Raise Vegan November 2018 Raise Vegan - Page 34

reminds me of why I’m doing this and it’s always for the animals. RV: That’s so amazing, you seem like a natural at public speaking! Have you come across someone or something through social media that inspires you? I think it’s actually super cool when people that are older go vegan because it shows that it’s never too late. I knew a lady that went vegan at 92 years old, so that’s pretty cool. Seeing people buy vegan meats and stuff, too, instead of animal meat is the best! It’s also amazing to know that veganism is becoming a lot more well-known and there are a lot more options now too. RV: Absolutely, it’s incredible that the older generation is becoming more vegan-curious too. What are some of your favorite new vegan options? RV: That is impressive; to start questioning the food indus- try so young and without any external influences, that’s something a lot of people never come to on their own! Did your family follow your lead and become vegan as well? RV: My parents thought it was a phase that I was going through at the time, especially considering I was only three years old. My mom respected my decision at that age and didn’t try to feed me animal products. For my birthday, she planned an entire weekend in a hotel with family and a daytrip to a zoo. When we arrived, I was up- set and asked her why she brought me to a prison. I was four years old, and watching animals sad with their heads down while people were walking around eating turkey legs, it just didn’t make sense. It was upsetting to me that we would be out eating and there are pictures of happy animals on the walls, but everyone has them on their plates. My mom said that I could show the pictures of the animals and explain it to my dad, which I did! Everyone pretty much went vegan right away. RV: Speaking of birthday parties. How do you navigate them now as a vegan, we always talk about how parents handle social events, but it’s not often we get to hear a kid’s opinion. RV: You started your Instagram channel and began public speaking at such a young age, how did you first get into it? I wanted to start it sooner, but my mom wouldn’t allow me to; it (A Vegan Child’s Journey) started because I wanted to show that you can grow up vegan and still be healthy, strong and help the animals. But then people I didn’t know started following me, which I thought was weird but cool at the same time, and another person sent the ac- count a message, asking if I wanted to speak at an event called, The World Vegan Summit. I was only six years old then, and I told my mom someone messaged me and she asked if I wanted to do it, explaining what public speaking meant. G: When I first went vegan, I was only eating oreos as a treat, but now there are so many different options [at the grocery store] like Gardein, Beyond Meat, vegan chicken nuggets - which started it all - and it’s [all] so good. Have you tried the Beyond Meat sausage? RV: We haven’t, it’s like the holy grail at our local grocery store, it’s always out of stock. I’m going to have to track it down! G: OMG! We love it! My dad can seriously have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll always find Be- At my first speech, I was super scared and nervous, yond Meat sausage in our fridge. because there were so many people there. But then RV: You’re making me hungry now! I viewed everyone in the audience as vegan pizza to motivate me, and mom took me for some vegan It seems like now, more than ever, a huge number of people are choosing a pizza afterwards to celebrate. Instagram has really helped me to support the vegan community. Going vegan lifestyle. What do you think the future of veganism looks like? to sanctuaries and events and everything always G: Well, usually I take my own vegan options. And I al- ways bring enough for more people because I want them to try it too. One time, I brought my own vegan pizza and it was gone so fast I barely had a slice for me. RV: That’s awesome, activism through food is how I spread the word too, let the food speak for itself. I know you’re technically homeschooled, but it’s a co-op school. Are you the only vegan kid there? G: No, there are a lot of moms and kids that are activists, and most of them are vegetarian and vegan. I know there are about four of them that are vegan, so [I have] a few school friends that are vegan. RAISEVEGAN.COM RV. 34