Name: Clara Star
Occupation: Graphic Jewelry Designer
Location: New Albany, Indiana
Website: Charisma Eclectic
How long have you been vegetarian? And what inspired your journey?
I’ve been a vegetarian for 11 years and recently transitioned to vegan 4 months ago. In 2000, I learned that a new beau of mine didn’t eat meat. I was never a huge fan of it because of the texture and smell. We had a five minute conversation on the subject, which inspired me to try it. I haven’t looked back since then.
Has vegetarianism enhanced your health? Why or why not?
Vegetarianism has been a great compliment to my health. Though overweight, I don’t possess any of the afflictions/diseases held by many meat eaters my size. I don’t have diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol. I currently maintain a total cholesterol level of 182. I also had a very healthy pregnancy as a vegetarian.
Vegetarianism is a wonderful way of life, especially with frequent exercise. In the past decade I’ve learned that bread and sugar is as bad as consuming any dead animal. I learned that starch and glucose attack the body and contribute to excessive weight gain, lack of energy, and cravings. Being a vegan has helped me tackle those issues. I now have more mental clarity, more energy, and have lost 15lbs and 5 inches in just 4 months! Its all about activity and a proper way of eating.
In retrospect, how do you feel about meat? Or do you have any thoughts on America’s meat industry?
In the beginning I used to be persecuted for being a vegetarian, and still do at times for Veganism. People (relatives, co-workers,waitresses, etc.) take it as a personal attack that you don’t eat meat or dairy. I simply tell them that Its a personal choice, and I don’t desire to eat dead cows or slaughtered pigs. That usually shuts them up, lol. If it’s your choice, then fine. I don’t like the smell, the look or the moral fact that someone killed a living animal to fulfill your two piece entree.
America does not have the same standards as other countries when it comes to meat. When you consume a hamburger you’re possibly eating 1000 different cows. The standards for raising and slaughtering animals in the US are despicable. We live in a country that allows its citizens to die by the thousands per year to meat related illnesses.
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?
There was not a community online or offline to assist me in my journey back in 2000. I relied on the library and wholistic practices. How to Eat to live by Elijah Muhammad and Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet book were saviors and strength. However, as a vegan I’ve learned from sisters like A. Breeze Harper (Sistah Vegan book) and Afya Ibomu (Vegan Soul Food Guide to the Galaxy).
I am originally from Louisville, KY and I actually have a series of wholistic workshops that will start next month. If you have a support system for your goal and accurate knowledge on the subject, you’re set! I want the sisters to know that veganism is the way to go especially with frequent exercise. Changing my way of eating let me know that any goal can be achieved. If you’ve done something for 20, 40, even 60 years of your life as a habit or an addiction, then change it! You’ll see by conquering this goal, that other goals will be a breeze!
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So…..it’s ok to be overweight….as long as you are vegan? How does that happen anyway? If one has removed. Dairy…meat…animal by product….this is a bad example for black women.
@ummmmm: Great comment!
@ummmmm: It’s okay because everyone is not supposed to be the same size. If she’s eating well, working out, and healthy I don’t see the problem.
I stated lack of exercise, starches, and sugars were keeping my weight on as a vegetarian. That was my reason for transitioning to veganism. You can eat salads with meat everyday and still be overweight if you never exercise. Thank you for your comment.
@Clara: Eating salads with meat everyday…did not get you that way…you ate more than that…
clara, thanks so much for this story. i’m 26, 5’5, 170~175 lbs and still losing. i struggle with a history of binge eating with starches and sugars AND have PCOS on top of that. started at 220 in january 2010, and working steadily down- transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle last year, and am now ‘near-vegan,’ only eating eggs as my sole animal product. i think your courage in speaking from the veg-overweight experience is so valuable, there aren’t many of us out there. it’s usually a long, frustrating road ahead but it’s rewarding that it’s an ethical and abundantly healthy lifestyle despite us not fitting the waifish image of the typical white female vegan. thanks for being a great role models and keep not letting the haters get atcha.
I like this article. I’ve been thinking about going vegetarian for a while, but doing it slowly. It’s hard to go cold turkey! Lol. Lastly, to ummm, how ignoran and narrowminded can you be? Seriously, to take a stab at weight being an issue?!!! There are people who eat and can’t gain a pound and there are those who are reversed. This article was good because it was genuine.
@Lana M.: Aww, gee thanks that makes me feel so good! A lot of people don’t know that cows and hippos are vegetarians too, hahahaaa.
Have ya’ll seen her jewelry??? Too hot!!! Will be buying some today!!!
@Ms. Information: thank you for the compliment Ms!
@Ms. Information: Just saw it and it is definitely my style! I’ll be pinning it soon!! And purchasing, of course… 🙂
Thanks for sharing. That’s what gets me about human beings. When one shares what THEY are doing, we should take it as as is knowledge not critize someone based on apperance. Keep the positive feeling of the story and say thanks. This story shows that the thick girls are trying trying trying, read, move on, and say hey thanks for sharing, we love you for that.
@Tee: Thank you Tee, well said!
Clara’s story is going to be very inspiring to all of us out there who have been contemplating going vegan, and who are somewhat on the fence. It’s good to just take a little at a time.
I love that Clara remained positive in spite of nasty comments. Thanks for sharing Clara!
@Lynaya: I second that!
Thank you, adversity should never hold us back, only fuel our journey. Thanks for reading!
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story!
Hi Clara! Thanks for sharing your story in this article. I’ve moved into vegetarian diet and am learning the multiple benefits food for healing. I hope to hear more about your workshops soon. I know you to be a beautiful and radiant spirit and hope to see you soon. If you remember me, you know that I love, sport, and gladly promote your earrings because you create absolutely beautiful pieces of affordable art!
Clara thank you for sharing your story. I’m a new vegetarian of 9 months and thinking of veganism on my 1 year aniversary. Do your thing girl, size don’t matter. Do what’s best for you. Again, thanks for sharing.
Thanks Clara, your story is inspiring and you are an amazing example of positivity. I will celebrate my one year anniversary vegetarian on September 1, 2012. It is a journey of self discovery, I have my challenges but I’m super proud of myself and others who make changes in there lives for the better.
all of yall hang together and endorsing fake products
why are u so fat..u are not a vegetarian. u are very ugly.
This woman is a lesbian who has sex in front of children. Most on this post are her fakes ass friends who all dont like each other secretly. You eats me. I fucked this bitch
Listen, it is not nice to be make fun of people just because they are overweight. Obviously, this younglady is trying to change her life. Have you lost any weight? Are you exercising regularly? I do feel sorry for you. I wish I can help you. I do know of many support groups that can help you lose that body fat. Would you like my help? Mostly, when a person overeats it is because they are crying out for help. Have people in your life accepted your weight? Have you been overweight most of your life? I am sorry. I really want to help you. This post is to help you.
SHE is not trying to change her life. Why is she still fat? We have to be honest, if she was vegan she would be smaller. No one was making fun of her. She is just fat and nasty acting. I’d never wear those cheap azz earrings. I just like people to be honest to the world. Why would y’all publish this mess in your magazine? It is a lie. She is not healthy, exercising, and she wants to be fat. It is a bad message to send to people who are trying to lose weight. I battle with it when I was little and we have to view ourselves as the truth. FAT! Until she can admit there is a problem fatness will always be there.