Name: Rondrea Mathis
Occupation: Instructor of English, PhD student in English Literature
Location: Tampa, Florida
How long have you been vegetarian? And what inspired your journey?
I have been a vegetarian off and on for about four years. Excluding the off times, it’s been about two and a half years. I’ve been a vegan since May of this year. I actually didn’t have a formal inspiration the first time I became a vegetarian, it was just something that I arbitrarily decided to do. However, the more I researched food and the food industry, the more devoted I became to vegetarianism, and by the third time, I was dedicated. My veganism also came as a result of researching milk and milk products and since my consumption of eggs was tied to milk and/or milk products, it wasn’t difficult to eliminate those also.
Has vegetarianism enhanced your health? Why or why not?
As a result of my clean-eating veganism, I have clearer skin, easier digestion, and I’ve lost over fifty pounds. Weight loss was a concern of mine, but not a primary one. I am working towards a goal weight now but I am exercising regularly in addition to eating as cleanly as possible to accomplish that.
In retrospect, how do you feel about meat? Or do you have any thoughts on America’s meat industry?
I don’t have anything against meat but because I love animals and hate plants, I’m a vegan. Seriously though, reforms need to be made to the entire American food industry from farming to marketing.
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?
I didn’t have a community but the website, “A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss” really helped and now I try to share what I’ve learned with my carnivorous friends in hopes that they will at least be more conscious of their food choices.
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