Animals Behind Herbivore: Claire!
How long have you been vegan?
I have been vegetarian for over 10 years but started transitioning to fully vegan about 9 months ago.
What was your aha vegan moment?
I realized how bad dairy products were making me feel, and when I did more research on the dairy industry (and how inhumane it could be!), I decided it was time to make the change over to full veganism.
What is your primary Vegan Reason (animal rights, human rights, environmentalism, health)?
Animal Rights and Health reasons!
What’s been the best part of being vegan/being part of the vegan community?
I didn't realize how VAST the community was until I started following more vegan accounts on social media! I think the best part is how supportive everyone is and how positive; we all agree on this great cause that will help preserve our animal friends, ourselves, and our planet :) It's awesome!
What did you/do you still struggle with?
I was a cheese-aholic! I used to joke that the base of my food pyramid was a block of cheddar, so I think my biggest challenge was breaking that addiction. It's also hard to explain to people (who aren't as well-versed in veganism) what I do eat. Everyone was used to me being a vegetarian for all these years (that was easy!), so now that I don't eat eggs or dairy, they can't even imagine what's left!
What’s the best advice you could give a new vegan (or, what do you wish someone had told/advised you)?
Don't be so hard on yourself if you slip up or have a set back. Even though going vegetarian was easy for me, becoming vegan definitely took more work and focus. Also, find other vegan friends-- they always know the best recipes and restaurants!
What’s your Herbivore Story?
I found Herbivore on Instagram first, but then shortly after had the chance to visit the shop when I was in Portland for work (I'm from NJ!). It was so fun popping into a store full of awesome clothes supporting a cause I care about!
“To me, veganism is all about…”
To me, veganism is all about LOVE! Love for animals, yourself, the planet, and our future.
What's Your Favorite...
Animal? CATS!!!! I am Cat Lady to the max supreme
Vegan restaurant/food cart? Ugh so hard to choose! Definitely a tie between three New Jersey staples: Veganized in New Brunswick, Seed to Sprout in Avon-by-the-Sea, and Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar (seriously, their mashed potatoes and gravy are AMAZING!)
Desert Island food? Mashed potatoes! And maybe an avocado and an artichoke for a healthy option ;)
Recipe? I am not a great cook (ok, I am terrible), but I often make a version of this at home: "Vegan Mac and Cheese" from A Beautiful Mess.
Veg product? So random, but the Primal Strips "jerky" are so good! I never liked real beef jerky but these are so delicious! I also really love Hurraw lip balms (so many great flavors!)
Vegan Idol? Hard to pick one, but all the great accounts on Instagram that give tips and recipes (like Herbivore!). I'd also have to say my boyfriend, who's been vegan for close to 20 years. He is a great example of how you can live a plant based life for the long term, and be an athlete (martial arts, yoga).
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Keep up with "Herbivore Stories" to learn more about our team (the animals behind Herbivore), the issues we are passionate about, our wonderful vendors, our favorite recipes, and much more!