vegan blog

Interview with Valentina of My Vegan Valentine

I recently got the chance to have a chat with the awesome Valentina from My Vegan Valentine and I am so excited to share this interview with you all. Valentina is an animal rights activist, volunteers at her local animal shelter, and promotes a healthy and kind vegan lifestyle on her blog. What’s absolutely insane is that she does all of this, and she’s still in school! How freaking incredible is that? Watch out world, I predict big things from this girl!

myvv

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

A: I have always loved nonhuman animals. I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like – I just have a special connection with them. That’s why when I heard about how animals were treated to produce meat and other products I couldn’t stand to be part of that culture. All animals have the right to live without being exploited, and us cramming them into giant factory farms, denying them attention and love, and slaughtering them for food is a violation of that right.

Q: Are any your friends and family vegan too?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole ton of vegan friends and family. That’s why I was so ecstatic when I began diving into the world of vegan blogging! Through the internet, I am able to connect with vegans around the globe and share my experiences with them.

Q: What would your top tips be for someone in school who wants to go vegan?

Explore your options! A lot of people think that all vegans eat are salads and tofu all day, every day. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are vegan versions of most of your favorite foods, including pizza, jerky, and ice cream. Really expand your horizons beyond tofu. Also, remember to never let peer pressure affect you. If your friends are giving you a hard time, think of it as an opportunity to educate them about the horrors of the animal product industry.

Q: You have an awesome blog where you share a variety of food & animal posts. It’s amazing to see someone so young speaking out for animal rights in such an insightful way. Tell us about your blogging journey and the inspiration behind My Vegan Valentine.

First, thank you so much for your kind words! Well, around the same time I decided to adopt a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle, I started researching it on sites like PETA2 and the Humane Society. I soon became passionate about a plethora of other animal-rights-related causes. My heart swelled with compassion for these underprivileged animals, and I knew I just had to get the word out. I started writing about animal rights and veganism for my school newspaper, making posters for my local library, and educating my friends and family. Soon, I wanted to expand my audience base and got into blogging. This way, I can educate people all over the world. For example, just today my blog got five views all the way from Hong Kong! My inspiration behind My Vegan Valentine is that no living being is “better” than another, and that nonhuman animals should have rights too. I’m so grateful to be on this blogging journey, and so grateful for everyone who reads my message and takes it to heart. 🙂

Q: On your blog you talk about volunteering for an animal shelter; that’s such an incredible thing to do, tell us more about that.

A: The first animal rights cause I became passionate about was pet overpopulation and animal rescues. It began when I adopted my own dog, Tika, from an animal shelter. As soon as I locked eyes on the poor animals at the shelter, I wanted to take them all home with me. I suggested this to my parents, who for some reason weren’t fans of the idea. 😉  The next best thing, in my opinion, was to volunteer at the shelter. I had this idea in my head of Super Volunteering Valentina who would find perfect homes for all of those animals. I waited for years to implement this plan, and this year I am finally old enough! I’ve finished my first training, which was incredible, and I am enjoying working for these deserving animals. As soon as possible, I will start documenting my journey at the animal shelter on my blog, so be sure to stay tuned. I plan to get my first post on this subject out on November 1st or 2nd.

Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A: My signature Starbucks drink, of course! Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with soy, no whip cream, no caffeine. Perfect!

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

A: I have a minor obsession – make that major obsession – with beauty products by Pacifica. I love their makeup and skin care because not only is it super vibrant and beautiful, it is really accessible. You can find their products at most common grocery store beauty aisles. My favorite product of theirs is the Stellar Gaze Length and Strength Mineral Mascara. It makes your lashes super-duper-long and doesn’t smudge easily.

Q: Going vegan has been an incredibly healthy transition for me, what positive effects has adopting the vegan lifestyle had on you?

A: Most of the positive effects of eating vegan, for me, are mental. When I was just on the verge of going vegan, I would have mini panic attacks when someone served me chicken. When I eat a vegan meal, my conscience is 100% clear. :-).

Q: Describe a day in the life of Valentina.

A: As a dancer, my daily routine is always changing. My rehearsal schedule is very erratic! Generally, I am at school or at a rehearsal until maybe 3:30 PM. If I am performing that day, I won’t be finished until almost 10:30! After that, I take walks with Tika, write for my school newspaper (I’m the editor), read, draw, volunteer, and create flyers, posters or displays about animal rights to place around town.

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

A: When it comes to animal rights, Ingrid Newkirk really sums it up in this lovely quote: “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

A huge thank you to Valentina for sharing her vegan story with us. Be sure to check out her awesome blog here.

Interview with Lindsay of lindsaylivingvegan.com

For the second post in the JGV Interview Series, I am thrilled to welcome Lindsay from lindsaylivingvegan.com to the blog to share her story. I recently connected with Lindsay when she interviewed me for her blog (you can check out that interview here) and it turns out we have a ton in common, including our love for animals being our motivation for going vegetarian at such a young age and more recently making the transition into veganism. Lindsay’s blog has lots of incredibly yummy recipes that are in a great easy to download format, so if you’re looking for food inspiration, you need to check her out! It was so fun for me to find out more about Lindsay’s vegan story and I’m sure you’ll love reading about it as much as I did ▷►▹▸

Lindsay Living Vegan

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

A: I guess you can say that my journey started when I was 4 years old. My step-moms dad has a ton of land in Wisconsin that people go onto for hunting. So when I was little we would drive up there and I would just be surrounded in that atmosphere. I remember that on weekends up there I would be so excited to spend all my time with their dogs that they used for hunting. I have always been the hugest animal lover and being around dead animals that people killed for fun just didn’t make sense to me. Being so young, I was terrified by the idea of eating animals so I refused to eat them and became vegetarian. I was an odd vegetarian because I also didn’t eat eggs or drink cow milk but I was addicted to cheese. About a year ago is when I started getting into nutrition and realizing how horrible the dairy industry is. I did a ton of research because I became obsessed with the subject and I quickly became full on vegan. Reading books and watching documentaries were my main inspirations!

Q: What would your top tips be for someone wanting to go vegan?

A: My top tips for someone wanting to go vegan is to get educated on the food industry and to start off slow to get your body and mind in check with becoming vegan. I don’t think most people really understand how the food industry works, especially here in America. People are addicted to chemicals and ingredients that are put into our food. Cutting out processed food is the best thing that you can do for yourself. I always promise people that once they know the dark side of the food industry, then they will want to cut foods out of their lives. Going slow and listening to your body is number 1.

Q: You have an awesome blog where you share recipes, beauty product reviews and so much more. Tell us about your blogging journey and the inspiration behind LLV.

A: Thanks so much! I have been following blogs for a few years now and I have always loved writing to express my feelings. I spend a lot of my time learning new things and creating recipes so I thought that since I am already doing all the work, I might as well blog about it! Blogging to me has been pretty life changing in the fact that I have finally found something that I love to do. I am now in the process of becoming a health coach and launching my own practice. I want to be able to help people live happier and healthier lives whether they become vegan or not. I have found that connecting with people and helping them with their health is my purpose in life. Oh and saving animals :).

Q: You’ve shared some incredibly yummy looking recipes on your blog. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A: This is a super hard question for me. I have an addictive personality so when I get into a food, say zucchini noodles, I will eat it for 2 months straight. I love all types of food and love falling in love with new creations. I would have to say pizza is the one meal that I would choose to eat for the rest of my life. There are a ton of ways to cook it so I would never get bored eating it!

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

A: I must confess that I don’t have a favorite just yet. I am still experimenting with brands and finding ones that I love. I am currently using Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner for my hair and the occasional coconut oil as a mask. I am actually going to go makeup shopping this weekend to find some vegan and cruelty-free products so let me know if you have any recommendations :).

Q: Going vegan has been an incredibly healthy transition for me, what positive effects has adopting the vegan lifestyle had on you?

A: Oh my… so much has changed! I have so much more energy that the only caffeine I ever need is a cup of tea in the morning. My skin has cleared up and sometimes I feel like I am glowing. I have lost a little bit of weight but nothing major. Oh and I now feel so much more connected with myself and my body. So much has changed since going vegan that I could go on and on about it.

Q: Describe a day in the life of Lindsay.

A: Well right now a typical day during the week for me consists of waking up in the morning, walking my dogs and getting ready for work (I work at an advertising agency). When I get to work I sip on a green smoothie and then have a cup of tea. When it hits lunch time I run home to have lunch, usually a salad, and be with my dogs. After work I sometimes go to a barre class to get a workout in or I go straight home to make dinner, blog and be with my boyfriend. Pretty normal stuff. We are planning on moving to Chicago soon so once we move I will be a health coach and blogger full time as well as being the marketing director for my dads kitchen design company.

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

A: ” I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life”.

A huge thank you to Lindsay for sharing her story on JGV. Be sure to check out her lovely blog here: www.lindsaylivingvegan.com ♥

Liebster and One Lovely Blog Award

Whilst I was on holiday, the lovely Millie from The Little Country Girl nominated me to take part in the Liebster Award and this week the gorgeous girls of The Friendly Fig nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award – how sweet are they all?! I have been following Millie’s blog for a while and love how her kind personality shines through her posts so it was so lovely to hear that she enjoys reading JGV too. I have only recently discovered The Friendly Fig but it is quickly becoming one of my favourite vegan blogs as they have so many great posts ranging from recipes, to style, to useful tips.

liebsterawardonelovelyblogaward

As both of the awards are a fun way of sharing your favourite bloggers with your readers and getting to know a little bit more about them, I thought I’d mix things up a little and combine them into one post. Is that allowed? I hope so!

7 FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I have 4 beautiful dogs who are my world, they even have their own blog here
  2. I am majorly into binge watching TV shows, my current fave is Pretty Little Liars – who the hell is A?!
  3. My mum is my best friend
  4. I love to sing and play the guitar
  5. I speak french & would love to live in France some day
  6. When I was 11, I was genuinely disappointed that I didn’t receive my Hogwarts letter and had to go to muggle school
  7. My dream is to open an animal sanctuary

 RESPONSES TO MY QUESTIONS FROM MILLIE

Q: When did food start becoming more than just food, and start becoming something you were excited about so much you wanted to rant and rave about it?

A: Since going from vegetarian to vegan a few months ago, I’ve become increasingly aware how daunting it can be to be a vegan in a non-vegan world. This inspired me to start my blog in order to show how easy and enjoyable it is to live a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Q: If in an alternative universe you were a child raised by animals, which type of animal would you want to grow up with and learn from?

A: Dogs, hands (or paws) down. They are the kindest, most loving animals and are the only species I have come across who give you unconditional love, wanting nothing in return. If I could be half as good a person as my dogs, I’d be a happy girl! I wrote a post a while back on 10 things I admire about my dogs on their blog (yes, they have their own blog!) If you’d like, you can check that out here.

What is your favourite quote?

This Ghandi quote is my all time favourite as it perfectly sums up why I’m vegan.

be the change you want to see in the world

Q: Favoutite kind of potato…sweet or white? Baked, mashed, fried, boiled, roasted, chips, fries, curly, crinkled, waffles, hash browns…?

A: Oooh, now this is a tough question as I love potatoes… can I pick three? I’m going for it: mashed, curly fries & waffles. Now I’m feeling hungry!

Q: Have you ever gone out to a restaurant and only eaten dessert?!

A: I don’t think I have but after eating these zeppolis (dough balls covered in sugar, cinnamon & chocolate sauce) in Vegas, going out for just dessert is definitely something I’d be up for trying!!

slice of vegas zeppolis

Q: Did you have any pets when you were growing up? If so then what were their names?

A: I’ve been lucky enough to always have had animals to share my life with so CAUTION – long list alert!

When I was younger: Ollie – springer spaniel; Ruby – hamster; Sparkle & Glitter – guinea pigs; Harvey & Honey – rabbits; Lou-Lou – british bulldog

Currently: Poppy, Panda, Teddy & Kitty – cockapoos; Paris & Rome – tortoises

Did someone say crazy pet lady?!

chiascura jumper

Q: Do you have any food or meals/snacks that you personally associate with certain occasions? (Simple example – mince pies at Christmas).

A: Whenever I eat my mum’s veggie chilli recipe, it always feels like home. I absolutely love that chilli!

Q: What is your favourite time of day? Are you an early birdie or a late night owl?

A; I’m definitely a late night person, I often stay up until the early hours binge watching TV shows/ playing music/ working on the blog. Maybe that’s why getting out of bed is a battle for me every morning!

Q: If you could go back in time and re-live one moment, but only to re-live it, not change it, what moment would that be?

A: Ooh that’s a tough one, there are so many great moments I’d love to re-live. I think I’ll go with one of the many days I spent with my granddad when I was little, playing in the garden with his pet chickens.

chickens

Q: What snack food or meal do you wish grew on trees?

A: Vegan chocolate. YUM.

Q: What’s your favourite song to dance to?

A: There are so many but my all time favourite artist is Taylor Swift so anything by her.

 

BLOGS I LOVE

To conclude the post, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite veggie/ vegan blogs that are definitely worth checking out!

www.thelittlecountrygirl.blogspot.co.uk

thefriendlyfig.com

lindsaylivingvegan.com

vegiefoodie.com

myveganvalentine.wordpress.com

www.caring-cosmetics.com

southernblondevegan.com

kristinaplummer.com/blog

leilalina.wordpress.com

ohsheglows.com

My first entry in Jade’s Vegan Diary (Exciting!!!)

Hey and welcome to Jade’s Vegan Diary! I have been a vegetarian for the majority of my life and recently decided to become vegan. This decision was not only fueled by my love of animals, but also by the amazing health benefits that this awesome diet offers.

I am lucky that a lot of the people I’m closest to are either vegetarian or pescetarian, so I have never struggled in maintaining this diet. However, I know zero vegans so this lifestyle is completely new to me and has already been a massive learning curve since I started transitioning into it around a month ago.

In such a short space of time, I have already had so many amazing experiences and have learnt so much. On top of that, I am feeling the healthiest and most energised I have ever felt. I am so excited about living all aspects of this lifestyle, so  decided to start this blog as a way to share my experiences and connect with like-minded people.

On my blog, you can expect lots of yummy recipes; vegan and mainstream restaurant reviews; exercise and general healthy living  posts; vegan beauty product reviews… and really all things vegan! I’m sure I’ll also find a way to work in lots of stories about my amazing dogs, as everyone who knows me knows I always find a way to bring them into the conversation. They even have their own blog here; yep I’m one of those people!

One more thing to note about me, is that prior to becoming vegan my culinary skills were probably less extensive than those of most 5 year olds, so learning to cook and bake all of these yummy vegan foods has been a completely foreign but amazingly exciting experience for me.

I hope you enjoy getting to know me through this blog, and hopefully finding some inspiration is my stories and recipes. I’d love to hear from you so please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jade xx