Name: Akiyla McQueen

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Age: 22

Occupation: Music Business Student, Florida A&M University

How long have you been vegan? And what inspired your journey?

I started my vegan journey in January 2009. We are all connected in some way shape or form. What I do, affects not only me, but also everything and everyone around me. When I researched and actually experienced how veganism is significant and vital for my life, I had to make the transition. What I learn and find true, I apply.

Has veganism enhanced your health?

Veganism supports a healthy internal and external body. By enriching your body with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, your body is getting everything it needs to properly grow and function. It is also healing from all meat causing diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes etc., which are the top causes of death in our society.

In retrospect, how do you feel about meat? Or do you have any thoughts on America’s food industry?

Learning that eating meat was not vital for my life, I realized that we kill lives for our taste and not the importance of healthy existence. Meat factories also pollute the world, and the average person eats 100 animals a year. By becoming a vegan I have saved hundreds of lives, lowered the amount of pollution in the environment, and also save myself from illness.

Was there a community of black women that helped you along your meatless journey? And if not, what are you doing to motivate others?

The black women in my community did not help me, but as I learned with the help of my friends, we have spread and still are spreading the importance of being vegan. We’ve inspired a lot of students at my HBCU to become more health conscience.

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


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  1. Well spoken. I love my meat, but this definitely makes me consider the transition…

  2. I love this. I went vegetarian briefly a few years ago and I’m now eating pescatarian. My family is unsupportive (still exasperated with me having given up pork more than 10 years ago). We must do better and realize that Black people are sicker and live shorter lives than we have to, in large part because of our diet.

    For anyone considering going vegetarian, I highly recommend the PETA documentary (“I
    Am An Animal”). Rocked my world.

  3. And great job, Akilya, for making such a mature decision at a young age!

  4. Congratulations! I started my vegan journey in 2009 as well.

  5. lauren farrar

    yay akilyla, love lauren f!

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