My, how time flies! We started this Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters heading into September’s VeganMoFo, and since we received such great feedback and responses from our alumni, we’re excited to continue with a few more final installments. These special interviews offer a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, summer shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our own minds.
Our next interview is with one of our furthest traveling guests for Vida Vegan Con, (mostly) Australian-based author, international speaker, activist and blogger, Leigh-Chantelle of Viva La Vegan! and the Green Earth Group.
What were you up to this Summer? I travelled to the USA for my Australian Winter. I spent 9 weeks in America, travelling all over the country for vegan/Animal Rights events, visiting friends and, one of my favourite things – road trips. When I was in the USA I had an interview with CHRY105.5FM in Toronto, Canada and had a lovely article written about me in the Examiner.
Talks, Panels & Workshop Videos:
- Vida Vegan Con panels: Ethics Beyond the Plate, International Activism and Vegan Invasion: Community Building.
- Talks at the Anti-Fur Society Conference: Australia’s Progresses & Challenges and Promoting Veganism.
- Workshop on Staging Effective Events & Engaging Volunteers at the Critical Animal Studies conference.
- Engaging Abroad panel at the Animal Rights Conference.
I then spent a month in Cambodia, specifically Phnom Pehn, Battambang and Siem Reap before coming to Indonesia. I spent the last few weeks in Magelang, Central Java and then Surabaya, East Java before returning to my beloved Ubud, Bali where I’ll be until the beginning of October when I return home to Brisbane, Australia for aunty duties. I did a lot of media interviews when I was in Java – you can view the articles on my blog, FaceBook or Google+. One of the articles is online – use Google Translate for English. (see the photo attached – Focus Jateng) I’ve just launched 3 new vegan dessert e-books and 1 raw recipe e-book. I’ve completed the text for my upcoming recipe book due out the end of the year and am now compiling my vegan athletes interview book. As always, I have many different projects going.
Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
VVC is my favourite vegan event – and I’ve been to a great deal of vegan/AR events. I was asked to speak again for the second year, immediately accepted and was excited about the new topics I’d be speaking about.
Looking back, what was the most memorable class? I really enjoyed being a part of the Ethics Beyond the Plate panel and had a lot of great feedback about it. I thought 5 people on the panel was too many, but Jason did a great job of directing questions and keeping the topics on track. It’s biased, but I always love hearing my close friends Jasmin and Mariann from Our Hen House as well as Ryan Patey from TOFU Magazine speak.
What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging? One of the things I say in just about every talk I give – especially here in SE Asia – is that veganism is not a diet and it’s not a religion. Diet in particular seems to be the main focus for a lot of blogs. I’d like to see more people write about the fact that veganism isn’t the first and last step towards compassion and living ethically. We are here on this earth to learn and there’s just so much to absorb. I also don’t like reading about how veganism is a “cure all” for all of the diseases and environmental catastrophes we are experiencing – it’s a massive help, but it’s not the be all and end all.
You can follow along with Leigh-Chantelle’s travels and vegan journey by following her Youtube channel, VivaLaVeganDotNet, Twitters, @VivaLVegan & @leighchantelle and Pintetest page, Viva La Vegan.
Stay tuned for the final installments of our Q & A series and some vegan-friendly entertaining tips for the holiday season here at Vida Vegan Headquarters.
Greetings! Welcome to the latest edition of our ongoing Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters. These special interviews offer a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, summer shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our own minds.
It’s now time to catch up with first time, wonderfully enthusiastic Vida Vegan alumnae, Jojo Huxster, better known to vegan bloggers (and readers!) around the globe as the longtime blogger behind “Vegan.in.Brighton“. Jojo’s currently across the pond once again, exploring and documenting even more of what the United States has to offer vegan visitors.
In short, Jojo rules and all of us at Vida Vegan Headquarters are in awe of her Mac ‘n Cheese dedication. Come back this way soon — they’re calling your name!
You can read more about Jojo’s take on VVC2013 right here on her recap and stay tuned to her blog updates & travels (she’s recently been spotted in Las Vegas) over at Instagram, @vegan.in.brighton and ditto on twitter.
Our Month of Memories Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters will continue far into the end VeganMoFo and beyond.
Hey there! Welcome to the first edition of our Summertime Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters! This series will give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, seasonal shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds.
First up, we’re joined by the one-and-only Bianca Phillips, of long-time vegan favorite blog, Vegan Crunk.
So Bianca, what have you been up to this summer?
Traveling to various VegFests to promote Cookin’ Crunk, picnicking with friends, went to Bonnaroo.
Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
Because Vida Vegan Con I was, like, the best couple of days of my life! For real! And II was just as amazing! Loved seeing all my old blogger friends and meeting new people.
Looking back, what was the most memorable class?
Definitely Susan V’s advanced photography class
How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?
Hmmm….I wish I had a better answer here. It hasn’t changed at all. I really could use a re-design. Maybe one day soon.
How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?
I’ve been making the hell out of some Soy Curls.
Who were you really excited to meet?
Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?
Going to the vegan strip club after the galarama and having a stripper place her ta-tas into my picture of vegan taquitos. Best food porn ever!
So, have you started reading any new blogs?
Yep! Lots! Especially loving From A to a Vegan.
What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?
My favorite blogs are photo-heavy and personal. I like reading about other people’s lives and what they ate for dinner. I’m not as into recipe blogs, just because I’m up to ears in cookbooks at home.
What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?
Oh gosh! What if we had a VVC 5k?! I say that, but I know I’d actually be too hungover to run it.
Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)
Broken record time: As always, stay tuned for more!
Our Summertime Q & A series will continue far into VeganMoFo.
You can check out Bianca’s own recaps on VVC2013 right here: Vida Vegan Con Part I and Vida Vegan Con Part 2.
We miss you, Bianca!
The summer is flying by and as proud organizers, we’ve been wondering what everyone has been up to since VVC2013! So, we reached out to our attendees through our official Vida Vegan Headquarters Facebook page and wanted to share the lively results. Here’s what Carrie Forrest, a 2011 and 2013 Gold star alumnae (which is something we just made up for repeat attendees and totally want to roll with) had to say:
I just finished my master’s degree project in public health nutrition on “The Differences in Selected Disease Occurrence Between Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians” to help update a paper that Dr. Barnard from PCRM published 20 years ago. I continue to add recipes to my best-selling recipe app for iPhones and iPads, Vegan Delish. When I’m not glued to my laptop or playing with my new kitchen appliances (I just got a soy milk maker…LOVE!), I’m outside enjoying the beautiful scenery of the California Central Coast.
Stay tuned for more from Vida Vegan Headquarters!
The next round of personalized Portland Picks comes from a former Portlander (and naturally, passionate vegan blogger) who’ll be back in town in a few days to speak at the ‘Con, Sayward Rebhal. As always, our recommendations come from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Let’s find out more of Sayward’s “Socially Conscious, Totally Fabulous!”Portland musts below…
Your Name: Sayward Rebhal
Vida Vegan is the best extended family ever! Our group is filled with so much creativity and productivity, all spreading the good vegan word through words and sights and sounds. VVC alum Carrie Forrest (Carrie on Vegan) has created Vegan Delish, a whole foods recipe app for Apple handheld devices. We wanted to know more!
You blog tons of recipes—what made you take the app leap? Was it just app or cookbook time?
That’s right. After blogging for over three years, I had amassed enough recipes and interest that it was time to organize them into something marketable. I had the opportunity to license software to create Vegan Delish, which is essentially a digital cookbook with cool features like a shopping list, social media sharing options, and recipe ratings. Besides the interactive features, I love being able to constantly add new recipes to the app to keep it fresh and relevant.
As a blogger, I wasn’t always consistent in my form, but when you publish recipes in the app, there are certain protocols you have to follow. That was a challenge, in terms of editing. I also felt pressure to increase the quality of my photos and take my skills up a notch.
And the most rewarding?
I’m like a proud parent when anyone tells me they use Vegan Delish. My ultimate goal with both my blog and my app has been to inspire people to try cooking easy, vegan meals at home, so I feel fulfilled whenever that happens.
Do you receive feedback from your users? Anything particularly surprising?
There is a recipe rating and review feature, and I read every comment on individual recipes from users. I’m sometimes surprised by the feedback. For instance, one person left a review saying her kids loved the Curry Kale Chips, which surprised me since I never would have thought to categorize that recipe as kid-friendly.
What’s your favorite recipe on the app?
Since my specialty is creating recipes that are super healthy and in general made with no oils, salt, or added sugars, I had to go and mess with the already-healthy black bean brownie and add spinach to it. Even though it turns the batter green, my Spinach & Black Bean Brownies still come out tasting awesome (and once they’re baked, they’re not green). Topped with my Vanilla “Cream” Frosting made with cashews and dates…mmmmmm!
Do you have future plans for Vegan Delish? How will it evolve?
My next big plan is to add recipes from other bloggers; I really want to grow the recipe base and include some of the fantastic healthy, vegan recipes that are in the blogosphere. In fact, if you’re interested in contributing, please email me at Carrie @ VeganDelish . com!
Returning to Portland for VVC, what’s a must-see/eat/do for newcomers?
I absolutely love visiting Portland, and I am thrilled to be returning in May. My favorite places to visit are the Saturday Market, Herbivore Clothing, the International Rose Test Garden, and the farmers’ market at PSU. My all-time favorite restaurants in Portland are Prasad (loved seeing it spoofed in this episode of Portlandia) and Blossoming Lotus.
Thanks, Carrie. We’ll see you in May!
Woo-ee, look at that! The first-ever Vida Vegan Tech Seminar came to fruition last weekend, and just as we know our attendees are surely still thinking about the future of their own blogging (and as we’ve heard, already putting those plans into action!), so are the 2013 conference speakers.
This time around, we talk advertising annoyances, Northwest vegan indulgences and share insight about the future of the internet with T.O.F.U. magazine founder and returning speaker, Ryan Patey.
T.O.F.U. is a Canadian based, alternative online entity with six issues under its belt. It features diverse stories and support for those who “dedicate their live to change”. The magazine’s goal is to consistently inspire their readers “to think for themselves in a world that so often hopes you do as you’re told”.
Read more here and if you haven’t yet, do consider picking up T.O.F.U.’s latest issue.
Q & A with Ryan Patey
Where do you see blogging going?
I think blogging is headed to more of a short-form thing. With so many folks working/playing/living on their smart phones, content has to be more concise, and I think blogs will adapt to that somehow. Either that or you may see blogs addressing a more niche audience to entice them to break out the tablet or laptop for longer entries, which should be interesting since veganism is already a niche audience, albeit one that is becoming more mainstream.
What’s your favorite photo editor?
Unless I can get away with using Preview for something basic like resizing an image, I’m a sucker for punishment and I go straight to Photoshop. It’s overkill most of the time, but it’s what I know (sort of).
What blogging trends are you liking? Disliking?
I’m liking that I know of a lot more blogs that tackle vegan issues other than the next meal. Maybe I’m just getting better at finding them or maybe they’re getting better at being found, but either way, it’s great.
I’m disliking the advertising trend. Maybe it’s just the punk in me, but if you’re going to put advertising on your site, at least curate the companies that advertise there. Going the Google AdWords route can lead to some unfortunate associations, and approaching a business to advertise on your blog could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Yes, I went the Casablanca route.
What blogs/websites do you read?
I get most of my news/links from Twitter, so the blogs I read are more dependent on the ones people share, but it seems I spend most of my time on Sexy Tofu, The Gay Vegans, Sistah Vegan, and Queer Vegan Food.
What’s your go-to vegan meal in Seattle?
Sadly, I’ve only been to Seattle twice, and both were brief visits. We hit a Thai buffet on the way to VVC, and then on the way back I ended up spending the night on a whim. I had some great Korean food at a small place with a vegan menu, along with their regular menu. Funny enough, I don’t think I had many of the things from that menu in Korea when I moved there soon after.
Note: Vida Vegan is delighted to clarify that this is surely the all vegan buffet known as Araya’s. The Korean restaurant was likely the mysterious Korean Tofu House on University Ave, which is now closed.
Do doughnuts count? If so, Voodoo Doughnuts. If not, you’re no fun! But if I have to go that route, maybe a food truck like Homegrown Smoker? Those places are dangerous, and I had to have a serious health food menu push when I got back to Canada after VVC. Sadly, I didn’t get to try the unicorn meat.
Doughnuts totally, totally count, but unfortunately, the short-lived yet magical Unicart has also since closed. Let’s make sure you try even more new carts on the next visit.
In preparation for our upcoming Tech Seminar, we here at Vida Vegan HQ have been discussing blogging and the vegan internet non-stop (as usual), but with an even greater focus on the technical side of things; pondering just where we all see both long and short-form blogging evolving in the future. It’s a curious topic, to say the least. Since it’s so heavy on our minds, we reached out to our own experts, including speakers from November 3rd’s event and our 2013 roster*, to weigh in with their own thoughts on the state of blogging, technical insight, and their favorite Pacific Northwest vegan options. Of course.
First up, is the dedicated blogger who’s your go-to-guy for the latest on vegan snacks, and someone to ask for vegan
survival thriving advice if you’re ever in Nebraska: 2011 & 2013 Vida Vegan Speaker John McDevitt of The Laziest Vegans in the World, where he’s currently featuring his thoughts on pumpkin spice coconut milk, and local vegan community hub, Vegan Omaha. John shares his honest thoughts on Tumblr, monetizing trends, the blogs he actually reads, and love for the vegan fishwich.
Q & A with John McDevitt
Where do you see blogging going?
I’m not a big fan of Tumblr, but it’s probably going more in that direction. Micro blogging or whatever is mobile friendly. I would probably blog more if Blogger had a decent app.
What’s your favorite photo editor?
I’m pretty boring, Picasa.
What blogging trends are you liking? Disliking?
I like that more people are getting into it. I dislike the ad/monetizing thing, it’s pretty annoying. If you get tens of thousands a views a month, ok, but most bloggers don’t. Has anyone ever clicked one of those ads? No.
What blogs/websites do you read? I don’t look at as many as I should. My favorite blogs are Post Punk Kitchen, Vegansaurus, Vegan Crunk, and The Gay Vegans.
What do you want to learn more about at the Tech Seminar?
How to monetize!?!?!?
Thanks, John! Keeping it real.
Want to chime in with your own thoughts? Please do so below, or email us at VidaVeganConference [at] gmail.com
*full 2012 line up being disclosed soon!