10 July 2012

Getting Vegucated: An interview with Ellen Orchid Mausner

The film "Vegucated" is about educating "regular" people who want to go vegan. The filmmaker, Marisa Wolfson, had the idea to do "Supersize Me" in reverse.  The path to becoming vegan is multi-layered, involving learning about new foods, what foods are already vegan (hello, Oreos!), dealing with withdrawal from cheese and other food addictions, and learning about the plight of the animals and the planet.

Ellen Orchid Mausner was one of the people Marisa found to vegucate.  A single mom, psychiatrist, and comedienne, we get to watch her experience on film.  She is open, honest, funny, and still vegan!  I got to ask Ellen about being "Vegucated."

Lisa Dawn Angerame: Why did you decided to get Vegucated?
Ellen Orchid Mausner: I wanted to learn about the benefits of a vegan diet and other issues regarding animal cruelty and saving the environment, especially from the waste/pollution aspect associated with current factory farming practices.

LDA: What was easy? 
EOM: Tasting all the new foods!  Learning about seitan, tofu, and quinoa. New flavors, new recipes, new ideas.

LDA: What was difficult? 
EOM: Giving up dairy, especially milk, eggs, and cheese. Occasionally I would get cravings for these things, but I found that the substitutes were quite enjoyable, e.g. soy milk, almond milk, soy cheese.  I used to eat a lot of salmon and tuna and it was hard giving those up. I used to like milk in my coffee and sometimes there was no soy or almond milk available, e.g. on airplanes and most restaurants, so that was also hard. I made myself drink it black at those times!

LDA: Are you still vegan?
EOM: Yes, I am still vegan.  I feel so much better about having a healthier diet, losing weight and also boycotting those industries where animal cruelty occurs, with extreme exploitation of cows, pigs, chickens, fish. As time goes by, I keep learning how to eat better, trying more new things, even new greens!  I have seen for myself that I can live exclusively on a plant-based diet and absolutely don't need - or want- to eat any dead animal flesh.  

Lisa Dawn Angerame | Blog | Website | Facebook
Long Island, NY Lisa Dawn is an advanced certified Jivamukti yoga teacher, vegan food blogger, wife and mom. She is working hard to spread the vegan love through her cooking, teaching and blog. Lisa Dawn studies and teaches the yoga sutras. She divides her time between NYC and Northport, Long Island. Lisa Dawn is the co founder of NAVA NYC, a meditation and yoga company designed to bring yoga and meditation to corporate clients.

Photo credit: GetVegucated.com