Vegan Like Me aims to profile fellow vegans, from all walks of life from everywhere in the world! We’ve all been beginners and I think its important for folks to hear people’s stories in order to motivate themselves to keep going. This feature is intended to do just that. If you are vegan and would like to participate, get in touch with me and I’ll be sure to send our questionnaire along to you.
Where do you live? New Jersey
How long have you been vegan? 15 Years
What inspired you to take on a plant-based (vegan/vegetarian) diet? An interest in what is in my food and where my food comes from began at a young age. That curiosity coupled with a love for animals an increasing amount of knowledge regarding the treatment of animals in the food industry as well as the health benefits have led me to become a vegan. Growing up I went from eating pretty well as a kid with a father who was a chef of Chinese cuisine to suddenly having to eat a lot of fast food and cheap junk foods from the grocery store when my parents split. The lack of fresh produce in my household from age 6 and up definitely made me want those things in my diet so much more than a lot of kids I’m sure. I craved it!
What do you love most about being vegan? I love that it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself, my family and the planet. Compassion is something we are born with, but as time goes by we start to let it slip out of different aspects of our lives such as with fashion, food, etc. Ultimately, you can choose where you put your money and it is an easy way to actively do something good.
What three items do you always have in your pantry? Almond Milk, Nutritional Yeast, Dulse Flakes (seaweed flakes).
What is your favorite vegan comfort food? My own personal breakfast specialty… vegan chocolate chip pancakes.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking on a plant-based (vegan) diet? Go for it!! It is so much easier these days then when I was 15! I had help when I was younger from friends and I recommend making sure you have some support when you do it, but definitely keep treats and snacks with you at all times to help you transition. You will have a much easier time going vegan if you are always ready to replace sweets and meals at social functions!
Do you find anything difficult about being vegan? When people tease you for being “different” at family gatherings or in school. I don’t really have that problem anymore, but I know a lot of people who do and it makes me sad… as long as you’re not judging others at those gatherings – people should just be supportive of your beliefs if they love you! It is a misconception that vegans “miss out” on things as well and that is a huge pet peeve. Eat a yummy cupcake for 5 minutes that possibly had something to do with an animal living a miserable life? Yes, chickens who lay eggs that are probably in that cupcake were probably miserable packed in a cage where they got pooped on and pecked at, etc. No thanks, I can have a yummy vegan cupcake when I get home… I can seriously wait like an hour… what is the big deal about this…lol. I also get the argument for free range eggs and more humane animal sourced foods and I support people who make an effort to source that way, but if it is me I’d rather opt for plant-based foods since, in my opinion, it is the best healthfully, ethically and of course just as yummy!
Any other comments you or words of wisdom you would like to add? I occasionally make vegan bento boxes for my son who is 7 years old that you can check out here: http://mumbentobot.tumblr.com. Also, I’m an illustrator so you can check out my Etsy shop at http://mumbot.etsy.com if you’d like! Good luck!
Thank you so much, Jade!