NAME: Jamila Crawford
AGE: 38
OCCUPATION:  Lifestyle and host of web series, “EARTHCANDY* food.fashion.flyness.”
LOCATION: Atlanta, GA
WEBSITE: Earth Candy Arts

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN VEGETARIAN? AND WHAT INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY?

I’ve been an original vegetarian (meaning no milk, eggs and cheese –which is NOW termed “vegan”) for 19 years. My inspiration was a desire for a healthier way of eating — simple as that!

HAS VEGETARIAN ENHANCED YOUR HEALTH? WHY OR WHY NOT?

Adopting a vegetarian cuisine has enhanced my health by way of clear skin, easier digestion, and absorption of the gifts of chlorophyll (a.k.a. “liquid sunlight”), vitamins and minerals via veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains.

IN RETROSPECT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MEAT? OR DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON AMERICA’S MEAT INDUSTRY?

I am thankful to possess the ability to think critically and realize that eating dead carcasses is NOT the way to vitality. As for the meat industry, it’s just that — an industry. They do what it takes to comply with the demands for their meats, including hormone injection and genetic modification of the enslaved animals.

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 started at a time where there weren’t very many people into the same type diet. Therefore,  I was a “one-woman show” as I started my meatless journey, which wasn’t a problem at all. I knew what I wanted for myself and ultimately my future generations, so I set out for it. As a vegan chef, I offer classes to help those transition from a SAD (Standard American Diet) diet to a vegan lifestyle. Just ask me!

HOW HAS earth candy* HELPED YOU WITH MAINTAINING YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON RAW VEGANISM?

Taking on a raw diet is a personal journey of mine. I’m not opposed to cooked foods, though I’ve taken a hiatus from it.

DO YOU HAVE ONE OR TWO TIPS ON TRANSITIONING INTO RAW VEGANISM?

  1. Be open to exploring different tastes; not everything is going to taste “just like (fill in the blank).” In fact, it’s a pleasant surprise!
  2. Plan ahead; it is a lifestyle change and you must have the mental fortitude to maintain it. It’s not convenient in terms of dining out (unless you’re okay with eating garden salads everywhere you go), but it’s worth it. Your body will THANK you :).

Are you a vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian? Email shane@frugivoremag.com if you’d like to be featured in the Black Vegetarian Series. Check back every Tuesday and Friday for a new profile! Click to read past profiles here.

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9 Comments

  1. She’s beautiful! I love the tips thank you

  2. LOVE! I can’t wait until I am 19 years vegan! :)

  3. Fanon Che Wilkins

    Great interview. I wish that it were longer. Ups to the Earthcandy Goddess for her insights and amazing example:)

  4. It is so refreshing to see more and more African-American Vegans. I have been one since August 3, 2012. I just got so tired of eating meat, by that time it was basically chicken and fish, that it just didn’t sit well with me anymore! I still like salmon, but I am weening myself to go full throttle vegan. I love juicing so much that I do it everyday. I even burnt out my cheaper version GNC juicer. Fortunately, my local veggie stand has fresh carrot and beet juices that I can alter until I get my new juicer next week! Praise God, I miss my juicer! I feel so much better and losing weight too! Yeah me!

  5. I’m in love

  6. I hv been totally raw for only a few months. I found u on a friend site n saw your zest for color. Loved your clothes n to find your raw too is a blessing for me. Congratulations, I hope to learn a few tips from your site.

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