NAME: Jamila Crawford
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?
- 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!
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.