Go Vegan. Thank you!

I'm Erin, but everyone calls me Red and that's just fine with me.

I'm a certified VLCE and Vegan Nutrition Specialist, public speaker, writer, consultant, kitchen wrangler, problem solver, rabble-rouser, jet-setter, and host of the popular vegan podcast Red Radio. I also co-founded The Seed in 2012, and continue to organize events across North America.

By night I'm a muay Thai practitioner, runner, Bikram Yogini, and tattoo enthusiast. Brooklyn is home, but I hail from Toronto, Canada, and I'm currently on the road.

Try to keep up.

#Fresh Veggies

FRESH VEGGIES: Lauren!

The FIFTH installment of my series on new vegans!


BASIC INFO

Name:  Lauren, whoren, double cheddar, feldman
Age:  31
Occupation: product manager  
Physical Activity Level: it’s all relative
Vegan Since: for about 6 months

Important Details about Me:
I’m an ex-cheerleader turned MMA fighter always with a thing about my weight, health and overall athletic performance.  I’m a painter who works in technology, recently moved from NYC to San Francisco enjoying the 80 degree weather in October.


PRE VEGAN

What did your diet look like before you went vegan?
5 years ago? sushi, soft pretzels, egg sammies from dunkin donuts and too much chinese food including fried chicken and “combination fried rice”  Never was a big meat eater, but wouldn’t turn away my mom’s meatloaf, kosher chicken or homemade lasagna.

Did you have any preconceived notions about veganism before going vegan?
eh, not really. 

What was your turning point?  How did it come about? 
Well, I’ve been friends with you for 5 years.  I’ve gone off and on vegan-like diets for probably a year or two.  I was vegan in San Fran right after I moved and the first time I went home to my mom’s for the jewish holiday, i just kind of “ignored” my newly found veganism for my mom’s food.  I puked that night.  And I felt emotionally crazy and physically ill.  That was basically the end of eating meat and dairy… so gross.  Delicious, but not worth it.


NEW VEGAN

How did you immediately feel emotionally, mentally, physically after going vegan?  After one week?  After one month? 
I don’t know.  Truthfully I didn’t feel anything but strange.  It’s not necessarily how I feel when I’m not eating meat and dairy, it’s how I don’t feel.  I don’t feel… like a cow?  I don’t mean that as an analogy, I actually mean, I don’t feel like standing in a field and grazing all day when I’m eating vegan.  I feel alive, more motivated and generally better spirited.

How did your friends and family react to your lifestyle change?  
I didn’t tell them.  It wasn’t an announcement I made one morning when I woke up.  I’ve always been weird about food.  So I order what I order at restaurants, and I eat what I eat at home, in my own way, usually with my fingers and my friends deal with it or complain with it.  They think it’s weird; I think it’s what my body and mind need.  I do what I want :-) 

Were there any books that motivated you to change, or helped with your transition? 
No books, it was really just YOU. 

Did you have any slip-ups?  How did you deal with it? 
Truth: I slip up all the time.  There’s lots of foods that have animal products in them that there’s no way for me to know about and randomly I find out later.  Being a vegan is like being religious.  You do the best you can to observe what you believe in.  You do it in a way that fits into your life and when you make mistakes, you learn from them and move on.  If I got upset over every slip-up in my life, food and non-food related, I’d never live.

How did you deal with your non-vegan items (kept them, replaced them, donated them)?
Anything consumable I either consumed or let go bad.  Products are a little harder to get rid of, however, my recent move to SF helped because I clean slated a lot of my stuff; it went to salvation army.  


CURRENT VEGAN

Do you miss anything? 
FISH.  SUSHI.  I mean.. my cat’s name is sushi.  I think about it every day. LOL

What has been your biggest challenge so far? 
Corporate dinners.  Business folk like to celebrate with expensive dinners, or mourn their losses with expensive dinners.  Usually that means meat or fish or both.  Explaining why I’m excited about asparagus hold the hollandaise usually ends up in a borderline uncomfortable situation.  I’ve learned that people have more respect for people with opinions than people with none.  And I’ve never been one to stifle my opinion.  

What has been the greatest reward? 
Knowledge and a greater appreciate for quality of life for animals.  

What are some new foods, cuisines or products you’ve tried since going vegan?
QUINOA baby — LOVE IT.  I have stomach issues so gluten isn’t the best thing for me.  Being a gluten-free vegan isn’t exactly easy; not like I can stop at a deli or McDonald’s to get my gluten-free fast food.  That said, quinoa is my favorite replacement for rice and I’ve recently learned to make sushi with it.  I think I have a new restaurant concept with this :-)

Is your significant other/roommate/family vegan?  Have they become curious? 
My significant other, sushi the cat, she turns her nose up at milk and other cat-friendly delights.  I think it’s her way of showing her support.  haha.  Actually, my brother has become a long-distance athlete and has recently been doing some nutritional experiments with no eating meat.  My brother was always the brisket man, so I have a feeling he will move towards an animal free diet soon in his own time.  I’ll be here to chat about it along the way.


FUTURE VEGAN

Do you plan to stay vegan?  Why or why not? 
I plan on continuing to respect and care for animals and myself.  I have a feeling that will mean I’ll be a vegan for a long time.  That said, if I was starving on a deserted island all alone with no edible plants or wildlife and a wild board ran by… I might get hungry.  The odds of that happening, probably pretty minimal :-) 

What vegan books would you like to read?  Vegan movies to see?  Vegan locations to visit? 
For me, it’s about self exploration and community.  So I will continue to do what I do which is learn from you, share my lifestyle with friends, and just meander around.

Have you encouraged your loved ones to make changes?  How?  What has been the reaction? 
Truth: not really.  I have no intention on pushing my decisions onto other people.  I like to lead by example.  

Do you think veganism is a realistic solution for the masses?  Why or why not? 
Honestly, no.  It’s kind of like suggesting that Christianity is the religion for the masses — animal consumption and use in culture is part of the human DNA unfortunately.  It has been associated with cultures for years as sacrifices, celebrations, signs of wealth and mere survival.  Animals will always be a part of human culture because we too are animals.  That said, the “evolved” human may look differently upon how to look upon animals… but it will likely be the result of all the destruction we’ve done to the ecosystems of the world by that point.  Don’t mean to sound negative… but… perhaps it will be a good thing.

EP47: West Coast Fresh Veggie Lauren & More!

Never fear, folks… all is well at Casa Roja.  There were some pretty serious winds out there, and the rain was falling sideways, but we had power/internet/an open deli throughout the whole storm and Basil spent most of the event curled up with us in the bed.  I reeeeeeaaallly need to get back to work (and the gym), but everything’s hunky dory on our side of things.  Sending love and blessings to those who weren’t so lucky. 

Recorded just as the city was shutting down for Sandy, I had SO MUCH FUN chatting with my good friend Lauren for Red Radio Episode Forty Seven!  She’s really honest about her journey and I even learned some things about her I didn’t know.  Plus, I go crazy over the worlds greatest coconut water and play a clip about Dairy Cows by Jonathan Mann and Ivory King.  Super sweet, yo!

The illustrious Fresh Veggies segment returns in Red Radio Episode Forty Seven!  Erin Red chats with dear friend Lauren about (gluten-free!) veganism as it relates to MMA, travel, the corporate world and so much more.  Plus, learn the truth about dairy cows in a Compassionate Clip of the Week featuring vegan interweb superstars Jonathan Mann & Ivory King, and hear all about Erin Red’s absolute FAVORITE post-workout beverage!  YEEHAW!  Please consider supporting Red Radio by visiting erinred.com and clicking the DONATE button, and subscribe to Red Radio on iTunes today!  If you love what you hear, leave a glowing review, or drop Erin Red a line at erinredradio@gmail.com.  You can also read her blog at erinred.tumblr.com, and find her on Facebook and Twitter @erinred.  


Click the Red Radio logo to freshen up your own veggies!

Show notes for EP46 and EP47 coming up this week!
xo Erin Red

FRESH VEGGIES: Rob!

The fourth installment of my series on new vegans!

BASIC INFO

Name: rob ward
Age: 27
Occupation: kids mma instructor
Physical Activity Level: I spend most of my time up side down or sweating in some way. So high!
Vegan Since: late 2010 early 2011 I think not too sure.
Important Details about Me:  I live in the south ate like a southerner for a long time. My father died as a direct result of his diet. I miss him.


PRE VEGAN

What did your diet look like before you went vegan?
At first horrible I didn’t eat anything till It was fried. Then I was more health conscious but I still ate animals.

Did you have any preconceived notions about veganism before going vegan?  They were skinny and pale. However the idea of vegans was not one I ran into often coming up.


What was your turning point?  How did it come about?
Just hearing about it on citizen radio and knowing eating to live is important.

NEW VEGAN

How did you immediately feel emotionally, mentally, physically after
going vegan?  After one week?  After one month? So much energy it felt cleaner and I have been running harder ever since.

How did your friends and family react to your lifestyle change?
kinda meh. They were not to surprised.

Were there any books that motivated you to change, or helped with your
transition? Not really books however twitter and red have helped tremendously

Did you have any slip-ups?  How did you deal with it?
Yes with rage and renewed vigor.

How did you deal with your non-vegan items (kept them, replaced them,
donated them)? I really haven’t had to deal with non vegan clothing I’d imagine I’d donate them however.


CURRENT VEGAN

Do you miss anything?
Just convenience.

What has been your biggest challenge so far? My laziness in the kitchen is by far my worst enemy. Working on it now.

What has been the greatest reward?
Energy + ethical = win!!


What are some new  foods, cuisines or products you’ve tried since going vegan? Tempeh im still struggling with how to properly cook it though.

Is your significant other/roommate/family vegan?  Have they become curious?
She is not vegan although she is more health conscious.

FUTURE VEGAN

Do you plan to stay vegan?  Why or why not? Hell yeah, simply because I have never felt better. It’s harder to go back once you are vegan. Kinda like going black.

What vegan books would you like to read?  Vegan movies to see?  Vegan
locations to visit? Vegan books I lobe are cook books, vegan movies by far “fat sick and tired” is my favorite.

Have you encouraged your loved ones to make changes?  How?  What has
been the reaction? Yes I have, I have pretty much just told them eat more greens be more health conscious. Many have seen my going vegan and the results of it and their reaction has been everything from ” ok let’s do it” to ” I can’t do that”

Do you think veganism is a realistic solution for the masses?  Why or why not? Absolutely, it’s realistic because being vegan is sufficient in nutrients and it is sustainable. On top of that it fixes a lot of health problems people face now. The real question is is it realistic for many to remain non vegan?


EP34: Fresh Veggie Rob & Bittman Talks Vegan!

Seriously, guys - thanks a million for all the amazing feedback you’ve been dishing out regarding The Seed.  The support of the vegan community is an incredible force with which to be reckoned and I’m so excited to see how far we can go, the heights we can reach.  Rar!

In other EP34 news, Bittman’s at it again with "More On Milk", published in the NYTimes’ Opinionator.  Looks like this is something Bittman is pursuing on some level.  Vegan or not, I dig it.  I’m sure the dairy industry will respond with some kind of foolishness soon: stay tuned.

Oh, and how much do we love Fresh Veggie Rob?  He’s a man with a mission and he’s screaming it from the FLA rooftops - what’s not to love?  Check out his journey to veganism, from fried flesh to veggie stir fries.  Sweet!

Red Radio Episode Thirty Four features everyone’s favorite segment: Fresh Veggies!  Erin Red chats with longtime listener Rob about his first year (and change) of veganism.  The highs, the lows, the challenges and the victories – Rob’s story speaks to many of our own, and he’s living proof that anyone can go from steak to seitan without too much drama.  Plus, Erin Red discusses the latest vegan message from food writer Mark Bittman, including an extended Compassionate Clip about how our eating habits affect the environment.  Muy importante!  Please consider supporting Red Radio by visiting erinred.com and clicking the DONATE button, and subscribe to Red Radio on iTunes today!  If you love what you hear, leave a glowing review, or drop Erin Red a line at erinredradio@gmail.com.  You can also read her blog at erinred.tumblr.com, and find her on Facebook and Twitter @erinred.

Click that bad boy below to connect to Red Radio now!

Show notes for EP33 and EP34 coming soon, plus Rob’s FV post! HOLLA!

xo Erin Red

FRESH VEGGIES: Valentina!

The third installment of my ongoing series about new vegans.  Woohoo! 

BASIC INFO

Name: Valentina Aragundy

Age: 25

Occupation: Account Executive

Physical Activity Level: I walk the dog. Does that count?

Vegan Since: March 2011

Important Details about Me: 

i am colombian-italian, i grew up all over the place and did not know what a vegan even was until Citizen Radio. i was brought up in a very meat-centric household and ate meat like i breathe air. ever since i went vegan i have noticed that i dont have migraines as often as i did before, and when i get them they are nowhere near as strong as pre-vegan magnitude. when ppl ask why i did it, i say that these two annoying voices in my head (jamie kilstein and allison kilkenny) told me to, this is usually received w VERY concerned looks. or my alternate explanation of: i couldnt eat my grandma’s dog, so why would i eat a even more intelligent animal?

PRE VEGAN

What did your diet look like before you went vegan?


meat meat meat and more meat!! grains, barely any leafy greens.

Did you have any preconceived notions about veganism before going vegan?


nope, i had no fckn idea of what it meant!!

What was your turning point? How did it come about?


i just had to. i mean, jamie and allison kept talking abt it, and it dug deep in my mind. i kept ruminating the notion of where my meat came from, and more importantly, the animals used to produce it, and i could no longer even think of eating it.

NEW VEGAN

How did you immediately feel emotionally, mentally, physically after going vegan? After one week? After one month?


emotionally, it was a shock. my family is one of those families that does everything around a shitload of food, and most of the food has meat, kinda depressing bc i was left out. but phisically i was full of energy, my mind felt more alert, i slept better, and i felt even better the longer i stayed w it.

How did your friends and family react to your lifestyle change?


none of my friends or family knew a vegan, so they were worried abt, guess?, portein!! and iron deficiencies. but after i explained how to eat protein the right way they felt better abt it. now everyone tries to make a vegan dish for me whenever there’s a gathering.

Were there any books that motivated you to change, or helped with your transition?

not really, but blogs were a great help.veganyumyum.com urban vegan.com
veganliciouslj.tumblr.com are some of my faves aside from yours, of course!!

Did you have any slip-ups? How did you deal with it?


i did, i ate a slice of gouda cheese and felt horrible. i hadnt had any dairy in months and it upset my stomach like crazy. never again. the second time it was attempted murder w icecream by my boyfriend. he was on the phone and not paying attention and served my a heaping scoop of cow milk ice cream. i thought it tasted funny but the popcorn kinda threw me off a bit. abt 10 minutes into my binge, i felt my stomach twist. the result was the mother of all upset stomachs and a VERY apologetic boyfriend.

How did you deal with your non-vegan items (kept them, replaced them, donated them)?


my dining room chairs are leather, bought them loong before i even considered going vegan, and i cant really afford to buy new ones so they are staying w me for as long as i cant afford new ones. other than that i didnt have any leather or wool clothes. the leather shoes i had i gave to my cousin, and whatever make up and body wash wasnt vegan i threw out.

CURRENT VEGAN

Do you miss anything?


yes, ‘postre de natas” a colombian desert i dream of. my food porn. and my signature dessert.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?


veganizing my signature dish, a “magic” coffee dark chocolate cake topped w a layer of coffee flan with a kahlua caramel.

What has been the greatest reward?


knowing that the pleasure i get of eating a delish dish, is not derived from suffering. also my skin glows!!

What are some new foods, cuisines or products you’ve tried since going vegan?


hummus. now it’s basically a food group for me. Kale is pretty swell too. 

Is your significant other/roommate/family vegan? Have they become curious?


my boyfriend, who i live with, is an omnivore. he has been a trooper and will try anything i make. he even tried going completely vegan for a week to see what it was all abt. he still eats meat, but he now knows where it comes from and how great life can b w out animal food but it is his decicion to make.

FUTURE VEGAN

Do you plan to stay vegan? Why or why not?


yes i do plan on staying vegan. why? bc i cant face myself if i dont.

Have you encouraged your loved ones to make changes? How? What has been the reaction?


yes, they fight me off at first but then usually become more receptive


EP23: The Return of Fresh Veggies, with Valentina!

Back by popular demand, y’all! After way too long of a hiatus, I’ve resurrected my infamous Fresh Veggies segment on Red Radio Episode Twenty-Four.  Valentina was SO much fun and I got to learn about vegan Miami!  

Hmm…JetBlue flies there for pretty cheap, don’t they…?

I also fill everyone in on the latest at The Seed: A Vegan Experience, and feature one of our MAJOR speakers in the Compassionate Clip of the Week - none other than Kathy Freston!  Yanno, I think I’m warming up to the lady.  

PEOPLE CAN CHANGE, gosh!

Erin Red brings back her wildly popular Fresh Veggies Segment in Episode Twenty-Four, welcoming longtime listener and Red Radio Rockstar Valentina from Miami (by way of Colombia)!  Hear about Valentina’s journey to veganism, her favorite vegan food truck in Miami, and that one time her boyfriend accidentally fed her dairy ice cream…ew!  In this episode’s Compassionate Clip of the Week, Erin Red features another world-renowned speaker from The Seed: A Vegan Experience – Kathy Freston!  Remember:  Red Radio is 100% listener supported!  Please consider donating by visiting Erin Red and Red Radio at erinred.com and clicking the DONATE button!  You can also read her blog at erinred.tumblr.com, and find her on Facebook and Twitter @erinred.

Click the icon below to start rockin’ in the free world!

Valentina’s full Fresh Veggies interview and the rest of the show notes comin’ atcha on Wednesday!

xo Erin Red

FRESH VEGGIES: Laura Yaz!

The second installation of my ongoing series about new vegans.  Enjoy!
xo Erin Red

BASIC INFO
Name:  Laura Yasinitsky
Age:  29
Occupation: Writer for US Weekly, waitress, and nanny (I’m busy)  
Physical Activity Level: Lots of walking and carrying in my day to day.
Admittedly no real exercise routine right now although I’m a former
dancer and a yogi at heart
Vegan Since: Jan. 2011 (unsure the exact date but I’m calling it the
16th)
Important Details about Me: I’m an only child. Medically there is not much
cancer in my family other than cigarette caused cases (I was a very heavy
smoker until I quit in 2007). My grandmother and dad both have Type II diabetes
which has definitely had an effect on how I view nutrition.

PRE VEGAN

What did your diet look like before you went vegan?

I have been a back and forth vegetarian essentially since high school.
I ate aquatic animals, chickens eggs, and cows milk, but no land
animals for several years, mostly through college, and early life
living in NYC. In 2006 I abandoned it all and became an omnivore, I
went fully vegetarian towards the end of 2010 and then vegan in January
of 2011.


Did you have any preconceived notions about veganism before going vegan?

I had always thought vegans were extreme people. I found it dramatic to
eliminate all animals products, and felt being vegetarian was surely
sufficient, those people were crazy.


What was your turning point?  How did it come about?  

I had been eating 100% vegan at home but allowing myself to have dairy
when I ate in restaurants. One day I was going to a Mexican restaurant
and I decided I would try to order something vegan. I decided I would
keep it up as long as it wasn’t impossible. I told myself that I would
allow myself to eat something that wasn’t vegan if I ever found myself
in an impossible situation. I haven’t yet.


NEW VEGAN

How did you immediately feel emotionally, mentally, physically after
going vegan?  After one week?  After one month?

Emotionally I immediately felt relief, as if a thousand pounds had been
lifted. It’s as if I was finally free of all the guilt I had from being
a huge hypocrite that loved animals but consistently ate their dead
bodies. After one week I had noticed that I hadn’t had a stomach ache
since I had gone vegan. I used to regularly have stomach aches. After a
month I felt like a million dollars, really. I was absolutely high on
my love for this new lifestyle and for all the found I had found to go
with it.


How did your friends and family react to your lifestyle change?

Unfortunately I was living with my ex at the time and he did not take
it well, ultimately I believe it is one of the reasons we ended up
splitting up. Please note that it is not veganism’s fault, we had other
issues on the table, but I do think for him it was just another thing
that separated us. My friends have been great, many of them were
apprehensive at first, but everyone is completely comfortable with it
now. My dad has been great, whenever I come home to visit he cooks
vegan meals for the whole family. When I told my mom she said, “That
doesn’t surprise me at all, you’ve always loved animals so much, it
only makes sense you would want to live this way.”


Were there any books that motivated you to change, or helped with your
transition?

I read Eating Animals in December of 2010, I credit it with pushing me
all the way into veganism. I also read Kathy Freston’s Veganist very
early on, it is excellent and filled with great tips about
transitioning.


Did you have any slip-ups?  How did you deal with it?

I haven’t had any deliberate slip ups. Recently I ordered a Calpico in
a Japanese restaurant, not even thinking, and found out a few days later
it is a dairy milk based beverage. I’ve also had the occasional honey
accident, where I have drank or eaten something I didn’t realize had
honey in it, and then found out later. Honestly I have not thought
these incidents were big deals, they were accidents, and I just move on
from them, and don’t plan to eat or drink the items again. If anything
they just raised my personal awareness that I should always check
labels and be aware of what I’m consuming.


How did you deal with your non-vegan items (kept them, replaced them,
donated them)?

I am slowly working through all of these things. I still have a pair of
leather shoes, but they’re getting worn out and I’m sure I’ll replace
them soon. I did get rid of my down coat rather quickly, the feathers
would poke out of it and that was really bothering me. I believe that
when something is starting to bother me, that’s the time to replace it.
I still have some wool sweaters, etc. I do hope to eventually replace
them all, but it’s something I’m gradually working towards, I want to
be realistic about it. I did sort of do a massive overhall of my
bathroom once I’d realized how many products participated in animal
testing, but replacing shampoo and lotion is a lot less expensive then
replacing all of your clothes and shoes.



CURRENT VEGAN

Do you miss anything?

Not really. I guess at gunpoint I would say that I miss eggs and sushi.
Luckily vegan sushi is terrific and I have mastered a tofu scramble
that I love. Honestly, whenever I feel like I’m missing something I
just remind myself that no matter how delicious it is, it’s just not
worth it. Delicious is not good enough of a reason for me to
participate in something I don’t agree with.


What has been your biggest challenge so far?

I attended a wedding and there was very little there that was vegan.
The grooms had arranged for two vegan options, which was incredibly
nice of them, but it’s hard when everyone is totally indulging on
everything all around you. Also, obviously, there were no vegan dessert
options, and I was jealous when everyone was eating cake and ice cream
sandwiches and gushing about how delicious they were.


What has been the greatest reward?

It’s hard to say. Just personally I feel completely connected to
something I believe in and am thrilled to be living this way. That is
honestly, the greatest reward. The sense of completion and utter
happiness I get from loving who I am and how I represent myself in the
world.


What are some new foods, cuisines or products you’ve tried since going
vegan? 

My cooking has expanded in ways I never expected. I was always
intimidated to cook anything Asian or Indian but many vegan recipes
have helped me get to a confident place with those flavors and
techniques. I had never prepared tempeh or seitan, now I love them
both. I make brunch for myself every weekend, which is definitely
something I never did before I went vegan. I recommend everyone make
themselves brunch on the weekend.


Is your significant other/roommate/family vegan?  Have they become
curious?

My roommate is vegetarian, which is nice, she’s also delightful and
eats and cooks a lot of vegan food. My mom seems extremely intrigued by
it all, but also scared of it at the same time. It’s a lot of change,
and I understand her apprehension, but I’m definitely pushier about it
with my parents then I am with anyone else so they deserve a lot of
credit for putting up with me. As I stated earlier, my relationship
ended shortly after I became vegan so I am on the market fellas! Single
file, please.



FUTURE VEGAN

Do you plan to stay vegan?  Why or why not?

Absolutely. Why wouldn’t I? Seriously.


What vegan books would you like to read?  Vegan movies to see?  Vegan
locations to visit?

I’m dying to read ‘Meat is for Pussies’ because it’s the greatest title
ever. I think the most amazing documentary is Vegucated, EVERYONE
should watch it and show it to everyone they love. As far as locations
go, I’d love to take a trip to London, actually I’m secretly hoping I
can take a trip this summer for my birthday. I hear London is great
veg friendly city.


Have you encouraged your loved ones to make changes?  How?  What has
been the reaction?

I gave my mom and dad ‘Forks Over Knives’ and ‘Vegucated’ for
Christmas. I don’t know if they’ve watched them or not, I’m not going
to bring it up, I’m sure they’ll let me know what they think if they
do. I haven’t encouraged any changes with anyone else other then
cooking them a delicious meal, or suggesting we go to a vegan place,
but hopefully that has an impact.



Do you think veganism is a realistic solution for the masses?  Why or
why not?

I actually do, especially given the global warming situation, and the
threat of the honeybee population going extinct. I realize it’s a big
change, and honestly I think it does need to happen gradually, but I
think Einstein said it best so I’ll just quote him here. I mean, he was
a pretty smart guy, right?

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of
life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” -Albert
Einstein

FRESH VEGGIES: Carli

Hey Friends!

In correlation with Red Radio EP3, today marks the first installation of a new series on my blog: FRESH VEGGIES.

FRESH VEGGIES will feature personal interviews with friends, colleagues and strangers who have recently made the TOTALLY AWESOME choice to go vegan. I’ve come up with a list of questions that each subject will answer with honesty and humility, with intentions of more intimately connecting the vegan community, providing information and resources to new vegans, and showing those still on the fence how easy and empowering the whole process can be.

Enjoy the first interview!

xo Erin Red

FRESH VEGGIES: CARLI

BASIC INFO

Name: Carli VanVoorhis

Age: 19

Occupation: Hairstylist Assistant

Physical Activity Level: Always on my feet

Vegan Since: January 2, 2011

Important Details about Me: I was raised in north Idaho, among many proud omnivores. I moved to NYC in September of 2010. Now, here I am.

PRE VEGAN

What did your diet look like before you went vegan?

Oh, man. It looked awful? Let’s just say that it looked like I really wanted to be diagnosed with colon cancer in my mid 40s.

Did you have any preconceived notions about veganism before going vegan?

I felt like in the future, people would compare veganism to driving a hybrid car. It’s something that we should have been doing all along. I also remember saying that I could never be vegan, like it wasn’t even humanly possible for me. That whole mindset definitely changed once I moved to the city and removed my head from my ass.

What was your turning point? How did it come about?

After living in the city for about two and a half months, meeting some inspiring, educated vegans, and doing some of my own research; it became so clear. I could do this. All I have to do is want it. I also think it became a matter of “you can’t unknow what you know”. Once I learned of the many horrors of the meat/dairy industry, I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t know what was going on. I decided that as a person who claims to be an animal lover, tree-hugger, and a hater of the U.S. government, I not only wanted to do this, but I felt as if it was my responsibility to do this.

NEW VEGAN

How did you immediately feel emotionally, mentally, physically after going vegan? After one week? After one month?

I was feeling pretty excited, to be honest. I was excited to feel my body be cleansed of all the toxins. After the first week I felt SO GOOD! Mentally, physically, spiritually! I loved the fact that I could look at an animal. A cat, a bird, whatever. I could look that animal in the eye and think yep, no need to fear. I am just another animal.

How did your friends and family react to your lifestyle change?

Like I said, I grew up in Idaho so the parents were like… what? Vaygan? However, they fully support me in my decisions to be vegan and they are very happy for me. I received mixed reactions from friends. The excited ones, obviously the vegans, were very proud of me, ready to support me in the journey. I might’ve told the unenthusiastic friends as they were eating a ham & cheese hot pocket.. idk… whatevs.

Were there any books that motivated you to change, or helped with your transition?

The first book that sparked a vegan lifestyle to me at all was Skinny Bitch. I had read it about a year and a half before actually making the transition. I felt like everything the book explained was so simple and logical. (ex. cow’s milk is for baby cows…)

Did you have any slip-ups? How did you deal with it?

I ate some muffin pastry thing that had milk in it. I didn’t know there was milk in it until I heard my stomach telling me to fuck off. Of course I was disappointed, but you just gotta keep on keepin’ on. Live n’ learn, baby!

How did you deal with your non-vegan items (kept them, replaced them, donated them)?

I just recently found a hat that is definitely NOT vegan in the bottom of my closet. I am waiting for winter time so I can give it to a bum.

CURRENT VEGAN

Do you miss anything?

All of the rewards that I have reaped, outweigh anything I might miss. To the point that I don’t miss anything at all.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

I have a hard time biting my tongue when I hear stupid people saying stupid things. As an activist, it’s my obligation to speak up, but sometimes I should just take the silent rode.

What has been the greatest reward?

So many rewards! The greatest one, I suppose, is knowing the fact that I am no longer participating in the violence & exploitation of another living being.

What are some new foods, cuisines or products you’ve tried since going vegan?

I have tried many new foods since becoming vegan. All the various ways that tofu can be prepared, many new colorful veggies, coconut milk ice cream, etc.

Is your significant other/roommate/family vegan? Have they become curious?

No. They aren’t curious enough to really make a change.

FUTURE VEGAN

Do you plan to stay vegan? Why or why not?

Definitely. Because that would just be stupid, Jennifer Goodwin. It’s called evolving. I can’t evolve backwards! Not to mention, I would get so sick. My body would be like NOOOOOO!

What vegan books would you like to read? Vegan movies to see? Vegan locations to visit?

I would like to read The Kind Diet, Eating Animals, and many more. I would love to see Forks Over Knives. I NEED to go to Foodswings, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, Blossom, Red Bamboo, and the Caravan of Dreams, just to name a few…

Have you encouraged your loved ones to make changes? How? What has been the reaction?

Absolutely! I think education is probably one of my most effective ways of encouragement. But then there are times that I can be a little more ‘in your face’ about it, i’m like DO IT! Stop hurting animals & stop hurting your body! PLEASE! Slowly but surely they are absorbing what I am saying, although I do get brushed off every now & then.

Do you think veganism is a realistic solution for the masses? Why or why not?

For sure! I think it might be one of the only realistic solutions we have. It’s sustainable.

Red Radio EP3: Fresh Veggie Carli, Teen Vegans & The Almighty Kale!

Episode Three features an interview with the first Fresh Veggies interviewee, Carli, and encourages the almost-vegans to make the jump.  Check out the Fresh Veggies Series here on the blog!  I also talk about my vegan Thanksgiving, and answer some amazing listener emails about teen vegans, staying motivated and ever-lovin’ KALE!

Red Radio is a Citizen Radio Production; we are listener supported!  If you want to support independent media that won’t lead you to war and help Red Radio grow, visit wearecitizenradio.com and become a member.

Find it on iTunes (Red Radio) or click the link below to listen now!

xo Erin Red