1. How long have you been vegan? I became a vegetarian over 25 years ago and have been vegan for over a decade.
2. What made you decide to go vegan?
3. What are the benefits eating vegan have done for you? In a world that is so unjust to so many, I think the biggest personal benefit to me is knowing that I am living in a way that aligns with my most deeply held values. That being said, my primary motivation for living this way is not rooted in benefits for me, it is instead rooted in avoiding causing harm to other living beings or our shared environment. Any personal health benefits are just a bonus, in my opinion.
4. What did you find to be the biggest challenge of eating vegan?
Remaining hopeful. My work forces me to routinely confront some of the worst abuses of others. Whether it is researching incredibly dark, torturous experiments conducted on animals or going to active state cruelty investigations where seeing starving, suffering, and dead animals is common, much of my work advocating for animals forces me to continually bear witness to horrific atrocities. This would be hard for anyone, but for those of us who do this work because we are fueled by both a deep love for animals and a need to bring them justice, it can be especially hard. Knowing that no matter how many animals I can personally help save, that there are billions who will never get the help they deserve is also hard. For me, devoting my life to actively combating these injustices is how I remain hopeful. These two quotes probably sum it up best for me:
5. What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner? For breakfast, oatmeal with wild blueberries and maple syrup is a favorite – and you can get all these staples from here in Maine! Tofu scrambles, breakfast sandwiches, vegan yogurt and fruit, and pancakes are other great choices. Somedays I will mix it up and have a bowl of steamed kale with hummus or a hearty grain like farrow. For lunches and dinners our favorites always seem to be “bowl meals” – whether it is soups, salads, grain bowls, rice and beans, curries, or risottos. My husband is Italian and loves making homemade pasta and sauces. Tacos are also a big favorite in our house – tofu, black bean, sweet potato, roasted cauliflower – the options are endless. Guacamole and cashew cream make any taco better in my book!
6. Do you have a favorite cookbook, tip or recipe to share? We actually have a vegan cookbook we developed at PRS. Our recipes focus on simple, healthy, minimally processed foods. I would love to give a free electronic copy to anyone who sends an email request. While I am a hoarder of vegan cookbooks, I generally don’t follow recipes and prefer to experiment in the kitchen instead. That being said, one of my favorite recipes is for these black bean, peanut butter brownies by Minimalist Baker: https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-gluten-free-peanut-butter-swirl-brownies/