Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegans Are Everywhere

Meeting another vegan is an indescribable joy. It is sort of like reconnecting with a long lost friend, that you have never met. Vegans seem to instantly have a bond that goes much further than the compassionate choices you make.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Recently I sat down over a delicious lunch at Quiet Storm in Pittsburgh to chat it up for my first Chubby Vegan Interview.

Meet Lauren, a definitely NOT chubby vegan extraordinaire. Lauren is a fitness instructor, full time staffer at a health technology company, proud cat mama, 3 time marathon runner, and all around cool chick.

We chatted about living vegan and here is what she had to say…

What made you decide to become a vegan?
I was a vegetarian for 18 years and it was just a natural extension to that. It just didn’t make sense to me to eat animals, it just ethically was not right. I prefer to think of animals as my friends; like my cat Dotty who is my best friend. Overall, I know this is cliché, the health benefits are really high too and I think you are always focused on what you eat.

Do you find your friends and family support your decision?
Some do and some don’t. Most of my family thinks I am crazy but my friends have always been supportive. My closest friend is also vegan. My family is pretty traditional, they can grasp that I won’t eat scrambled eggs, but not that I won’t eat a cake with eggs in it. It has been over 18 years since I have eaten meat and my grandmother asked me over Christmas how I wanted my steak cooked. So…

What are your vegan staples; your easy go to vegan foods?
Probably peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I am so busy and don’t cook a lot. I also live off the hot bar at Whole Foods and vegan Amy’s Macaroni and Cheese.

What is the best vegan food you ever ate? Where was it?
Definitely VegiTerranean in Akron, OH… The carrot cake there was the best thing I ever ate!

Read more of Lauren’s interview, after the jump!

What do you think about being vegan in Pittsburgh?
It’s a challenge to find something but there are great places like the Quiet Storm. There are new places coming and you just have to be creative and do a little research. We are not the vegan capital of the world but you can definitely surprise yourself. There is a small place called the Blue Dust in Homestead with a vegan menu, who knew!?

What is the best thing about being a vegan?
I know people say that one person can’t make a difference, but I feel like I am making a difference. Plus I am helping the environment and overall animal welfare.

What is the most common misconception about being vegan?
THAT WE DON’T GET ENOUGH PROTEIN! People always ask me if I get enough protein because I run and am “athletic.” I actually met with a dietitian who reviewed my diet and found out that I eat more (and better) protein than people who eat meat. I am always just so much more aware of what I put in my body.
Dotty strikes a pose...

If you could say one thing to someone about the importance of living a cruelty free life, what would it be?
Just give it a try! People always look down on what they don’t understand. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and people can make baby steps. Try soy milk instead of cow’s milk. Make doable lifestyle changes.  It works and it will change the way you feel.

1 comment:

  1. Great post...great lady!! I go through the same grandma always asks if I want beef and noodles!? Blessings to you both! Thanks for sharing!


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