How long have you been vegan? And what inspired your journey?
I’ve been a vegan for six years. While I explored vegetarianism as a result of an illness in college, I ultimately switched to veganism as an adult. The difference was the lifestyle commitment. Understanding that it’s not just about food or animal rights issues, but a holistic approach to my health, a compassion for all, including animals and sworn enemies : – ) – and a consistent recurring choice to care for the planet.
I don’t mean that in a flakey way – but the way I see it, it’s about being accountable for all my actions.
The key to my transition was connecting with other members from the community. I wanted to soak up as much information about the lifestyle as possible, so I attended potlucks, seminars and monthly cooking classes.
Has veganism enhanced your health? Why or why not?
Absolutely, it enhanced everything. I’ve seen big changes in my health, from my weight to the clearing of my skin and an increase in my energy.
My creativity has taken a positive leap and I have become even more sensitive to both people and animals. Who would of thunk it?
But, these results can only be achieved and maintained with a healthy vegan diet. It’s easy to adopt a “junk food” vegan lifestyle (especially if you were a junk foodie before becoming vegan). I love vegan cake and chips, but I have to keep them to a minimum if I want the full lifestyle benefits.
In retrospect, how do you feel about meat? Or do you have any thoughts on America’s meat industry?
I had no idea that I was contributing to so much suffering when I was a meat eater. Nor did I know that I could feel so much better when I stopped eating meat.
For the good of earth’s eco-balance and the health and goodwill of living beings on earth, I say government subsidies to the meat industry must stop. Instead, let’s give financial support to farmers growing organic plant-based foods, so that we can feed every being, sustainably.
Animals are all beautiful beings, created with novel design, function and grace, so besides objecting to killing animals, how could I participate in forced insemination, milking, malnutrition, overcrowding and filthy living conditions – the horrors that live animals would endure for my sake – it just doesn’t make common sense.
Was there a community of black women that helped you along your meatless journey? And if not, what are you doing to change this for others?
Although my mother was vegetarian at the time, I made my decision to be veggie without pressure. Later, we both became vegan, cooking and sharing recipes and offering support for each other, which we both still enjoy.
I’ve taken a more one-on-one approach to inspiring other black women and families because I haven’t always lived in cites with a large African-American population. I take friends to vegan restaurants and help them find vegan clothes and hair products, so they can see that it’s a lifestyle choice.
It seems that this lifestyle has rubbed off on a few of my friends who surprisingly became vegan, too. I love it when they tell me about something that I didn’t know was vegan.
I hope to become more active and partner with others to launch seminars and conferences to help, support, and educate on a national level. If there is anyone interested in helping with these types of projects, let me know. Our community needs it.
Are you a vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be featured in the Black Female Vegetarian Series. Check back every Tuesday and Friday for a new profile! Click to read past profiles here.