Actress, model, activist and student.
"Lauren and I met when my dad was dating her mom (her mom is just as gorgeous as she is - my dad's a stud what can I say?) and ever since, Lauren and I have been good friends. She is really an inspiration to me on many levels. She has a zest for life that people are drawn to and she is one of the strongest girls I know." - Melissa Schwartz
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
LM: To be honest it was my good friend Melissa Schwartz who first opened my eyes to veganism. I have always loved animals and I have always believed in being kind to others and doing the right thing. I was in Portugal when I watched earthlings, and while traveling I observed food cultures and how people have come to treat and think of animals over centuries of tradition. I asked myself what is the difference between our history of other things in society such a sex, or race in other people, and that in history we have alienated or treated people unfairly just because of our differences, this idea grew into a belief, into a way of life. I noticed that because of differences in species a lot of humans had this superior mentality over other living creatures, not taking into account that they exist for their own reasons. I went from a meat based diet to raw vegan over night. I lived in an area where veganism was unheard of, so the only way I could eat vegan was through raw fruit, vegetable, grains and beans. It was the best thing I ever did.
SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes what was difficult and did it get easier?
LM: When I first went vegan I lived in Portugal where everyone was very traditional and veganism was not understood nor even heard of. So yes explaining to restaurants and people in the community where I lived that I was vegan was difficult. Shopping in grocery stores was even more difficult. You would see all of the things that you missed for me it was cakes and sweets and know that you couldn’t have them was the worst. I stayed strong and when I came back to the US I was able to have all of the things I ate before like cupcakes or cookies but they were vegan so it made me happy to know I was eating something that was cruelty free.
SS: What are some animal rights related things that you participate in?
LM: I would like to be more involved in animals rights things but for the most part living a vegan lifestyle and trying to share and teach others is all I have been able to do. I did some rescue things in Portugal, but for the most part I have been a silent vegan UNTIL NOW! I signed up recently for meetup.com/vegan and I am hoping to get involved with a lot more animals rights movement.
SS: What are your favorite animal rights organizations?
LM: I’m not aware of a lot but I would have to say the humane society because they have made it their efforts to rescue and be, I think more physically involved in animal welfare. PETA is great too , I think they are all great.
SS: What would you say to somebody who is considering going vegan?
LM: I would say do it not only for the animals that we all love but maybe for health of yourself , the environment and other humans alike. It’s the best thing I ever did and I am so happy with my decision.
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?
LM: Growing up my step dad and I took a couple of horses in and nurtured them back to health, one had been abused and the other was an ex race horse that suffered from trauma. At such a young age I saw how people had mistreated these beautiful intelligent animals and it broke my heart. Seeing them back to health, and gaining their trust was probably one of the most heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced. Another time in Portugal, a now good friend of mine Tiago and I, rescued a mother and her kittens from being, “exterminated." A day before I was leaving to go back to the states I had discovered a mother cat that had given birth to 5 little babies in our laundry room. I panicked and called everyone! vets, friends, rescues, called EVERYONE nobody would take them and I got the same answered every time “they would be put down”, I wouldn’t have it! I got a hold of you Melissa, and you posted an outreach and an angel replied. :):) Thanks to Tigao and his wonderful family the mom and her babies have a safe place to call home :):) Last but not least I did rescue my little guy Beau, he is my crazy little cat whom I love so much. He had a rough early start as a kitten being dumped on the streets and almost starved to death, hearing his story I couldn’t help but take him home with me. When I got him I was also starting a new beginning and I think that is why we needed each other. I LOVE HIM! Compassionate is true beauty and it’s something that we can't measure externally it’s something that is in our heart. Helping someone out that you know could never pay you back. I think that’s what being a V-girl is all about.