FEATURE: Kevin Black

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I went vegan for ethics. The idea of eating another sentient being never sat well with me. Although I never had a dog, cat, or anything like that and I never grew up on a ranch or near a farm, I loved animals and had an appreciation for all life.

When I became a freshman in high school, I joined a program called F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America). I began to learn much more about agriculture and animals in general. After around nine months of joining, I started becoming really depressed about being in the program. I realized that there was nothing "humane" about any of it. However, they kept labeling all their practices humane, even when you heard the animals crying and screaming.

After my freshman year, my family moved to a new city and I left my high school's F.F.A. program and held that sadness of the "humane" aspect until my sophomore year. I didn't know what to do and being vegetarian sounded too hard for me at the time. When junior year came, I still felt the same way. However, I became mad at myself for not trying to change my food habits. I felt lethargic and had constant heavy breathing problems every day. Due to this, I decided to change my eating habits for the better. Still, my weight problems didn't go away and neither did any health problems that were arising.

When senior year came, I decided it was now or never. That September, I went vegan...for a week. Unfortunately, I genuinely forgot that I went vegan and ate a piece of fried chicken. It was a real low point in my life. Then, four months later in January 2016, I officially went vegetarian. As an avid meat eater and an overweight senior in high school, everyone laughed at the idea of me being vegetarian. However, I was determined - I decided to cut out my favorite meats first so that it would be an easier transition. I removed hamburgers from my diet - my all time favorite food at the time. Then I removed lamb, chicken, and more. I'm already lactose intolerant and hate the taste of cheese, therefore, the milk aspect was easy to overcome. A month and a half later, the last thing I cut out was eggs and I became vegan. Three years later, I am now a happy, more understanding vegan.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram/Twitter: @ItsKevinBlack/@ItsKevinBlack

Kevin is also the author of a new book titled Dear Mom: A Nursery Rhyme Book for Moms. You can purchase it on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and anywhere else you shop for books.

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FEATURE: Judy Brangman, M.D.

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I initially decided to try a vegan diet because I started to gain a few pounds. Also, my mother had been saying for years that if I stopped eating dairy that my acne, nasal congestion, and allergies would resolve. So I initially tried a vegan diet to lose the few pounds. I also hoped that my allergies and acne would clear up. I tried it for one month at a time, off and on, without really committing to it. I gradually started to incorporate more plant foods into my diet starting in 2012. Cheese was the hardest thing to give up. I initially thought that baking and cooking without eggs would be challenging, but I soon found that it is not that difficult to bake the same items without eggs and have a similar texture and taste. It just takes some creativity and experimentation. The main benefit that I noticed when I stopped eating dairy was that my acne completed resolved and my skin cleared up. 

Also, I completed a course in plant based nutrition and learned about the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry, as well as the health benefits. I also started to research how animals were treated on CAFOs. Since 2013, I have learned so much about plant based nutrition and the benefits for our health, the environment, and animal welfare. It is also the most compassionate and kind diet for our environment and all animals. I feel better, sleep better, and have more energy on a vegan diet.

Some people may feel that a vegan or whole foods plant based diet is restrictive. However, I see it as freedom.

Social Media & Website:

Website:  https://www.theplantbasedmd.com

Twitter/Instagram:  @theplantbasedmd / @theplantbasedmd

Facebook: The Plant Based MD

FEATURE: Ariel Calhoun

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I chose veganism for a variety of reasons. One being love, enlightenment, and mastery. I believe love cannot be categorized. Frugivores and vegans are your lovers. That's the missing ingredient to life and society. Things should always be done with love.

The Standard American Diet left me docile, with no creativity - almost as if I were sleepwalking through life. I would pass out immediately after large meals and I had no idea this was all attributed to my diet. I found videos on Dr.Sebi and started my path to veganism and understanding how much food plays a major role in our lives. I feel more inclined to be the trial and error person so I can influence others to make the changes as well. Respect should be given to all living things on this planet no matter how minute.

I believe in having the ultimate control over our bodies. Once you can control what you eat and drink you are on your way to mastering yourself. That's something that truly fascinates me. I believe we all have the innate ability to take this world, our world, your world, to the next level. I believe the foods we consume elevate us or deplete us. I believe natural fruits and vegetables should be the only staple in life to obtain or revitalize our healthy bodies. I've experienced countless relatives and friends who have had high cholesterol and diabetes from unhealthy eating habits. If I can influence others to try it for at least a month, I know something can be proven during that time. Veganism is the future.

Training page: Lifeofversatility

Vegan cooking page: Veggin_out_

Website: Vivaveganplan.com

FEATURE: Kenna

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Kenna is 19 years old and she has been vegan her entire life. She has a vegan YouTube channel called Kenna Rose. She is Cape Verdean. She runs a blog called Teen Vegan where she posts vegan recipes.

Since being vegan is so natural to me, sometimes I forgot there’s another way to be. I asked my dad why are we vegan and he said ‘’Why wouldn’t we be vegan?’’ For me and my family, eating animal products doesn’t make sense when there are so many options now. Food has always brought my family together. My mom and dad are very creative and we have something new every week. Recently, we made chick’n fajitas with vegan chick’n. It’s amazing how many vegan products there are now.

Being vegan connects to anti-racism for me. Historically, my people have generally had unhealthy diets, mostly because of food deserts and big corporations marketing unhealthy foods to us. In 2019, I’m hoping that more and more people have the resources to better their diets, I’m seeing change and I hope it continues.

People are realizing their food comes from animal cruelty and don’t want to contribute to that anymore. Ive recently posted a short blog post about my black vegan experience, which you can check out here .

I have a vegan Instagram called @themessyveganteen for recipes and food ideas.

My other Instagram is @kennaxrosa, I also post recipes and blogs on there!

FEATURE: Christopher Eubanks

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I became vegan for a variety of reasons, but the heart of why I became vegan was because I no longer wanted to contribute to the suffering of innocent beings and I wanted my diet to have a positive impact on the environment. Before becoming vegan, I never fully grasped how my diet and actions contributed to suffering until I began to learn why and how animals are turned into food. Once I became educated about how consuming animals negatively impacts the environment, I no longer wanted to consume a diet that was harmful to the earth, harmful to innocent beings, and harmful to my spirit. When I realized I could have the same delicious foods I have always enjoyed but without any animal suffering, I not only changed my diet, I also adopted a vegan lifestyle. Not supporting animal cruelty doesn’t just stop with my diet, it extends into my way of life as I aspire to live a vegan lifestyle that aims to eliminate all forms of animal suffering which has inspired me to become a vegan activist. Whether attending animal vigils, giving animal rights lectures at universities, or creating content for my vegan YouTube channel I plan to always use my talents and skills to promote the message of veganism. We must remember that we are all animals and for us to end all forms of oppression and inequality we need to extend our circle of compassion to include all animals, both human and non-human and that is why I am vegan. 

Website: www.SoulEubanks.com
Instagram: soul_eubanks
Twitter: @soul_eubanks

FEATURE: Annika Lundkvist

When I became vegan in 2014 I felt like my glass was very full. I was all in immediately, incredibly thirsty for knowledge, and quickly aware of great resources all around me. I was, however, admittedly almost singularly focused on issues of consumption. I was not really aware of issues related to representation until later. Awareness about consumption issues is an absolute foundation layer for me as a vegan- getting familiarized with the issues driving this movement including the major motivators of animal rights, sustainability and environmental health, as well as human health. But getting into issues of representation became a finer, still essential, point to me, particularly as both a minority and a producer of visual content myself. I became aware of who I was depicting in my work and being more conscious of representing that diversity that frankly I've been seeking to cultivate as a hallmark of my overall photographic style that represents me best as well.

I look forward to more conversations on these themes, both personally and professionally. Veganism is a way of life for me and definitely informs the work I do.

Make sure to check out my website where you can find my work: http://veganforallseasons.com/.

Annika has recently released an interview series about vegan pregnancy, parenthood, and childhood. Check out her interview series HERE

FEATURE: Ebony McCormick

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My name is Ebony McCormick. I am from the sunshine state, Jacksonville, Fl and I am the owner of the Healthy Dining App. I entered into a healthier lifestyle in 2017, after participating in a seven day vegan challenge. In those seven days I saw a change in my energy, as well as consciousness. Needless to say I found myself becoming more aware of certain things. Although I was enjoying my new diet some of the obstacles I faced were finding local vegan/vegetarian restaurants and individuals with similar dining preferences. Thats when I had my AH-HA moment; HEALTHY DINING! I thought that it would be extremely beneficial to humanity if there was an app that could locate healthier dining options in your area as well as provide a platform where individuals with similar dining preferences could communicate. 

     Healthy Dining is a mobile app that allows individuals who are vegan, vegetarian (or individuals who are interested in embarking a healthier lifestyle) connect for dining and networking purposes. Healthy Dining provides a convenient and natural way for users to find other users with similar dining preferences. This app allows users to search for local vegan/vegetarian restaurants as well as share recipes, provide support, find a match, and even schedule a date right from the app. Healthy Dining is designed around the idea that no vegan needs to dine alone. Whether you want to find a local spot or dine with a fellow vegan, THIS APP IS FOR YOU! Just search “Healthy Dining” in your App Store to download TODAY:)

     I love the fact that your page promotes health and wellness as well as visionaries and entrepreneurs united. Positivity, motivation, and educating is what drives me.

www.healthydiningapp.com | website

@healthydiningapp | social media

healthydiningapp@gmail.com | email

FEATURE: Naomi Israel

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Diverse Vegan (est. 2018, Morocco), is a global online community platform that welcomes all of those who seek an unbiased approach towards understanding veganism while sharing ideas and building a community.

As an American woman born in the city of Chicago; Diverse Vegan was created by Naomi Israel, a Chicago native. The idea behind Diverse Vegan is to engage with everyone from all backgrounds, races, various personal identities and eating lifestyle preferences.

Diverse Vegan is aspiring to become a community that is as diverse as the adjective entails. They aim to focus on providing resources for topics relating to health and fitness, wellness, nutrition, travel, mindfulness, mental and spiritual health, and more!

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Diverse Vegan is not interested in converting anyone to the veganism lifestyle. In fact, they would love for community members to say, "I am a Diverse Vegan, not because of what I'm eating, but because of the resources offered that have changed my viewpoints on the way I see my life and the decisions I make for not only my health, but for the planet.”

So, whether you're vegan, a part-time vegan, vegetarian, curious about the vegan lifestyle or simply searching for healthier alternatives for your overall wellbeing, Diverse Vegan has you covered.

They encourage everyone to not only follow and support, but to actively be engaged.

Social Media

Facebook: Diverse Vegan

Instagram: @diversevegan