Interview with Maggie Schmitt on being vegan in college

Today, I am so happy to be able to share a chat I had with the lovely Maggie of hummusexualvegan with all of you. Maggie’s instagram account is one of the first accounts I followed when I founded JGV as a new vegan. Maggie uses her instagram as a platform to speak out for animal rights to her 1.4k followers, whilst also sharing lots of pictures of her adorable pets and mouth-watering vegan meals. I absolutely love browsing through Maggie’s instagram as you can tell everything she writes comes from the heart. I hope you all enjoy getting to know a little more about Maggie as much as I did.

Maggie Schmitt

Q: How did your vegan journey start? What were your main inspirations and influences?

A: The journey all began in December 2013 when I sat down and watched the documentary “Vegucated”. My life and point of view finally began to see what the lifestyle was all about and why anyone would ever actually want to go vegan. When I was little, my family would say that vegans are vegetarians ON CRACK! And that anyone living a lifestyle like that was crazy. So, it still took a while to make the full switch… For the majority of my life, I had a vegetarian friend who always tended to shove these ideas down people’s throats. Telling everyone that MEAT IS MURDER, insulting people, and posting about it on her Facebook 24/7, gave me a negative look on the lifestyle, and even pushed my friends and I to go against her beliefs and not hear her out. But now that I had seen a documentary and got “vegucated”, I was absolutely horrified at the industry, how meat/dairy is linked to cancer/heart disease, etc etc that I knew needed to make a change. In fear of being judged by everyone and in fear of being hated by people, I was mostly vegan for about 6 months. Meaning when I was alone I ate vegan, but with my friends I would just eat whatever. It was the day after the 4th of July that I became full vegan. Keeping this passion a secret from my friends was killing me inside, and although the ice cream I ate on the 4th of July was delicious, I knew it came from a cruel world. I hated myself for not being me, for contributing to cruelty, and it finally clicked that I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore. I then watched the documentary called Earthlings… One I had been avoiding. Only 15 minutes into it, I looked at my pool of tears and said out loud, I’M DOING IT. Ever since then I’ve watched more documentaries and lectures to justify that veganism is the only way. I watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret also, only a couple weeks into going vegan, and I’ve never felt better about making this life decision.

Q: Are any of your friends and family vegan too?

A: My mom went full vegan after watching the documentary Cowspiracy. She was by my side at every documentary (except Earthlings) and knew that she had to do it. She knew too much to NOT go vegan… I’m so proud of her though. My mother is the almighty lover of cheese and she hasn’t had a bite in months. I forced my Dad to sit down and watch Vegucated and Cowspiracy. Both opened up his eyes and made him more aware… But he could never fully switch. The most he’s done is switch to soy milk for his cereal. Which is okay!!! Baby steps right?!

Q: You’ve recently moved away to College, how are you finding being vegan there? Do you have any tips for someone wanting to maintain a vegan diet at college?

A: Being vegan in college is one of the easiest things in the world. I do have to say, I am blessed that I go to a college in Oregon where the vegan/vegetarian population is more prevalent. I’d probably fall over and die trying to eat Vegan on a college campus in the south… But the choices at my college are amazing!! Build your own calzones/sandwiches, tofu scrambles, bagels with nut butters, vegan pho, vegan soups, vegan desserts! I’m also a good 5 minute walk from Cafe Yumm, Chipotle, Qdoba, etc where I can always eat vegan. Honestly, you can do anything if you set your mind to it and make the best of it! I’m lucky to have the support of my family who also sends me vegan snacks to keep in my dorm room (fresh fruit, lara bars, popcorn). To anyone wanting to go vegan in college, be prepared for what you want to eat each day, (of course) remind yourself WHY you are vegan and WHY you don’t want to slip up!!! And although it seems hard on the outside, you’ll end up realizing how easy it is, and you get to impress people on the side! I get so many people in awe that I’m a vegan college girl. Living cruelty free is possible anywhere. Also, remember that even though being vegan in college attracts some strange attention, sticking with your beliefs and being yourself will have more people respecting you. I used to be so afraid to tell people about my lifestyle, but life’s too short to not be you.

Q: You have over 1,000 followers on your awesome instagram account. Tell us more about the inspiration behind it.

A: It honestly is MIND BLOWING that I’ve struck 1,000 followers… I’m still in shock. I’ll never forget when I first made the account. It was a summer night and I was laying in bed at 2am unable to sleep. I was scrolling through my Instagram (maggers111) and looking through the many vegan accounts I followed for my own vegan-spiration. I had recently gone vegan, I was passionate about the subject, and since I wasn’t one to preach about it to my own friends, I simply wanted to talk about it and share my journey with people who cared! I also knew that creating my own vegan account would motivate me more than ever. So it took me a good 5 minutes and on impulse I came up with the name Hummusexual! I heard the word from a joke I saw on Twitter several months ago and I knew it worked perfectly. I then made it… and prayed for even 50 followers. From then on out, I simply was myself! I posted my favorite foods, (sounds cheesy but..) wrote captions from my heart, and shared my journey as much as I could. I was always excited to post and I stayed positive no matter how many likes/followers I had. The only thing I did to get my name out there was look at other pictures by hashtags and like/comment on other pictures about veganism. I got so lucky and I’m so blessed to see such awesome feedback from all these people. I feel a part of a community and it’s an amazing feeling.

Q: You post lots of yummy looking food photography on your instagram, if you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A: Only one thing for the rest of my life?! Oh goodness. Honestly I would eat burritos. All day every day. Nothing better than rice, beans, tofu, vegan cheese, guacamole, and salsa wrapped up in a warm and chewy tortilla. Heaven on earth!

Q: What is your favourite cruelty-free beauty/ hair product?

A: I actually just recently started doing research on cruelty free beauty products. I felt almost stupid when I realized that the shampoo I use is tested on animals. How hypocritical of me, right? Got to using Lush hair products and I love it!! So awesome. I also use Boots No. 7 brand for my makeup. None of it is too expensive and works great!

Q: Describe a day in the life of Maggie.

A: A day in the life of Maggie! Well I’m going to describe a weekend because it’s pretty much the exact same except for weekdays I have class! But I normally am a morning person so I get up early, and make sure I find a hearty breakfast to eat. My breakfast and my soy latte kick starts my day, then I may or may not study and I fit in a work out. LOVE cycle classes and yoga! I run too! But let’s be honest… Running sucks. After that I will go over to my sorority house (Alpha Chi Omega) and hang with my sisters or grab a bite to eat with friends. I’m addicted to napping so afternoon naps are a must, and after I will chill in bed and watch Netflix or a movie! When it gets to nighttime, I may be a morning person, but I love going out! Meeting new people and partying is awesome but I also love staying in for a night of me time.

Q: Do you have a favourite inspirational quote to leave us with?

A: For a vegan quote my favorite is “You can never ‘win’ an argument with a vegan, because the argument is never with the vegan, it is with your conscience” And for a Non-vegan quote, my Mama always said “You have to keep laughing to keep from throwing up”

Thank you so much to Maggie for sharing her vegan journey with us! For lots of vegan inspiration, I highly recommend you follow her on instagram here ♥

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