Interview with Rhita Ghose Williams | Product Manager & A Proud Vegan

Kindly tell us something about yourself? I have husband, 3 kids, and dog. I like to travel, hike, cook, read and go out to vegan restaurants all over the Bay Area.

Over the last 3 years my whole family, and my parents, have become vegan. I’m so proud of all of them.

I volunteer for UC Berkeley, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Mercy For Animals, Animal Place and Rancho Compassion when I am not working. I especially like to be with the animals and to go to visit another great sanctuary called PreetiRang.

Do you enjoy being a Vegan? Definitely!

Do you have a vegan group? Can you tell me something about the group? I don’t have a vegan group, but some of the groups I volunteer for are mostly made up of vegans.

What is a typical vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner for you? Breakfast — fruits, toast, cereal, latte. Lunch — Beans, salsa, mushrooms, veggie noodles w/ sauteed veggie and vegan pesto sauce, hummus and flax crackers, smoothie. Dinner: Salad with a vegan main, like Chili, Tacos, Shepherd Pie, Eggplant Parmigiana, etc

On your opinion, what are the main advantages of a vegan diet? and are there disadvantages? If so, how can they be overcome? Advantages: #1 is clear conscience and knowing you are not needlessly harming others for “food”. Also feel good, energy and knowing that your are not consuming animal protein which has been linked to many health issues. Disadvantage: It becomes increasingly difficult to share meals with people who are eating animals next to you. All I can think about is the animal whose life has been taken for a meal that won’t be remembered 30 minutes from now. Putting energy into helping animals at sanctuaries is a good way overcome feelings of sadness.

What do you think is generally misunderstood about the vegan approach to eating? That it is a “diet”. Many people don’t realize it is a ethical position and the food choices are a result of taking the position of doing as least harm as possible.

Do you think you became more healthier on being a vegan? I hope so!

What’s the most important thing that people should know before shifting to a vegan diet? That once you understand why you’re doing it, it is not difficult to be vegan. There are lots of delicious foods and after a while you won’t even notice you are doing something “different”.

Is being vegan more expensive? No. Beans (a staple for me) are inexpensive, as are most veggies, which I love. I also like PBJ which is cheap. Foods like vegan “meats” and ice cream can be more expensive, but I only have those occasionally.

What should someone do to make sure that they’re staying nutritionally balanced while on a vegan diet? Learn a little bit about vegan nutrition (veganrd, nutritionfacts, plant based dietitian etc are good resources), take vitamin B12, eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds etc.

Should I exercise on a vegan diet? I think everyone should exercise and walking is a simple way to get exercise in everyday.

What do you enjoy most on being a Vegan? That I am doing the best I can within a flawed system to cause as little harm as possible to animals. I also like that I have learned a lot about food and nutrition and learned how to make some fantastic new dishes.

Do you have any message to other folks planning to shift to a Vegan lifestyle? Find the support you need to help you shift. My only regret is that I didn’t do this years earlier. Being vegan is better for animals, for you and for the planet.

Do you have any quotations about being a Vegan? “In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more.” — Unknown.

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