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

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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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Elaine Armstrong: The Real Estate Agent with Heart

January 28, 2010

Is it important to you that the people you deal with in business share your values? Then take a closer look at NW VEG business partner Elaine Armstrong. Elaine is a real estate agent with a huge heart who has been serving the Portland Metro/Vancouver community for over 25 years. This community-minded vegan and animal lover has been of great help to NW VEG over the past four years by assisting in many volunteer positions, including tabling at local Farmer's Markets. However, her favorite task so far involved meeting New York Times bestselling author and health expert Kathy Freston. Elaine explains, "I picked her up from her hotel to take her to the speaking event at the (2009) VegFest." Elaine also donates 20 percent of her commissions from every client of hers who is a NW VEG member back to NW VEG.

Elaine's personal transformation to a plant-based diet began one night about 13 years ago. "I was in London eating lamb chops at this Bed and Breakfast that served a daily dinner," says Elaine. "I decided that I couldn't eat like that anymore." She appreciates the holistic approach to living that a vegan lifestyle affords. She loves cooking vegan because she can make delicious, healthy food out of fewer ingredients. "I think about health and I think about the animals. I have evolved from just eating healthy to learning about the environment, animal cruelty, etc. It is a thought-provoking way of life." She knows that she could never eat animals again and makes a conscious effort to do her shopping in places that respect all creatures.

Elaine loves it when people come together to help animals in need. Last year she found an injured bird on the beach in Castlerock, Ireland. Elaine explains, "The people in Ireland are very friendly, so I beckoned an older man to come help me with the bird." Soon there were about six people trying to help the bird. One of the men was able to connect with an ornithologist in town, and a van soon arrived to whisk the little fellow off to a bird sanctuary to be healed. "It was amazing how many people stopped to help this wee bird," says Elaine.

She extends that same compassion to our local furry friends as well. When an acquaintance recently moved to Florida and couldn't take their bunny, Jones, along with them, she offered her home. She also recently found a stray cat that is living with her and her three dogs as well. "My goal is to find homes for both of these guys so that I can continue to help homeless animals," says Elaine. "Anyone interested in Jones, the lop-earred bunny, or Jasper, the friendly black and white male cat, please call or email me."

Her philanthropic ventures extend beyond the animal kingdom as Elaine is always interested in helping out many different charities. She used to be a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children. Currently Elaine supports Consumer Voices Are Born (CVAB), an organization in Vancouver that provides mental health recovery services to the community.

Elaine loves her career as a real estate agent. To her, it's all about being a part of the community. Throughout the years she has helped countless people buy and sell their homes. Not only has she helped them, but she feels she has received so much in return. "I have learned a lot from people," says Elaine. To her, it's not just a job; it is woven into the fabric of her life. Elaine shares, "I love the people part. I get to help people with making history in their lives." Not only that, but many of her dearest friends are previous clients.

Elaine's also got a huge space in her heart for the Emerald Isle. "I try to get back to the Irish sod once a year. If I can't because of finances, then every two years." For those of you thinking about visiting Ireland, she has a brand new two bedroom condo for rent on the Irish Coast in Castlerock, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Just give her a call first to see if your vacation dates match up with times when her condo has availability.

Contact Elaine at 360-798-6058, elaineirish@yahoo.com or visit www.elaineirish.com.

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