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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Whether you loathe, live with, or like the 14th of February, it’s become the worldwide day to celebrate love…


Yeah, celebrate your love for us with catnip…lots of catnip.

Love for your partner

Love for your family (including the furry and/or scaly members)

Love for your friends

Love for food, and so on.

I’ll be celebrating my love for all of these today. AND, I’m declaring my love for being vegan this Valentine’s Day!

There are so many wonderful reasons I chose veganism, it’s hard to keep it brief, but here are my top ten.

Top 10 Reasons I ♥ Being Vegan

10. It’s quite the conversation starter.

Once someone learns I’m vegan, there are no awkward silences. There are tons of questions, and I’m happy to answer them and talk all about it. Yes, vegan food is awesome. No, celery is not the only thing I can eat; just take a look at all my photos!  🙂

9. Vegan Doughnuts.

No elaboration needed.

Diggity Doughnuts (2)

8. I’ve discovered compassionate fashion.

I’ve found my style with vegan shoes, bags, and clothes. I love Matt & Nat, Susan Nichole, Vegan Chic, Moo ShoesVaute Couture. In fact, Vaute Couture just took New York Fashion Week by storm with coverage of the solo show on the home page of CNN.com and in fashion mags and blogs galore – vegan fashion will be all the rage before we know it!

Vaute Couture on CNN.com

7. Being vegan got me interested in cooking!

I was not so hot in the kitchen before my veg days (read: made chicken from a box with cream-of-sumpin-nasty soup and bread crumbs). Now, I love trying new, healthy, veggie-filled recipes and veganizing old faves. I mean, I asked for a blender for my birthday last year (a Vitamix to be exact) – I NEVER would have done that before!

6. I’m green by default!

I care about the environment. I want a clean (or at the very least, a livable) world for future generations of all species. I recycle, use energy-saving light bulbs, try to carpool when possible, etc. But by eating vegan, I’m doing the most I possibly can to reduce my carbon footprint. I just love being green!

5. I’m fighting hunger by being vegan.

There is enough grain on Earth to feed the entire human population and then some. So why are almost a billion people starving? Because a huge amount of that grain is going to feed farm animals. By eating vegan, I’m reducing the amount of that grain needed for animals and freeing it up for people. Yes, there are lots of other reasons that grain isn’t getting to the people who need it (government, logistics, etc.) but it’s something I can do to take a swing at the real root of the problem. Take 5 minutes to watch this informative video for more info.

4. I’m super healthy now.

306291_10100383726126835_1686706_nIf you had told me five years ago that I’d be drinking a green smoothie with breakfast everyday, I would have looked at you as if you had 18 rainbow-colored eyes and a unicorn horn. But I do. I start off my day with a huge infusion of veggies and fruit, and then eat healthful plant-based lunches and dinners too. Even my sweets are naturally cholesterol free because they’re vegan. My blood work is super clean, and study after study shows the health benefits of a vegan diet.

3. I love exploring vegan food.

Sure, I liked and enjoyed food before, but not at this level. Now I LOVE food. I might be a little obsessed, really. It’s so much fun to find all the creative, gorgeous, healthful, and sinful things I can eat right here in Charleston and all over the world (Check out my posts on the vegan food I found in London and Italy). Being vegan has not limited me; instead, it has expanded my palate, and I’ve become a much more adventurous eater!

2. I get to make awesome new vegan friends.

I’ve found such a supportive, friendly community of veggies and vegans here in Charleston, and I’m fortunate to count many of them as good friends. I’ve met great people at potlucks, fundraisers, and more. (Many cities have veggie meet-ups or clubs – check it out to see if there’s one near you!)

There’s also a huge network of compassionate folks online, working together for a better world, and through special events, I’ve gotten to meet some of them in person.

1. I’m living in line with my values of compassion, non-violence, and justice, and it is Soul-Satisfying.

After learning how meat and other animal products got to my plate, I felt out of whack saying I loved animals when I was eating them too. Now that I’m “putting my money where my mouth is,” my soul feels deep-down happy knowing that I’m not contributing to that cruelty. In fact, I’m actively fighting that cruelty and living my truth. And it feels GREAT.

Being vegan has led to wonderful things in my life. Other than marrying my husband, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!

If any of the reasons above resonate with you, give some thought to what being vegetarian or vegan just one day a week would look like for you. 

If I, the former Miss Cheese, can do it and love it, you can do it and love it too.

Veganism, I ♥ you.

To Showin’ the Love!


P.S. Tonight I’ll be making these vegan Pistachio Rosewater cupcakes as a special Valentine’s Day treat for my hubby (…and as a test run for a get-together I’m hosting next week. Still romantic though, right?)

pistachio rosewater cupcakes