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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarian Essays/Vegan Essays

I Quit My Job Selling Frozen Yogurt--
and Went Vegan

By Cherie Broad

I'm Cherie. I was raised a carnivore, but am now a happy vegan! Being raised on a Latin and Western diet, sadly, I always had meat and dairy on my plate. I had quite a physical transformation dropping about 70 pounds to date. I am proof that it is possible to go VEGAN. "There is life after cheese and frozen yogurt."

Cherie Broad I recently quit my job of over five years managing a popular frozen yogurt shop, because I could no longer be a cog in the dairy industry's machine! It wasn't enough for me to stop consuming the product. Serving it to customers and keeping a tight lip with a smile on my face was becoming extremely difficult. When I really wanted to answer their questions truthfully, I was forced to give "Big Dairy's" approved propaganda.

Then the day came.
That was the day I witnessed my first and, hopefully, my last veal truck. The small calves could not stand. Their tiny noses and small skinny legs poked out the sides of the truck. Of course, it was 4:45 p.m., and I was stuck in terrible deadlocked traffic looking straight into a small, creepy, baby-trailer of death. I put in my notice of resignation the following day.

Cherie Broad Commuting up and down the 15 Freeway for five years, I saw a fair amount of meat trucks: a few pig, less sheep, mostly dairy, and never any steers! It really made me think about my position in the dairy industry. I wasn't the one dragging calves away from their mothers, but the milk I was serving in the tasty treats sure made me feel like I had. I wasn't the one physically inseminating those cows over and over for our shipments upon shipments, but I sure made the connection looking at the 80+ cases a week.

That small shop distributed 240+ gallons of dairy products within a week to customers that would happily wait in line to get their frozen fix. I often thought the hardest part of my day was my drive to and from work past the dairy cows being sent to slaughter for hamburger meat, until the veal incident. The average dairy cow produces milk for four years, if she's lucky. I think about how many cows I sent to an early grave working for that terrible industry.

I was the friendly, knowledgeable face my customers had come to know and love, so you can imagine the look on their faces when I starting telling them "Honestly I don't eat the stuff, I'm vegan." I surprisingly sparked a handful of great ethical and environmental conversations. I know it wasn't really great for business, but that was fine. I absolutely could not be associated with the dairy industry any longer, and could care less about offending sensibilities.

Cherie Broad Veganizing My Recipes and My Life
On a lighter note I enjoy veganizing recipes, making my own concoctions in the kitchen, and I absolutely love baking. I appreciate the great outdoors, and take great joy in camping, hiking, biking, and swimming outside. Creating my own compost pile recently sparked my interest in gardening some of my own food. Making a large planter box out of recycled scrap wood including a palette to provide a windbreak and shade for my beautiful plants. I enjoy writing and painting in my free time. I also like to practice meditation, yoga, indoor soccer, and spreading the word about ethical eating!

I've been a happy vegan for about 18 months and vegetarian since 2011. Quitting my job has freed up my time; I am happy dedicating it to the Inland Empire Vegan Meetup as an Assistant Organizer. Being part of the 550+ member Meetup has helped me find new likeminded friends.

This May I had the pleasure of booking Zel & Reuben as guest speakers in an educational series entitled Food for Thought where they gave an energetic and informative presentation titled "Veganism has Gone Mainstream!" Vegetarians in Paradise is a wonderful resource for the curious omnivore and the veteran vegan. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to attend their presentation and they were willing to share it with the Meetup.

Click here for past Words from Other Birds Articles

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