Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meet Kerry!

Hello there!  Thank you for reading and for taking an interest in a vegan lifestyle.  I am really excited to get started with our blog as I love writing and I love everything vegan!  Other than writing I also enjoy activities such as watching soccer, running, cooking, traveling, and spending time with the boyfriend, friends, and family.   I work in sales for an engineering software company in the DC metro area and I get to travel a lot for my job.  The great thing about work travel is not only do I get to visit really cool cities without spending a lot of money but I get to visit some of the best vegan restaurants and bakeries across the country!  Many of my contributions to this blog will include my experiences of traveling and finding vegan and vegan friendly restaurants. 

Vegan History
As a freshman in college I suffered from terrible back pain due to a car accident.   I was unable to exercise for several months and unfortunately I had packed on more than the typical freshman 15 pounds.  One of my close friends introduced me to her parents who were vegans and health ministers for the Hallelujah Diet  I became acquainted with the vegan lifestyle through her parents who wanted to help me with some of the health problems that incurred from gaining weight, well as to provide me with a solution that would assist in being able to lose those pesky pounds.  I decided to go vegan cold turkey and within 6 months I had lost a total of 30 pounds and dropped my cholesterol by 40 points.  There was no turning back to meat and dairy at this point!

My Diet...more of a lifestyle
People generally think of a “vegan” as someone who follows a plant based diet.  For me it is more than just avoiding animal products in my food.  My goal in everything that I do is to try to avoid animal derivatives in all products that I use from food to clothing, cosmetics, and even soaps.  I follow this lifestyle for these two main reasons – both ethics and health. 
The biggest motivating factor for remaining on a vegan diet for almost a decade is based upon ethics.   50 billion animals are killed every year with about 99% total on factory farms where animals are forced to live in horrific conditions.  The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes are all either distant memories or only found on small, humane, family owned farms.  These humane farms make up such a small portion of the market that virtually almost all meat and dairy comes now from factory farms.    I just decide on a daily basis that I cannot participate in this kind of suffering.  Ideally not everyone is able to follow a strict vegan diet but I do feel that it is important for omnivores to choose a diet that supports small local farmers (with a focus on humanely raised animals). 

Moreover on ethics is the negative impact that modern day factory farms have on the environment.  A 2008 New York Times article reported that “if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan – a Camry, - to the ultra-efficient Prius.”  A plant based diet can also contribute toward solving the growing issue of world hunger.   Meat consumption is an inefficient use of grain as unfortunately we funnel huge amounts of grains, soybeans, and corn through all of the animals that we use for food instead of feeding starving humans. 
It is also my belief that a vegan diet supports a lifetime of good health and can provide protection against numerous diseases including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  I personally struggle with eating a “whole foods” plant based diet as I only avoid processed foods with about half of my meals.  As just about every other American I have a huge weakness for pizza, cookies, and fried foods instead of salad!  I allow myself to eat these foods about 30-50% of my meals, however, I still focus on the cholesterol free, ethically sourced, vegan versions of these foods.  Many of my contributions to this blog will include my love of meat and dairy substitutes as well as vegan desserts!

How we met from MY perspective!  
In March 2012 I moved from Charlotte, NC to Arlington, VA and started a new job in the DC area.  First day on the job I quickly made a new friend with a fellow soccer fan in our IT department.  I found out in our initial conversation that his wife was a foodie AND a vegan as well!  We instantly became friends through him and the rest is history.  I feel that I lucked out with making new friends right away in my new city with one who is an avid soccer fan and another a vegan.  My first few months of living in a new city have been filled with double dates at vegan friendly restaurants, soccer matches, and planning trips to vegetarian festivals all over the country.  I couldn’t ask for better friends!

My Favorite Quote. 
“Fifty billion animals a year are killed and I think we all fool ourselves that there is some kind of happy cow and that it’s a quick death, that they just hit him in the head and that they are out.  They are all in pain, they are all treated badly.  They are all diseased and they are all pumped with antibiotics.  It’s a very disturbing reality.  And it happens every minute of the day.” 
-Ellen DeGeneres

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