Saturday, June 16, 2012

❀ Meet Vegans! ❀

These lovely "interviews" are with other fellow vegans, to inspire and share their stories and lifestyles and love for all things vegan. Oh, and to prove we don't eat grass and have a ton of kick-ass fun! ;)

Meet Mary! 
Name: Mary Ciesynski
Age: 26
Country: United States
Vegan Since: 2005
Pets?: Kitty 
A bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Rhode Island and moved across the country 4 years ago to live in Arizona. I traded the ocean for mountains! I love baking, hiking, and everything artsy fartsy. I have my own business, Gothcupcake, where I sell my handmade accessories and my vegan cosmetics, Zombify.
What did your diet look like pre-vegan? Whatever my parents cooked for dinner. Meals that had a protein (meat, ew!), veggies and a starch. 
What does your diet look like now? Any fun new foods you had no idea existed until becoming vegan? My diet now is much healthier as I make sure I get my veggies and fruits throughout the day, make sure I have grains and proteins where I would eat junk food most of the time when I lived at home before becoming vegan (my choice, my parents weren't big snackers!). Tons of new foods! I never knew what Kale was, or rather, I never thought of eating it as a snack or in a salad or in mashed potatoes. I never knew about the wonders of tofu or seitan or quinoa! I'm much more adventurous with my spices these days and always up for trying new things! 
What is your favourite food or meal to eat now? I've never been good at picking a favorite! It really depends on my mood! Comfort foods are always good, vegan mac and cheese is an occasional indulgence :D
What made you become vegan? It was strange, because all my life I was brought up to love and care for animals. When I was 2 or 3 my Mom said I used to talk to the birds and one day, after my morning chat with the birds outside our apartment, I found a bird that had fallen out of its nest and hurt its wing. My mom said I put it in my doll house and they drove to the local animal rescue to see if they could mend it. I'd always felt a little pang of guilt eating animals too. When I was a little older I had a crush on an actor that was vegetarian and it made me more interested. It wasn't really until I met my friend Scott that it really struck me to take action though. Scott was a vegan and I was interested, I asked him questions and visited the "" site that was embroidered on the back of his "Vegan" baseball cap after the first time I met him. I decided shortly thereafter to go vegan. 
How long was the transition, and were there any slip-ups? April 19th 2005 was when I first considered myself officially vegetarian. I was vegetarian for less than 2 months before becoming vegan. I used that time to let my body adjust to being weaned off of dairy and my parents to get used to the idea. I started cooking my own meals and buying my own food. There were a few times when I first went shopping that I would buy something thinking it was vegan and then get it home and realize it wasn't, so I learned really quickly to read labels! It is an expensive lesson!  
How do you feel since going vegan? (changes in your health, mood, body, etc.) I've become more open-minded, I feel better (I used to get sick more often before I became Vegan), I've maintained my weight since going Vegan. I feel great!
Biggest challenge about making the switch? How did you get through it? My family and friends did not support the diet change at all at first. Everyone was very against it, or thought it was a phase and would act disappointed that I wasn't eating what everyone else was or annoyed when I would read labels. My friend Scott was there for me to vent to and helped me through, he used to say "Remember you're fighting the good fight," and that became my mantra. Slowly when it became clear that it wasn't a phase and when I wasn't getting sick any longer my family became more supportive and even tried some of my foods and my friends began to make sure there was always something for me to eat when we would get together.
Do you have any other vegans in your life? (family, significant other, friends, roommates, etc.) How do they handle your veganism and how do you handle them? My Vegan friend Scott eventually became my boyfriend and we've lived together for going on 4 years now. Since he was the one who pretty much taught me how to be Vegan our ideals of Veganism match up pretty well. We can openly discuss things without it being an argument. It's nice. I believe that each person has their own journey with veganism though and there are some areas where not all vegans meet eye to eye. I am a more peaceful Vegan, so if another Vegan expresses an opinion different than my own I live and let live. We're both on the same team, so arguing and fighting with one another will only hurt our cause.
How do you deal with ignorant/annoying/difficult people and questions about your decision? I'm honest and answer their questions truthfully. There will always be people that just, for whatever reason, want to fight you on everything or who want to put a stereotype on vegans as having this better-than-thou persona. I just do my best to be me and if they want information I provide it. I've met a lot of people who want to pass judgement on me for being vegan: but I don't pass judgement on those who aren't. I am quick to point that out if they get nasty with me. 
Favourite Vegan product? (whether it's food, beauty, clothing, etc.) This is a tough one, but I think I have to go with Strawberry Hedgehog bath and body products. They are all vegan, natural and organic. I use her products almost exclusively now! I love them :)
Favourite part about being vegan? Making a difference in the world and sprinkling seeds of thought with my vegan baked goodies. 
Any tips for others thinking of going vegan? Learn as much as you can and don't just rely on a single source for your information. Be open-minded, there are so many amazing foods to explore and projects to become involved in if you look. Make sure you eat well-balanced meals and get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and remember that vegan doesn't always equal healthy (Oreos are vegan, but that doesn't mean you should eat a whole package!) and cruelty-free does not always mean vegan too.   


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the interview Bianca, it was an honor to be featured in your awesome blog!


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