I love Tracy! Really, I do. She is one of my most favorite people that I have met through the wonderful world of blogging. I was graced with a comment by Tracy in April asking me if I would like to partake in a Vegan Bake Sale she was doing at an event I was already catering and I thought, hey what is one more pan of cupcakes in the oven? I decided on brownies, blondies and the ever tasty monkey bars from 500 Vegan Recipes and I think that day when I delivered my baked goods Tracy and I became smitten like kittens for one another. She loved my goodies and I fell head over heels with her handmade soaps and her cute little smile. (: I have done two bake sales with her and we are going to do a third in about three weeks. (Post coming soon on bake sale details...) I could rant on about Tracy for day, but instead I will let you see her amazingness for yourself.
Name: Tracy Perkins
Location: Maricopa, AZ
How long have you been Vegan? Since 2001.
What made you decide to go Vegan?
I had been vegetarian since 1995 and the more I learned about factory farming practices and misinformation with regard to “cage free” and “free range” products the more my conscience drove me to omitting all animal products from my life.
How do you feel health wise with this diet choice?
In the past I had never been very interested in nutrition. I am very much an ethical vegan, any health benefits are entirely secondary. Since birth I have had unusual health so perhaps I am a special case but I did struggle to find the right balance of diet and supplements. Working closely with my naturopathic doctor, Dr. MaryK Geyer has helped tremendously and I recommend everyone interested in feeling better see her! :c)
Are you open about your Veganism?
This strikes me as a strange question, I do not keep my veganism a secret from anyone but at the same time I don’t like the idea of throwing it in anyone’s face. If I am declining foods with animal products, if I think it matters to the person in question, I will be clear to mention I am vegan.
If so, are you involved in any activism i.e. protests, leafleting etc… I feel like my vegan business and lifestyle are activism enough. I know many people may disagree with me but I think leading by example, showing it is easy, showing it is fun, showing how gross and cruel the alternative is when the time is right is the best way to actively change things.
Tracy with her hand crafted Vegan soaps
What do your family, friends, co-workers think about your diet?
I think my family has had enough years to adjust to it but it was rough at first and still is around holidays. They expect me to make exceptions for special occasions but that is not how it works for me and that unfortunately can cause loved ones to become offended. I am lucky to have a great group of friends who love my vegan cooking and who are quite wonderful cooks themselves so we have a great time!
What advice would you give those interested in becoming Vegan? Don’t get discouraged; don’t be too hard on yourself. I think many people get discouraged early on and give up. You make your own rules here and as long as you are true to those you are all good.
Would you eat at Mc Donald’s if they carried a Vegan burger? Not likely, while I do go to other fast food places on occasion I am particularly turned off by McD.
What is your least favorite question that you are asked about your diet? I’ve heard them all and don’t get too bothered by questions or comments generally but the most annoying, simply because people think they are so clever saying it and I’ve heard it a zillion times is “plants have feelings, too!”
What is your favorite dish?
I am a sucker for breakfast, I love a good tofu scramble with loads of colorful veg, really great toasted whole wheat sourdough, and a side of fried garlicky golden potatoes.
What do you typically eat at Thanksgiving?
I am a huge fan of the UnTurkey. I usually make mashed potatoes, a veganized version of my grandma’s rolls, and pumpkin spice cupcakes. It is a feast! My family and in-laws live out of town so it had been a pain in the past but my mother in law went vegan about a year ago so last Thanksgiving was a vegan-dream!
If I could make you any flavor cupcake in the world what would it be? This is a tough one, I love cupcakes and when a variety comes to mind I usually make them. One I haven’t done and would love would be a German Chocolate cupcake.
Please share your favorite Vegan recipe.
My favorite recipe is my summer harvest ratatouille: http://strawberryhedgehog.com/2009/06/18/summer-harvest-ratatouille/