NAME: Simone N. Sneed
OCCUPATION: Fundraiser & Life Coach
LOCATION: New York, NY
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN VEGETARIAN? AND WHAT INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY?
I began my journey towards conscious eating during my adolescence, but in February 2011, I focused my energies and went vegan. For me veganism was a logistical challenge and after dabbling briefly in pescetarianism I’ve settled into a great vegetarian lifestyle. My lifestyle shift has been inspired by a better understanding of what my mind, body and spirit need to operate at their best.
HAS VEGETARIAN ENHANCED YOUR HEALTH? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Vegetarianism has enhanced my health dramatically. By shifting my diet and increasing my physical activity I feel almost as if I’ve discovered a whole other version of myself. I have more energy, I sleep better, I’ve lost nearly 40lbs and on top of that, my mind feels calm.
IN RETROSPECT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MEAT? OR DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON AMERICA’S MEAT INDUSTRY?
My shift to a vegetarian lifestyle was mostly promoted as a health issue and not a moral dilemma.
However, I do feel that a vegetarian lifestyle gives me more time to contemplate purpose. I believe we (the natural world and humans) are interdependent and that the way we currently co-exist with nature is out of balance. It concerns me … but I can’t say that my vegetarianism is a direct response to this tension.
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?
Growing up, there wasn’t a particular community of black men that I was close with. The suburbs of Upstate New York are not bastions of color. The men at my church as far as I know are all meat-eaters, as were the African American men I knew in college. However, I do know quite a few other women of color who are vegan or vegetarian. We share favorite cook books and sometimes even try out new recipes together. It’s a nice way to build community.
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