Beautiful Hearts and Minds – Compassionate Lifestyle Transformations by Ashley Alexander and Deborah Holland

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Deborah Holland on How Life Has Changed Since Going Vegan

63 year old singer-songwriter, teacher and writer, Deborah Holland never thought she would adopt a vegan lifestyle. In fact, she used to make fun of vegans. When I met Deborah, I found her to be an open minded, logical, and a compassionate critical thinker, so I spoke to her about veganism when she would inquire about what I was up to in life. Most of my weekends involve animal advocacy outreach or attending public events such as film screenings and talks by guest speakers from the animal rights movement, so I always had unique stories to tell that I was excited about.

Last Christmas, I was planning to stay in Vancouver rather than spend Christmas on the island with family who would not be having a vegan dinner. I guess you could say I take the Liberation Pledge with them. Deborah, being Jewish, does not celebrate Christmas and didn’t have any plans, so I invited her to a vegan Christmas brunch at one of my favourite local restaurants, Sun Bo Kong. A bunch of us vegans were getting together to enjoy delicious “veganized” dishes of all the classic Chinese entrees such as sweet and sour tofu, lemon “chick’n” made with seitan  (wheat gluten, which many vegan “meats” are made from) and all the classic dim sum favourites. Nervous to attend a meal with animal rights activists, being the only non-vegan, Deborah wound up being glad she went, as she was able to ask questions about veganism from a non-judgemental crowd. One person suggested she try the “22 Day Challenge” and the rest is history! In today’s interview, Deborah talks about how going vegan has changed her life, and reviews the Earthlings documentary which she recently watched.


Ashley Alexander on Cooking and Baking Vegan and Gluten-Free


Vancouver’s Ashley Alexander is an actor, producer, and YouTuber who loves to cook and bake. Originally from Alberta, Ashley grew up as a “meatatarian,” not ever thinking about where the food on her plate came from. When allergies starting ruling her world, she become gluten-free, and then cut out dairy and eggs. Yet, something was still off in her gut so she decided to cut out meat to see how she felt. Well, she felt amazing! After trying meat again and getting really sick, she decided to go completely vegan. It was then that she started researching more about the environmental impact and animal abuse caused by animal agriculture and could no longer close her eyes to what was happening. Since then, she has started a YouTube channel where she shares gluten-free vegan recipes as well as zero- waste living tips. As an an actor and producer, she is hoping to find her voice as a new vegan to create change in the world.
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