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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegetarian Essays/Vegan Essays

Vegetarians in Paradise regularly presents informative articles by guest contributors on subjects of interest to vegetarians and vegans. Referred to by Hollywood personalities as the next Nicole Kidman, Australian actress Joanne Rose now makes her home in Los Angeles with Cookie, her cozy cockatiel. She began her career as a model and now appears as cover girl for magazines like Woman's Day. Joanne is vegan and avid about her animal rights advocacy.

My Vegan Choice
By Joanne Rose

I became Vegan 11 years ago. Prior to that I was vegetarian for a year. I have always been a great animal lover and had various pets throughout my life like cats, mice, birds, a rabbit, and a turtle. Right now I have a pet cockatiel named Cookie who is a native bird of Australia.

I have early memories of kids at school talking and bragging about fish they'd caught over the school holidays, and this would really upset me to hear this. I felt I was the only one who thought fishing was cruel. I couldn't understand that people believed this was an acceptable thing to do for "fun" or a hobby. It disturbed me then, and it disturbs me now. Joanne Rose

In high school we learned briefly about different diets in cooking class, and the vegan diet seemed to stay in my mind as it was described as "plant food." I could easily imagine a giant dinosaur eating leaves off a tree. It was 4 years later that I became vegan myself.

Having always loved animals, it was easy for me because I was vegetarian prior to converting to veganism. Before becoming vegetarian, no one ever talked about animals being killed for meat. I knew about it but never understood it. Without any knowledge, I never truly knew what I was eating.

Becoming vegan was the best thing I ever did for the animals and my body. As a great longtime fan of River Phoenix, I learned more about veganism through articles and interviews with him. This taught me so much I wasn't previously aware of.

I also began reading books and getting my hands on literature. PETA sent me some information, too. This was back in the days when the internet didn't exist and there were limited vegan products. But I knew this lifestyle was for me, and I was able to enjoy being vegan back then. Now with the amount of products available for vegans, there is no excuse for anyone not to follow this way of eating.

I have more energy as a vegan, and with this lifestyle I am more compassionate because I am coming from a place of love and kindness. I live and breathe animal rights. I was a Lettuce Lady for PETA and featured in their print ad. I have worked with Linda Blair. My website was sponsor for The Naked Launch campaign: "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur." I have appeared in numerous animal-related publications in Australia and the UK.

My website http://www.joannerose.com was created in 2002. It is not only for my acting career, but I also have vegan and animal liberation info there, too. It is my way of helping to educate people about this wonderful lifestyle. I have been very successful in helping others to become vegan.

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