Say hey to Deanna! Deanna is our kickass merchandising manager. She finds quality vegan products and introduces them to our store. She also handles our interior displays, shoots photography for our website and social media, contacts vendors, and orchestrates donations to various vegan events and organizations (like The Humane League)! Phew. That’s a lot. Basically, Deanna knows what’s what about all things Herbivore, and probably knows the answer to any of your questions. She also knows all the songs on Say Anything’s album, ...Is A Real Boy, by heart, and has already met and snuggled all the dogs in Portland. Seriously. All the dogs. Keep reading to get to know Deanna…
Deanna: Dog Whisperer, Snack Expert, Champion of Sass
How long have you been vegan?
Describe your aha vegan moment.
I had been vegetarian for about 4 years. Then I met my boyfriend the summer before I started college and he helped me really open my eyes to the dairy industry. It's a lot more horrific than you could imagine, but because the killing doesn't happen up front like with the meat industry, a lot of people choose not to give up dairy.
Like all mammals, cows must give birth to produce milk. So cows are repeatedly raped by artificial insemination to keep a constant cycle of lactation while being kept in the most inhumane conditions. Then what happens to the calves that are born? Heard of veal and how that's produced? The baby calves are stolen away from their mother's and then sentenced to an early death. For some gluttonous meal?! No thanks! How could anyone after really educating themselves support any kind of industry that promotes cruelty and death?
What is/talk about your primary Vegan Reason (animal rights, human rights, environmentalism, health)?
I'm vegan because I give a damn. I care about what I put in my body and where it comes from. I'm an animal lover and I don't see any kind of other living being as more deserving of life than another. I don't need death to nourish my body.
What do you love most about being vegan?
The food! When I first went vegan, I basically only ever ate TVP, Boca burgers, and pasta. To see the journey vegan food and substitutes have taken is truly remarkable. There's literally nothing you will "miss out" on by eating a plant-based diet. Shout out to Gardein, Field Roast, Tofutti, Miyoko's, and Tofurkey!
What’s the best advice you could give a new vegan (or, what do you wish someone had told/advised you)?
Just educate yourself. Knowledge is power! Go watch Earthlings, What The Health, and Cowspiracy. And don't be afraid to reach out. The vegan community is strong and so are you!
What’s your Herbivore Story (how did you end up working here)?
One of my best buds that owns a lot of the vegan bars around town introduced me to Herbivore. I was actually working at one of the bars when Josh, Michelle, and Ruby came in and we officially met for the first time. They reached out to me and I joined the Herbivore family shortly afterwards!
“To me, veganism is all about …”
Being accountable. And spreading that PMA!
What’s Your Favorite...
Animal? Dogs. DUH.
Vegan restaurant/food cart? Farm Spirit. Aaron Adams is a culinary genius! Also, Yuan Su Vegetarian is right by my house, so I'm always grabbing the Chow Fun to go.
Desert Island food? Chips and carrot sticks. Anything crunchy!
Energizing breakfast necessity? Yerba Mate or iced tea of any kind. Plus a peanut butter chocolate ProBar. Plus tofu scramble.
Veg product? Big White Yeti candles! Have you smelled Night Swimming?!?! And Perennial Soaps! Been loving their Nag Champa and Bel Air scents. AND Ninja Squirrel hot sauce also, can’t live without it.
Herbivore design? Herbivore Portland Koala was my first fave. But I've been living in our Unbreakable Crop Tank since we debuted it a few months ago.
Vegan Idol? The first vegan person I admired was Alicia Silverstone! I loved her in Clueless and thought it was pretty great that she became so active in the vegan community. I also really admire John Joseph of Cro-Mags. I grew up listening to punk and when I recently saw his Fuel special on Vicleand, I gained so much respect for him. It's so great seeing people spreading positive vibes into the world.
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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!