FEATURE: Capucine L. Philson

To tell you the truth, my journey started in my late teens and on. At 19 my family doctor believed meat was the cause of my many ailments. That 20 plus years journey led me to veganism and it has been God's work. My health and body have been through many changes from eating meat, from 3 major surgeries to my turbulent weight changes which are now stabled. So, my vegan journey started as a 21-day challenge posted by Re Belle in Western NY Natural Facebook page. The most fulfilling challenge of my life! Those 21 days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months turned into years. I'm grateful and I truly believe it has saved my life! 

I've always loved animals, however my vegan lifestyle began to improve my health. No matter what, I've always spoken out against animal abuse. When there's a platform to expose these atrocious acts, anyone, not just vegans, should speak out against them. 

I'll tell anyone being vegan is challenging in a world that's so conformed and regimented. I've been ridiculed and left out, although, that's nothing new for me because I always stand alone. I truly believe I rock because I embrace my differences and others should too. I never thought there would be prejudices within this lifestyle I've chosen, but there is.

Being vegan means to be self-sufficient, self-reliable, creative (preparing vegan cheeses are interesting and masterful), and moreover, highly conscious. I'm a member of the WNY Vegans Facebook group; I'm Vegan, I'm Black and It Actually Happens; and my page I've recently created with Buffalo's amazing Rhonda Wells, owner of Buffalo Plant Burger, I'm Vegan, I'm Black and It Really Happens: Bison Green. She was saddened that at the Juneteenth festival she had spoken with young black people and teens that claimed, "Only white people were vegans." So, we brainstormed to create this page for the WNY area as well for black vegans. It's a small community but I'm faith-filled that it will continue to grow!

Thanks for the project. WE truly need this and those of you who are responsible for creating this project!