I’ve been vegan since 1988, and over that time, my relationship with cooking has ebbed and flowed. I am very happy to eat very simply; I love to be able to taste the incredible produce I find. I enjoy making simple harmonies from whatever is seasonal. When I have people over though, I love exploring spices. Just because a meal is plant-based doesn’t mean it can’t be a flavor power-house.
It was my sophomore year at Yale, going through the food line for dinner, and I wanted a chicken breast, but the way they put it on my plate – all of a sudden it reminded me of my mom’s dog – and at that moment I was instantly on the outside of the food chain. I just couldn’t be a part of it. It was very personal to me in an instant, all because of a big breast of chicken that was oddly plated and slightly pink and I couldn’t do it. At first all I could think to eat was peanut butter and bread, so I put on a bunch of weight, but over the years it’s gotten a lot easier because people are much hipper to the fact that a plant based lifestyle is healthier for us. So it’s gotten so easy and so delicious to be vegan.
That little, small voice in your mind and in your heart that makes you curious about being vegan is something you should listen to, because that’s the sound of your conscience making you be compassionate.
I think my experience as an adoptee who was given beautiful, loving parents, makes me sympathetic to the plight of the voiceless and those who are disregarded or tossed away or thought to not have value in a society. I feel like no one is expendable because it’s convenient. So many animals out there without homes have so much love to give, and I want to do all I can to get them in forever homes so they can give that love. … Fostering a little life is so humbling and sacred. It reminds you we’re all here to help each other and that you’re not the central character in the story of life. You’re a supporting role and your hands are meant to help get someone or something where they should be. Helping and loving an animal is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Every time you save them, you save yourself a little bit, too.