On August 14, 2014, I went vegan. It has been a long time coming but I always knew I would be vegan eventually. Throughout my life, I’ve had an interest in vegetarianism/veganism. I didn’t eat meat very often, I was lactose-intolerant so I cut dairy completely out, and I had many pets ranging from fish to cockatoo birds. However, I was always too insecure to actually do it. My family could be quite judgmental when it came to “going against the norm”.
Food can surround the Haitian tradition quite a bit because when there is an occasion, it is always shared over food. Although many authentic Haitian dishes (which I learned later on) can be veganized, there is a high percentage of animal products in my family and friends’ diets and I didn’t want to be left out. However, when I was away at college, I decided to try it out. But, after a couple of days, I gave up. Months later, I had stumbled upon vegan YouTuber/activist, Freelee The Banana Girl. I binge watched her videos for days, completely inspired to try the lifestyle again.
The day I went vegan was one that I will never forget. I made the switch overnight because of a video Freelee posted about the dairy industry; I was shocked! I finally made the connection between the love of a mother cow for her calf and my mother and her love for me. It all made sense. Now, after (almost) 2 years vegan, I have experienced clear skin, reversed digestive issues, managed my depression, etc. I don’t ever want to go back.
Also for the past 2 years, I have run a beauty, fitness and lifestyle YouTube channel, AsToldByAllie. My videos range from ‘What I Eat In A Day’, natural hair tutorials and beauty product reviews. This platform I have has definitely influenced me to make content that can help grow the black community and the vegan community. I wouldn’t call myself a vegan activist, more of an advocate; and I wouldn’t say I’m a beauty expert, but more of a guru. I enjoy sharing with others the things that I've learned and show them how to get the same results. As an African-American, woman AND vegan, I’m a minority; All I hope to do is positively impact people, animals and the planet the best that I can.