|Volunteer Spotlight: Jen Macartney|
|May 29, 2012|
Jen Macartney is a wonderful volunteer and supporter of Northwest VEG. We are so grateful to have her as a key member of the VegFest planning committee. Thank you for all that you do, Jen!
Q. How long have you been veg and why?
A. I was a pescatarian (vegetarian diet plus fish) for about 8 years. In
hindsight, I was a vegan waiting to happen. I loved animals; I
volunteered at animal shelters, fostered kittens and didn't eat cows,
pigs and birds, but I was blind to the full picture. When I started
dating my now fiancé about 2 and a half years ago, he opened my eyes
to truth about dairy and egg production. When I confessed my addiction
to cheese and omelets, he told me about pus in milk, veal crates and
the fate of male chicks. With his example, I realized it was possible
to thrive with a healthy vegan lifestyle without feeling restricted or
deprived. I transformed from calling his diet “extreme” to purging my
shelves of animal products in about two weeks as I researched the
truth for myself.
Q. How has being veg impacted your life?
A. Adopting a vegan lifestyle has had a great positive effect on my life.
I finally feel like my morals and ethics are in line with the purchases
I make and the foods I consume. I learned to cook after becoming vegan
and have now explored more foods and sampled more varied cuisines than
I ever had while consuming animal products. I am also healthier than I
ever was, and when I visit the doctor my test numbers reflect this. I
regularly work out with Ed Bauer, vegan bodybuilder at his PlantFit
training studio, and can safely say I am stronger than I ever was as
well. I believe being a happy, healthy, positive person is one of the
best ways to promote the vegan lifestyle.
Q. How did you get involved with volunteering for NW VEG?
A. I moved to Portland 6 months ago and immediately searched for a
organization promoting the vegan lifestyle to get involved with. NW
VEG quickly emerged as the right place to put my efforts. Not only
does it organize large events like VegFest and Race for the Animals,
but it also regularly holds potlucks and dine-outs with interesting and
educational presenters. I want to be involved with an active group
that has a lot to offer the community, and NW VEG fits that bill.
Q. What has been your favorite or most memorable NW VEG volunteer experience?
A. I have really enjoyed working with other volunteers to organize
VegFest. The volunteers and employees at NW VEG are all passionate,
interesting people with varied talents, and it's been a pleasure to
work side by side with them. I also really enjoy tabling for NW VEG. I
like meeting new people and getting the word out. You can rarely
change a person's mind with one conversation, but I feel like we are
planting seeds that over time can blossoming into greater
understanding and personal evolution. (I also like thinking of new and
unique ways to answer the question, “But where to do you get your
protein?” My current answer is “the same place an elephant does.”)
Q. What is your favorite veg meal, either homemade or from a restaurant?
A. I have had the good fortune to do a bit of traveling since I became
vegan. I have had fabulous vegan food in some usual and unusual
places. I can recommend a delicious raw salad in Copenhagen, vegan
haggis in Edinburgh, a great hummus place in Istanbul and an
unforgettable meal in NYC (Caravan Dreams followed by dessert at
Lula's Apothecary), but when I think of my favorite meals, they would
have to be those I cooked with my Mom at my parent's home in New
Jersey. After years of a meat and potatoes lifestyle, she has embraced
vegan cooking after I shared what I learned with her. Give me a
homemade seitan stew made with my Mom any day!
Click here for the latest news.