1.) Name:
Sarien Slabbert

2.) Location:
Port Moody, BC

3.) Vegan or Vegetarian?:

4.)How long?:
Veggie since 2003, Vegan since 2006

5.) Your story/Why you are vegan/vegetarian:
Becoming both was small mental steps. My best friend was Vegetarian in High School and I never liked leather. My brother use to make fun of me by saying “moo” whenever I had to sit on a leather couch or touch something leather to freak me out, like little brothers do. It finally connected when my now hubby, then boyfriend, was taking Philosophy at SFU and they were discussing Vegetarianism in class. He picked me up after work, and we started talking about the Pros/Cons, and I cut meat out that night. Cheese was harder. Even though cheese isn't for the most part even Vegetarian (Rennet), and I knew that for a couple of years, it took picking up a VegNews (which I thought was a Vegetarian Magazine but is Vegan), that finally just made me go “You know what. It's not that hard. Just do it.”, and I never looked back.

6.)What is your favourite thing about being vegan/vegetarian?:
The honesty and truth of it, if that makes sense. Like Earthling Ed says “We have the truth on our side”,  so there is absolutely nothing more beautiful to me than meeting people that have made such a strong connection with their compassionate and empathetic selves. The strength in that is just awesome. So much so that they are willing to stand up for that belief, even though it's not the most popular. Also, how easy it's to be vegan now a days! I know it might becoming cliché to say that, but dudes and dudettes, it's SO TRUE! lol

7.) How about your favourite meal(s)?:
I love a good big old organic salad with as much random stuff in it as we have in our fridge/kitchen! Kimchi, veggie sausage, pickles, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, avo, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, basil, broccoli (or any veggies) and Simply Organic Goddess Dressing or a creamy avo dressing. Any or all of the above in a big bowl! Also, if I'm feeling like something warm, quesadilla's that's made with yam mushed with cumin, refried beans, spicy vegan cheese in a flax wrap, then top it off with mango salsa and avo! Delish! 

8.) Have you noticed any positive changes since making the switch?:
Yes. I know people usually say something to do with health, but for me it's more the joy and peace that comes with living in line with your core morals that you didn't even realize wasn't happening. Also, the strength over the years that came with having to deal with the negative backlash most of us get from either family or friends, but staying with it and not letting that change you. Now at the end of the day, I feel more empowered and even my biggest critic eats a vegan meal every now and then. 

9.) Advice/Tips for your fellow ⓥedgy community?:
Stay strong. Find some vegan friends you can hang out with every now and then so you have that community and love. Go support vegan startups, because walking into a restaurant that's fully vegan is just magic. Also realize nothing in life that's worth it is easy, but the end result is wonderful. People react negatively because of their own insecurities and problems, it's nothing to do with you. Keep being that beautiful, compassionate self by “Be(ing) the change”. Just like any other social justice movement, it starts with a small group of wonderful beings, then the rest will follow!

10.) Anything else you'd like to add? ie: your Instagram handle, a positive experience, etc.:
Positive Experience: I just recently started doing Vegan Outreach as well, because my 5 year old told me “Mom, people eat animals, that's not nice. We should tell them.” I was very hesitant at first because I had that feeling of activism being a negative/aggressive thing, but I started out just standing inside the cube for Anonymous for the Voiceless, because I was scared talking to people. Now I've gotten the courage and started talking to people and it is honestly what has changed my being into such a more positive person for the future. People are so beautiful inside, and we are just showing them that, and planting that seed/s that we got before we went Vegetarian/Vegan. Watching Earthling Ed you feel “Wow, I can never do that. He's so good.”, but that fear doesn't help the animals. Why are we afraid of something? Look at that fear and find small steps to overcome them because the things you learn on the way and the person you become when you overcome that fear is epic.