NAME: Christa Shelton
OCCUPATION: Vegan Health Coach
LOCATION: Los Angeles
WEBSITE: Veggin’ Out with Christa
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN VEGETARIAN? AND WHAT INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY?
I became vegetarian in 2001 and transitioned into veganism in 2006. I had a conversation with my brother-in-law one day about meat, and it was the first time I really thought about meat consumption so literally, and it turned me off. I decided to experiment with giving up meat for seven days and that is what started it all!
HAS VEGETARIAN ENHANCED YOUR HEALTH? WHY OR WHY NOT?
My life is definitely enhanced. I feel so much lighter and have discovered so many more food options that I enjoy (contrary to what many people believe).
IN RETROSPECT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MEAT? OR DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON AMERICA’S MEAT INDUSTRY?
I feel that meat consumption is absolutely unnecessary. The horrors of factory farming and the impact it has on our health and the environment is despicable.
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?
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a community of black women that helped me along my journey. My goal is to bring awareness about veganism to the black community in every way possible. For starters, I have recently spoken twice to a group of women of color at a transitional center for domestic violence about the benefits of vegetarian/vegan diets and how to make easy and affordable lifestyle changes.
I think we must all do what we can to educate our community so that voices can be raised to make changes and demand access to better and more affordable food choices. Food deserts are a major concern of mine and I have ideas and plans in mind to help shed more light on this issue.
HOW HAS VEGGIN’ OUT HELPED YOU WITH MAINTAINING YOUR PHILOSOPHIES OF COMPASSION AND VEGANISM?
Veggin’ Out has helped me tremendously by connecting me with so many different people who want to learn and make dietary changes. It is my passion to help people live healthy and be vibrant, and I believe it starts at the plate.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ONE OR TWO TIPS ON TRANSITIONING INTO VEGANISM?
My number one mantra is to think about what you can have instead of what you can’t have. Don’t allow the switch to overwhelm you, ease into it gradually and take each day as it comes. Finally, read, research, and reach out to others for help!
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