17 July 2012

Meet a vegan: Neva from Maryland

Your name for all the world to see: Neva Davis

Where you live: I live in Lanham, MD which is right outside of Washington, DC.

Why you went vegan: I became vegan when I could no longer justify just being vegetarian. I could no longer deny that egg and dairy production were actually crueler, in fact unbelievably ghastly, than meat production, as awful as that is. I had been very scared to make the transition to veganism, but once I decided to make that jump it was really easy and I found that I didn't really miss non-vegan foods. This was in the early '90s and there weren't as many vegan foods in mainstream stores and that was one thing that held me back, but I learned to cook a lot of delicious foods. I became vegetarian in my teens for environmental reasons. The use and abuse of animals was so ingrained in my background that I was almost numb to it in many ways. Once I stopped eating meat I started connecting to animals in new ways. Even though I'd always considered myself someone who liked animals I never questioned that it was ethical to eat them until I stopped out of concern for the environment. As a teen I never would have pictured myself as an animal-rescuing vegan, but now I can't imagine any other way to live.

Your favorite vegan meals to cook or nosh on: I love food so much that it's impossible for me to pick just one, I love just cooking by making it up as I go along. That said there are certain go-to recipes I use. My favorite comfort food is beans and rice with salad. I know there are a lot of variations on that, but I whatever rice or beans I use I like salsa, avocado, greens, and grated carrots , but I'll put in whatever is in the veggie drawer. I love eggplant and will eat it almost any way. My husband's favorite food I make is stuffed pasta shells. I cook the pasta and then stuff the shells with a mixture of mashed tofu, soy milk, caramelized onions, garlic, seasonings and fresh spinach, then top it all with marinara sauce. I love to go out and get Ethiopian food and I'm getting better at imitating the flavors at home, but I'm too intimidated to try to make their spongey teff bread Injera.

What do you do?: My day job is as a data analyst at a computer company, but I also make jewelry, various crafts, paint, write, and spend tons of time and money rescuing animals in my neighborhood. I have found homes for 22 cats and 2 dogs we rescued from my neighborhood. I also took in one tame cat and three special needs feral cats from our neighborhood in addition to our many other rescued animals. 

How can people contact you?: My twitter account.

Kelly Beth | @veganbotanicals | Facebook | website 
Colorado Kelly Beth is a clinical herbalist and vegan foodie. She lives deep in the mountains of Colorado with her fiancé, cat, and plants. She loves living as close to the land as possible and practicing self-sustainability, from growing her own food to wild crafting herbal medicine. Kelly Beth is the owner of twig & leaf botanicals, a vegan & organic botanical business that is also certified cruelty-free.

Photo credit: Neva