Carmen Martinez

Artist, model and activist.

SS: What made you go vegan and why?

CM: Basically respect and love for life, never thought about health or biological evolution, just simple common sense, "don't do to others what you don't want others to do to you" - not only a religious quote that is present in western and eastern religious but a philosophical saying from the biggest thinkers in history - the key here is who we consider here the "others". What capacity of empathy we have, family, friends, same state, country, religion, species, planet.

It was a natural process, actually when I was a kid every time my grandma cooked for the family meeting she brought an alive animal to do "the whole process herself" I remember the first time I saw that, from that day I never eat any meat at my grand's again I was really young, around 4 or 5. But it was at 16 when I realize that there is no reason to keep eating meat, that any argument that someone could claim or even myself was just an excuse to stay in the comfort place and dont take responsibilities and action in order to change. It was a some friends house, I came early one sunday for lunch and my friend was cooking a chicken, I had such sad feeling and it came from my mouth no thinking, Im vegetarian Im not eating this.

From then, I was several years in and out of veganism, was more another comfort area, it was easier to be vegetarian than vegan, so there were time to time when I was totally vegan and other times where still got diary products. Until another revelation 4 years ago that could not take animal source products anymore either. And little by little realized that is not only important what you eat but how you eat it also, environment friendly products, not only stop eating animal but help to not destroy their habitats as well as ours. Then fitness crossed my way and I started putting more attention on how to gt the right nutrition for my body type and how I wanted to improve mental and physical functions.

SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes, what was difficult and did it get easier?

CM: Actually no. The only hard time was just realize that I really wanted to do this. I was lucky to grow in a mediterranean country where, fruits and grains are 90% of the diet so it was pretty easy to find dishes out of home and our traditional cuisine. I have loved vegetables always, nuts and fruits are my favorite snack, salads my favorite dish, how can something gets easier, just get a bunch of vegetables and put it together and its going to taste amazing with some lemon vinaigrette ! no need of cooking! Now it is so easy with all the substitutes, I bake my own vegan breads, sweet treats and traditional plates on their vegan version. It's easy and fun!

SS: What would you say to encourage someone is considering becoming vegan?

CM: Just reach in your heart and analyze what is still keeping you from doing the switch. Anything related to "our nature is to eat meat" or " we need meat for a premium function" is all excuses, the first thing to achieve a change is start acting like you have changed, even if science tells that eat meat is our nature (btw during history science reinvent itself over and over, if not we would still thinking that the world is flat with sea monsters in the corners of its frontiers, and the schizophrenia is a demos possession) IT IS TIME TO GO ONE STEP FORWARD IN ORDER TO EVOLVE TO A HIGHER CONSCIENCE OF OURSELVES AND THE WORLD AROUND US, OVERCOME WHAT IS DICTATED AND FIND COMPASSION BEYOND OF HOW SIMILIAR TO YOU SOMEONE LOOK TO RELATE TO THEIR FEELINGS. TO FIND A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE TO REVERE YOUR BODY AS A TREASURE THAT MAKE YOU CAPABLE OF INTERACT IN THIS WORLD, TO EXPRESS YOURSELF, GO VEGAN, BUT GO VEGAN SMARTLY, KNOW YOURSELF AND FEED YOUR HEART, MIND AND BODY WITH GOOD ENERGY SOURCES AND POSITIVE THINKING.

SS: What are some animal rights related things you participate in?

CM: I think every little action counts, promotion of healthy lifestyle, informing of the reality of meat industry, volunteer with organizations, donate to shelters, bring my meat eaters friend to vegan places every time we eat out.

SS: What are your favorite AR organizations?

CM: In the time I spent in US Im more related to ASPCA, WWF, though I follow some activities with PETA and MERCY FOR ANIMALS as well.

SS: Do you have any memories that stand out in your mind about someone saving an animal? Or relating to an animal in a unique way?

CM: I could point a few but what I most appreciate and keep warmer in my heart is my grandma feeding all the street cats in our neighborhood in Spain, it is sad but there is a lot. She buys food for them, feed them 3 times at day and keep the kittens safe every time that some lady cat gives birth.