Professional Violinist, Champion Surfer, Triathlete
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
JA: Hmmm, lengthy story, so I'll paraphrase as best I can. First I was privy to animal experimentation (a whole other story) which prompted me to go cruelty-free with all my bath/body/household products. This led me into the animal rights world and I began doing fur protests. Simultaneously I was eliminating dairy products from my diet because of bad sinus problems. However, I was still a big meat eater. I mean, we're talking pork, pork, pork. Beef. Chicken. Fish. It wasn't until I was doing a fur protest that afterwards some people were going to get something to eat and asked where I was going and I said "McDonalds". I seriously had NOT made the connection yet. This stranger and fellow fur protester gracefully explained to me the hypocrisy of doing a fur protest then going to eat at McDonald's. That was it. That was the moment that it finally hit me. I went full vegetarian within a matter of weeks and because I was already off of dairy, going vegan was not that much more of a stretch.
I have no idea who that person was that day, but I'm forever grateful for their poise and tact in their approach with me. Had they yelled in my face it may have had a different outcome. They set the example for how I present my vegan beliefs to this day. To see my story on going vegan, please see this brief television interview I did.http://youtu.be/GUHAjWPgQKo
SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes what was difficult and did it get easier?
JA: YES. I went vegan 17 yrs ago and it was NOTHING like it is now. Choices were few, most people didn't even know what the word vegan meant, and if they had heard of it, it meant I was a freak who ate sticks and twigs, haha.
I'm a very committed person, so once I set my mind to something, I do it, and I do it as best as I can. So I did not have any difficulty sticking with being vegan, but more difficult was having to endure the same questions from people over and over again..."where do you get your protein", "but milk production doesn't hurt dairy cows" and "you have to eat right for your blood type". I've heard it all.
The good news is, it DOES get easier. And the rewards of a healthy vegan diet far outweigh any of the challenges I've encountered along the way.
So, if I had to do it all over again...I'd do it all over again
SS: What are some animal rights related things that you participate in?
JA: Fur and circus protests. I also follow anti-vivisection news. And I share information on my social media sites.
SS: What are your favorite animal rights organizations?
JA: Last Chance for Animals (LCA). Humane Society. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM - I have one of their license plate frames on my car!). Animal Liberation Front (ALF). PETA. American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS). National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). Animal Acres. Farm Sanctuary. Wildlife Waystation. No Kill LA (NKLA). Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
SS: What would you say to somebody who is considering going vegan?
JA: DO IT! It is the absolute best thing I ever did in my life and it will change your world, the animals' world and the planet, all for the better!
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?
JA: Yes, my mom. When I was a little girl I remember my mom finding baby mice in the yard, with no mother to be found. She scooped them up, put the oven on warm setting and put them in these little trays to warm them up. Then she fed them some concoction of liquid food using an eye dropper. Once they were well enough, she let them go free. I will never forget it...standing there in the kitchen looking at the mice through the see-thru glass oven door, my mom checking on them every few minutes. She instilled in me, at that very moment, that EVERY creature has a right to live.