About our Founder
One night I was bored and scrolling through the ‘popular’ page on Instagram (remember that?) and I came across a video clip on factory farming. It absolutely horrified me. It was a bunch of baby chickens on a conveyer belt. They were sorting the male chickens out and tossing them into a grinder. It made me feel sick to my stomach. One thing led to another and I ended up down a rabbit hole of clip after clip of humans brutalizing animals. I’m a sensitive person, so seeing the inhumanity of factory farming was so disturbing. I kept gasping in disbelief at what I was seeing.
Obviously, I knew that the animals I had been eating for nearly every meal of my life were being farmed, but I had conveniently ignored thinking deeper about the harm I was causing. After seeing those videos, I couldn’t turn a blind eye anymore. I decided to transition to vegetarianism.
At the same time all of this was happening, I had been working with a therapist to sort out the unhealthy relationship I had with food. I had been on treadmill of diet after diet for basically my entire life and I was so exhausted with hating my body and with trying to fit myself into the cultural idea of thinness. I was doing the hard work of learning how to eat intuitively, forgetting about what I ‘should’ eat or diet mentalities. Just listening to my body and learning how to feed and nourish myself. Learning how to handle my emotions without turning to food as my comfort.
I was determined to incorporate my intuitive eating with my new vegetarian diet. I promised myself that I would eat according to my intuition. I would let my values of not harming animals guide my eating choices, but I would be gentle and forgiving of myself if I wanted to eat a hamburger sometimes. It was hard at first because my desire for meat often outweighed my value of not harming animals, but I stuck with it. I learned to cook new vegetarian foods that I absolutely loved. Over time, meat became less and less important to me. After about a year, I was almost fully vegetarian.
Then came cheese. Cheese was basically a food group to my vegetarian self. I ate more cheese enchiladas than I care to remember! I started educating myself on the harm that dairy farming causes to animals. How sad is it that baby cows are separated from their mothers so that we can take their mother’s milk? I was commuting at the time and I would drive by a dairy farm every day that had baby cows in over-sized dog houses. I thought about how sad and lonely they must be every time I drove by.
I was feeling the pull toward veganism, but I had my misgivings. How could I possibly give up cheese? The vegan diet seemed impossibly restrictive. I wasn’t sure I would be happy and able to eat intuitively without ANY animal by-products in my life. I was so conflicted about it. My values were telling me one thing, but my cultural conditioning and habits around food were telling me another.
I decided to just go cold turkey and try a 30-day vegan challenge. I knew I needed a jump start to try veganism because I was seriously addicted to cheese and I didn’t think I’d be successful just phasing it out over time like I did with vegetarianism. I started educating myself on veganism, following lots of Instagram accounts. I read lots of books and I just decided to go for it.
On my 30-day challenge, I felt totally in alignment with my values. It felt so good to me to know I wasn’t harming animals. The food, though, was a total challenge. I didn’t know what to eat! I was hangry almost ALL the time. With all my preparation and reading, I hadn’t found a way to be vegan that worked for me. I didn’t like the taste of fake meats and cheeses. They weren’t even close to the real thing. I was eating lots of raw vegetables and hating life. Toward the end of the challenge, I started finding ways to make it work for me. I wanted to share everything I’d learned. I had documented the challenge on my Instagram and I loved the positive feedback I was getting on my silly videos. An idea for this site started to form around that time. I knew I would have to have a 30-Day Vegan Challenge guide to help people avoid the same mistakes I made in my challenge.
After the challenge, I ate a ton of cheese. All that deprivation was hard and I needed a quesadilla! The challenge did show me, though, how easy it could be to be vegan most of the time if I got it right. I knew I might not ever be ‘fully’ vegan, but I resolved to be mostly vegan. I reasoned that it would be better to be mostly vegan with some cheese or the occasional meat here and there instead of giving up because I couldn’t do it perfectly.
The problem was that the vegan community I followed on Instagram didn’t believe in the concept of ‘mostly vegan’. I felt uncomfortable with how much the vegan community resembled a religious community. There was a lot of ridicule for meat eaters, frustration with people who didn’t understand the lifestyle, anger towards people who had been vegan but then decided to stop. It wasn’t a supportive community. I felt like you just couldn’t possibly be vegan enough and I felt like the community was ignoring the high rates of recidivism for the way of eating. It was just really hard for people to go vegan because of the strong role of meat in our culture. They treated it as a personal failing if people had trouble making the transition or sticking with it for a longer period of time.
It was around this time that that my mission with this site started to crystalize. I wanted to provide a community for people who felt pulled toward veganism because of their love and compassion for animals. I wanted to recognize how hard it is to be vegan and provide support for people on their journey, myself included. I really feel like I have found my life’s purpose with this site and I hope to make it my life’s work.
If you’ve found yourself here, I truly hope that this site is a great resource for you. I hope you hold firm to your commitment to limit the harm you cause to animals. I hope you find that veganism can be an absolutely beautiful way of living, one that will bring you peace and alignment with your values. I hope you try our 30-Day Vegan Challenge and share your journey with me. If there is ANYTHING I can do to support you, I am happy to provide it.
Thank you for being here. You are so warmly welcomed.
Founder – 80% vegan