Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community

Northwest VEG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Portland, OR that works to educate and encourage people to make vegan choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.
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Volunteer Spotlight: Chelsea Sherman

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July 1, 2012

Northwest VEG is lucky to have Chelsea Sherman as a dedicated volunteer. Her graphic design and photography skills are like no other. She has been key to creating the hard copy newsletter and creatively capturing events such as the recent Race for the Animals. Chelsea is a recent graduate of Pacific University Oregon, where she studied Integrated Media and Environmental Policy. She currently interns with Mom's Vegan Kitchen and B Media Collective. Click here to check out Chelsea's amazing portfolio.

Q. How long have you been veg and why?
A. This is really great timing because it is actually my ten-year anniversary of being meat free! I owe it all to my dear friend Elizabeth; she became vegetarian in elementary school before that word had any meaning to me. Of course, since we were so young, her way of telling me where my food comes from was by mooing when there was meat on my plate, so by the time she showed me the atrocities behind factory farming when I was 13, I was only eating chicken and turkey. After learning the truth, I never ate meat again.

Q. How has being veg impacted your life?
A. It actually made me feel amazing; my eating habits became more aligned with my feelings towards animals. Being able to eat what was on my plate without being disgusted was a revelation for me. The vegetarian lifestyle led me to take a class in college that was not required, called Animal Ethics, which taught me more than I could ever learn on my own in four months about philosophy and animal ethics. That class pushed me toward becoming vegan. It was exciting to make a New Year�s resolution that made me feel complete. It is exhilarating for me to have an impact with animals, the environment, and the people in my life whose health has benefited from becoming vegan or eating less animal products!

Q. How did you get involved with volunteering for NW VEG?
A. My first encounter with Northwest VEG was at VegFest 2009, and then Peter Spendelow did a talk on animals and the environment for one of my classes at Pacific University, Oregon. After graduating I sought out places to volunteer and found that Northwest VEG needed someone to do photography and newsletter design.

Q. What has been your favorite or most memorable NW VEG volunteer experience?
A. My favorite volunteer experience has been doing the layout and design for the newsletter. It was constantly challenging; placing the articles together in a logical and visually pleasing way was like putting together a puzzle, so it was always very rewarding to finish.

Q. What are you looking forward to most at this year�s VegFest?
A. Being on the planning committee for VegFest has made it more exciting; the idea of improving an event that is already groundbreaking is thrilling! VegFest should be a weeklong event because it�s so much fun, and there is always something new to learn! It�s also so inspiring to be around so many like-minded people and people interested in becoming vegetarian or vegan. I leave feeling uplifted and motivated every time!

Q. What advice would you give to individuals considering volunteering for VegFest (or Northwest VEG in general)?
A. My best advice for someone considering volunteering for Northwest VEG is to tell them what you love to do, and what your strengths are, and there will be a place for you to make a difference in Northwest VEG. Don�t hesitate to volunteer; the animals need YOU!

Q. What is your favorite veg meal, either homemade or from a restaurant?
A. Before I was vegan, my favorite food was macaroni and cheese, but after becoming vegan I have so many favorite foods that it is extremely difficult for me to pick just one. I wish I could make a giant list of everything I love to cook and restaurants I love to eat at, but it would be too long. (I think I need to have a blog about it�) So, quite simply, my favorite thing is vegan sushi! My favorite place to go is the Green Wok, but I live 30 minutes away, so sushi from the Green Wok is always a treat!

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