Soooo, I got to do an email interview with Kristin Lajeunesse a while back, author of Will Travel for Vegan Food. A few years ago, Kristin ditched her job and most of her belongings to travel the country in a big ol’ van named Gerty. And she did what many vegan foodies can only dream of: Visit every single vegan restaurant in the [48 contiguous] United States! But she had many other adventures along the way.
Oh She Cooks: After listening to a few of your readings, I want to start out with a question related to a story I made the mistake of listening to at work – I ended up bawling in my office! You talked about your grandparents, Pop and Gram. Did your Gram’s adventurous spirit have any influence on your decision to head out on the road?
Ms. Lajeunesse: Ya know, I hadn’t ever really thought about it in that way. But I’m willing to bet her adventurous ways were bred into me. Obviously those stories of her (that you’re speaking of, from Chapter 11) have stuck with me this long; so I don’t think it’d be a stretch to say her journeys inspired my own. Thank you for making that connection! :)
OSC: What do you think she would have said about the poo story?
KL: Haha.. what a great question! I think Gram would have been embarrassed for me at first. But then proud of how I handled it. ;)
OSH: There was another incident just briefly mentioned in chapter 6, the story with the homeless woman, that I really enjoyed. You said you weren’t sure what made you turn back, yet in your conversation with Todd I think we find the answer. So many people have this idea that vegans care more about animals and the environment than we do about other people. Please tell us how our vegan diet might actually benefit so many people going hungry around the world.
KL: I’m incredibly touched by your thoughtfulness of these questions, Katherine! Yes, great point in possible assumptions about those who choose to live vegan. These days we “vote” for companies (and for actions) we support, with our dollars; and I think it’s easy to forget just how far a reach our daily choices make.
I believe many people are familiar with the irreversible, epic land destruction that takes place today; but perhaps don’t realize that the majority of it is due to making more land available for breeding, raising, and caring for farmed animals. If we took that land that the animals live on, plus the billions of acres that are farmed for crops to FEED those same animals, and used that land instead to grow food to feed humans… would you believe me if I told you that would literally resolve world hunger?
And of course there is the issue of water consumption as well. The amount of water it takes to produce a single hamburger might blow your mind. Imagine if we could instead give that water to those around the globe who are living in drought and dieing from dehydration.
It’s an incredibly delicate subject but at it’s core is quite simple, really: stop breeding and mass producing farmed animals and instead use the land to grow crops for human consumption. It might seem almost TOO simple. But it is quite, unshakably true.
OSC: On that note, regarding the title of your book and at the risk of getting a little risque – since I haven’t read the entire book yet and don’t know exactly what I am asking here! – how did the “making love” part turn out? I’m imagining this to be referring to the general love connections we have the opportunity to make every day. How did it work out for you? Did it change at all the way you see people now?
KL: Yes I’ve gotten a few questions about that aspect of the subtitle. Haha! :) The truth is, the idea of “making love” is not at all about what might first come to mind (wink, wink), but more so about learning how to make love within. How to create self-love, to show love and gratitude toward others, and to be more considerate and compassionate overall. It’s about the creation of love not of sexy-time love.*
As they say, if you’d like to know more…buy the book! If you’d like to hear more from Kristin NOW, follow the Will Travel For Vegan Food facebook page.
*Orthodox friends, please note: This is probably not the best selection for your Ladies’ Book Club, there is still a bit of sexy-time included, though it is definitely not the main theme.