Erin Pavlina has been helping families make healthy food choices for seven years as founder and editor of VegFamily.com, an online magazine for vegan family living. This site is chock full of information on raising vegan children, including literally thousands of articles and reviews. It's a wonderful resource! Erin is also the author of "Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World" and "Vegan Family Favorites." She has served as an expert on vegan lifestyles at on vegan lifestyles at Mothering.com (Mothering magazine). Erin and her family live in Las Vegas.
Vegetarian or vegan?
How long have you been veg*n?
My husband and I went vegan together on January 19, 1997, so about 9 years now.
What inspired you to go veg?
Initially for health reasons because everyone in my extended family was having early heart attacks due to high cholesterol. After I went vegan and learned about the atrocities committed against the animals, then I was a vegan for ethical reasons as well.
What's your best story of trying to find veg food?
Whenever my husband and I travel I spend tons of time on the internet at Happy Cow and VegDining.com planning meticulously where we are going to eat in every city we go to. Then I call the restaurants to make sure they are still in business and confirm their hours and location. When I make out our itinerary these restaurants are always included on the list. I print out maps to and from our hotel to the restaurant or health food store, and okay, sometimes I even make of note of what I intend to order for each meal. Is that OCD?
How do you handle family holiday dinners?
We don't live near my family anymore so now we make glorious holiday feasts at home and share with vegan friends. But when we lived in Los Angeles and went to holidays with my extended family, I would just make tons of delicious vegan food and bring it. I must say that my vegan pumpkin pie is always the first pie to be eaten by everyone at Thanksgiving. Only after it's gone do people trudge on over to the other non-vegan pies that people have brought. People also go crazy for my cheese potato casserole: potatoes, vegan sour cream, vegan cheddar, veg bacon bits, green onions, and yum! Resistance is futile.
What's your favorite veg food?
I love strawberries and also sweet potatoes. But if we're going for like a specific vegan food, it would have to be vegan ice cream, particularly the Purely Decadent So Delicious products. Those are coming with me to the desert island if I should ever find myself there.
Do you have a favorite veg book?
"Diet for a New America" and "Mad Cowboy" are my two favorites. They pretty much say it all.
Tofu or tempeh?
Tough one. At home, tofu. When I'm at a vegan restaurant, definitely tempeh. Have you had the Moby Dick sandwich from Native Foods? 'Nuff said.
What did you have for breakfast today?
Tempeh salad sandwich on whole grain toast, and a banana. Wait, that sort of contradicts what I said about tofu at home. But the tempeh salad was store bought so I think that counts.