Meet Shawn!

I’d like to introduce to you, my boyfriend, Shawn. He is vegan and will contribute to my blog from time to time.     -Kelly

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Hi, I’m Shawn, nice to meet you!

 Let me introduce myself, I’m a 21-year-old journalist from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and now I call Hamilton home.

 Let’s rewind about four years, I was in my freshman year at college, and I was on the college diet of hamburgers and Kraft Dinner. So one day I went back to my room in residence after a long day of classes, and I threw a couple frozen burgers on the George Foreman grill. After I ate my dinner, I looked at the nutritional facts on the box, and what I saw shocked me, over 100 per cent of my daily fat, sodium and trans-fat in one meal. Needless to say, I decided never to eat meat again.

Fast-forward about six months from that, after doing some research and watching some documentaries (including Food Inc., a great documentary, check it out if you haven’t seen it) I decided that I’d go vegan. It was a logical move for me; I felt that since I was vegetarian, I might as well go all the way and be vegan.

When I told my parents that I was vegetarian, they thought I was joking at first. I came home from college for the weekend and said that I didn’t want any meat, because I’m vegetarian now. Despite the initial confusion, my parents have been very supportive of my decision and eventually my brother became vegan too. My parents have been very supportive of all my endeavours in my life, and I owe a lot to them, and I’m always happy to have their support. My grandparents don’t really understand veganism, but they support me anyways. My grandma “veganizes” some of my childhood favourite meals when I visit, and she makes her chocolate cake, which happens to be vegan anyways.

I know that not everyone is supportive of the vegan lifestyle, which bothers me because people like to rip on it, without fully understanding it. I believe in tolerance, some people find solace in religion; you wouldn’t rip on someone for their religious beliefs. Some people (including myself) feel that being vegan makes sense to them, so why would it be acceptable to disrespect someone over being vegan? Bob Dylan says it best “don’t criticize, what you can’t understand,” (from The Times They Are a-Changin’)

Aside from becoming vegan at college, I also found the love of my life, Kelly. We started dating when we were both 18, in our freshman year. We have been inseparable ever since. When we first started dating, Kelly was not vegetarian, it didn’t really bother me, but I did want her to consider the change. She tried going vegetarian, but it didn’t last too long. A few months later, she tried again, and was vegetarian for a long time, until she recently became vegan too.

So about six weeks ago, Kelly came to me with an idea. She said how she wanted to do her own vegan lifestyle blog, which I thought was a brilliant idea! Two weeks later, Vegan Advantage was born. Kelly asked me if I would be interested in contributing to Vegan Advantage, and of course, I wanted to. I have to congratulate her on an impressive start-up! Six weeks ago, Vegan Advantage was merely an idea, and today it is an established vegan lifestyle blog.

Not only am I an advocate of the vegan lifestyle, I’m most importantly an advocate for healthy eating. I understand that veganism isn’t for everyone, but that’s okay, every person is entitled to their own decision- it’s what makes us unique. However, healthy eating is important, herbivore or omnivore. The obesity rate in Canada is at about 60 per cent, and our neighbours to the south have a 70 per cent obesity rate. Veganism helps reduce the amount of fats and trans-fats you take in and promotes healthy eating, and many studies show it reduces risk of disease, including heart disease. Vegan or not, eating healthy is important.

My vegan friends, I hope you find Vegan Advantage a resourceful tool for recipes, vegan fashion and even for some DIY projects on your down time.

For my omnivorous friends, please consider eating less meat or trying out the vegan lifestyle, even for just one day, or for one meal. I hope you too can find Vegan Advantage resourceful, try making one vegan friendly meal from one of Kelly’s recipes.

Thank you for reading, I know there are millions of pages on the Internet, and I thank you for taking the time to visit this one. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to say hello, drop Kelly a line at Kelly@veganadvantage.ca

All the best,

Shawn

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