want to get out and do in person activism as well.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?
Of course the protein deficiency. I just show them all the vegan bodybuilders and athletes.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Panchos Vegan Tacos. Go Vegan.Cafe is my 2nd best.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
1 can of black bean
As much bell pepper as you would like
As much onion as you would like
1/4 tsp of chili powder
1/4 tsp of chipotle powder
1 can of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
Garlic salt to taste.
1 package of precooked cornmeal. (I used P.A.N. brand, but would like to find an organic one for next time)
Cook black beans in chili powder, chipotle powder, 1-3 of the chipotle peppers and some adobo sauce, bell peppers and onions. Let it simmer while you mix and cook the cornmeal according to directions. Cut it open and spoon some of the bean mix inside. You can drizzle hot sauce on as you go for extra flavor. It may break open all the way and get messy so have a fork handy!
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
It may seem hard at first, but Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook groups will make things a whole lot easier! Makes Vegan friends and enjoy all the new foods that come with being a Vegan 🙂
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
I don’t (knowingly) eat, wear, or use anything that either comes from animals, was tested on them or destroys eco-systems. I don’t use animals for entertainment either. Furthermore, I avoid clothing and items made in a sweatshop, because I do value human life as well.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Wholesome Culture, Vegan Vibes, Shea Moisture and Pacifica.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Some of my favorite cheeses, like Vegan parm (only at Whole Foods apparently) and Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Before going Vegan, it was always the cheese. Even after going Vegan it was the cheese, but I would just rather go without than to eat some of the horrible tasting products that are on shelves. But the cheese options have definitely improved dramatically just over one year. It’s also hard to be the only Vegan amongst my friends and family. Not because I crave what they are having, but because they just don’t understand and I don’t understand how they cannot understand. Or maybe they do, but just don’t have the willpower.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.
How do you feel? Did Veganism cure or reduce any ailment that you were suffering from? I feel amazing! Not always though. There are times when I eat a lot of processed Vegan foods and feel bogged down, but when I eat raw, or at least mostly whole foods, I feel so much more energetic! As far as ailments go, before Vegan, I was suffering from a severe allergy. The doctor said it was cats (even though I’ve had them all my life) and put me on Flonase. But I wasn’t consistent with using it, so was still suffering. Normally my allergy would flare up every other month, but this time, a month went by and nothing. Another month and another month. I realized that all I had to do was give up dairy in order to get rid of my allergies! I was so happy to have a success story to help back me up when I am talking to people about the benefits of being a Vegan.