29; vegan 10 years; hometown Philadelphia, PA
“I went plant-based because I watched my mom be really sick. I had been a dancer, I grew up dancing. I went to conservatory. I always had body image issues. I'm ex-anorexic and ex-orthorexic. I think when you eat clean you become sensitive to your body; it's a gateway to more sensitivity. What happened was I got sick through obsessive healthy eating. I wasn't balanced and I still wasn't happy with my body. I was 98 pounds and I'm 5'-9", and I still wasn't feeling like I loved myself.
“I remember I was at Vegfest in NYC and went to the Mercy for Animals table, and they were doing that 'We'll pay you a dollar to watch a 3-minute video.' So, I did it. They gave me the dollar and I watched the 3-minute video. I kind of just bore witness and woke up. From that moment on, my eating disorder healed. My body image issues kind of just disappeared. My obsession with cardio totally disappeared. I was so much easier on myself, so much more driven to make a difference than ever before. It really healed me from my ego to see the bigger picture and to see that my puny life really wasn't that important on the grand scale. It removed the pressure of obsessive eating and obsessive exercise, because all I could think about was helping people less fortunate than me and beings less fortunate than me. It really saved my life. I'm not sure if I would've been alive. I was 98 pounds for many, many years. I could've gone into organ failure. It really saved my life.”
Photo by Paul Chang