Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vegan Mama || Janell Wolford @RaisingLittleVegans

I am so excited to start this new series where I interview vegan mamas and papas to share their story. As a pregnant vegan I love learning from other parents who are coming from a similar background. I cannot wait to share so many more of these amazing parents with you guys. My first lovely mama is Janell Wolford from @RaisingLittleVegans on Instagram. I have been friends with Janell on Instagram for a while and have fallen in love over and over again with her incredible family. Here is my interview with her. Be sure to show her some love!

- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a 24 year old military wife and mother to three beautiful children and two furbabies. I'm an artist, photographer, activist, avid book reader, and smoothie enthusiast. When I'm not busy learning about life with my little ones, you can find me in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes!

- What is your vegan story? When and why you went vegan?
I have been vegan for over three years, I first went vegan when I was 21 and pregnant with my second child. I was a vegetarian at the time (along with my one year old daughter) and I remember reading a post online about veganism, and it sort of clicked for me right then. I had never even really heard the term before. I started researching, reading studies and articles, watching undercover videos and documentaries... and I was stunned. I was livid. I was horrified. I felt guilty. And my heart was broken. I had never looked into where my "food" came from, I had never taken the time to learn about any part of animal agriculture. I was vegetarian because (I thought) I loved animals, but I never knew about the cruelty involved in the dairy industry. I haven't looked back since. In the past three years I have educated myself on the harmful effects animal agriculture has on our planet, as well as the treatment and lives of animals that are used for food, clothing, entertainment, and experimentation. It isn't something I ever want myself or my children to take part in. Now I try to inform other parents about veganism, and help them to transition to a cruelty-free life.

- Did you get any  opposition from family or friends when they knew when you had intentions of raising your children vegan?
My family had a lot of negative comments and feelings about veganism at first. No one was really worried about veganism in terms of health for myself or my children, but there were a lot of disagreements about the treatment and use of animals in general. My parents and siblings are hunters, and I was the only one who would stay behind when they went out hunting as I was growing up. I feel like there was a lot of negativity from my family stemming from my disapproval of the lifestyle I had been raised in. I couldn't keep my eyes closed any longer, and no one else wanted to open theirs. In the past few years they have slowly come around more to the idea of veganism, they all say they could never go vegan, but they see firsthand that it isn't such a bad thing after all. My mother is the one who has been great from the beginning, and I'm thankful for how supportive she is.

- What is your favorite go to meal for your children?
My favorite meals for my little ones would have to be either banana ice cream (can that be a meal?!) or a dish I make with quinoa, zucchini noodles, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach tossed together, with a smoothie on the side!

- How do you handle social events?
For social events, we always make sure they are vegan friendly (no zoos, circuses with animals, or animal exhibits) and that we are prepared for when the kids need to eat. If you don't know if there will be vegan friendly meals, be sure to ask if there will be or if you can bring your own! Always be prepared beforehand, it doesn't take much to make sure the event is enjoyable for everyone.

- What advice do you have to upcoming vegan mamas?
My advice for new vegan mamas is to ignore any negativity from other people, and to always stick with what you believe in. Motherhood is hard sometimes, especially when it seems there is always criticism from other parents who don't have the same lifestyle as you. It isn't the easiest to raise vegan kids in a non-vegan world, but it is so rewarding. We are raising the next generation, a generation with compassionate, caring, and cruelty-free kids. Our children will be the future, and it us up to us to make sure they care about their world and the other beings who coexist here with us.✌


1 comment:

  1. This is such a sweet interview! I started following her! So proud of you Jen and your journey!

    - Nohely