Talking vegan activism beyond the blog at The Seed + Seeing friends, old and new

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by JL Fields on May 21, 2013

I have returned from a wonderful weekend in New York – my first trip back since moving to Colorado Springs six months ago.  Why New York? To attend, and speak at, The Seed!

My wonderful and kind friends Ethan and Michael hosted me in their gorgeous home filled with love and three dogs. I kind of just wanted to stay there for the three days. We feasted each morning!

Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble and a New York (!!!) Bagel with Vegan Herb Cream Cheese

pancakes and banana chocolate bread

Vegan Pancakes and Banana-Chocolate Bread

Don’t you kind of want to move in with Ethan and Michael? I do and Dave totally understands.

Saturday morning we three hopped a train into the city and enjoyed a fun-filled day at the vegan expo in SoHo. Jasmin and Mariann wowed the crowd during their talk “Fed Up!”. Immediately after, Jenny Brown spoke on her work to save farmed animals. I had to duck out early because I was on a panel discussing starting or sustaining a vegan business.

JL, Gena and Kristin talking vegan businesses

Me, Gena of Choosing Raw, Kristin of Will Travel for Vegan Food (thanks for the pic, K!) and Pas (not pictured and the main organizer of The Seed – I bow down to him!)

Here’s one tip from my remarks:  Think about where you stand on your veganism and how that will play out in your business. Meaning I’m very clear that I am an ethical vegan but when I’m teaching classes or coaching my opinions are not the point. I focus on where my client or student is and if she’s not vegan and doesn’t want to be, that’s fine (before I was vegan, I was not). I’ll do whatever I can to encourage her to eat more plants knowing each time she has a vegan meal it’s good news for animals.

Saturday night I met Jasmin and my friend Megan for dinner at Blossom (on 9th Ave.). I feasted on chickpea latkes, seitan scallopini and a chocolate-banana pudding.

Dinner at Blossom

On Sunday I caught Gena and Kathy’s talk on smoothies before I headed to do my own presentation. Last year I was on a panel discussing vegan blogging and this year I was invited back to talk specifically about how to move one’s activism beyond the blog.

I can’t lie – I was pleasantly surprised to see a full room of people, most of whom identified as bloggers (or intending to blog). Their smiling faces put me at ease and I went for it!

I focused mostly on the importance of self-reflection- know your own blog niche/voice and your own skills and interests. Once you have identified those you can begin to think about how you can use your voice and skills to work on behalf of animals. My concluding advice included the notion that while social networking is key for blogging, at the local level newspapers and radio matter so get to know your local media. I also encouraged people who choose to move their activism into a paid profession to never apologize for wanting to make a living by following their passion. Even though some of what I do for animals is now part of my career, I still volunteer and donate my skills and services. You can do both!

I met some great audience members after the talk, people behind the blogs Farmers Market Vegan, The Food DuoRubber Cowgirl, and Zen Fans, to name a few

JL, Ali and Ted

Ali and Ted

– and was delighted to see my friend Marcia, who has signed up for the Main Street Vegan Academy, and Marty.

After my presentation I had some quality time with Gena

JL and Gena


JL and Fran Costigan

and Victoria.

Victoria Moran and JL

When I wasn’t hanging out with friends, listening to friends or presenting I was wandering the expo. Faves included Treeline Cheese, OlsenHaus shoes, Amrita bars and Vegan Bodega.

I returned to Michael and Ethan’s completly wiped out. But I am never too exhausted for a pressure cooker lesson! )I’ll save that adventure for a post later this week.)

It was wonderful to return to New York. It was even more wonderful to return home, to Colorado Springs.  I’m doing laundry right now, however, so that I can pack again tomorrow…Portland and Vida Vegan Con, here I come!


Yesterday I asked you to share what types of cooking classes you are interested in and/or cooking topics you’d like to see addressed here on the blog. I got several emails last night with awesome suggestions. Please continue to let me know your Hot Cooking Topics of interest (and thanks)!

  • Person 101

    Hi JL! it’s amazing to have crossed ur blog. I just read some of your “Stop chasing skinny” posts. As one who is struggling with an ED, I find it really hard to not think about being skinny. After all, the day I decided to start severely restricting was the day I realized that being as skinny as I wanted to be, and being healthy by medical standards, could not happen at the same time. And I chose skinny. And that had honestly destroyed many aspects of my life. Did you struggle with an ED, and what brought you out of the “skinny” phase?

    • JL

      Hello, @0fc41f53c8b90038e4c5ae7031e36e29:disqus

      I’m so sorry you have been struggling with this. I did not struggle with an ED but I did struggle with the belief that being thin made me more worthy. I stopped focusing on skinny when I began eating vegan. After years of dieting I became far more interested in feeling full and satisfied from delicious, plant-based foods. The feeling of fullness entered my soul and I realized that my size, or a number on a scale, didn’t measure my worth. What I do in the world is a far better measurement.

      It’s been a process and of course I still think “what if….” But my sense of self-worth beyond my body size continues to win out these days. I wish you that very same sense of contentment.

      My friend Gena has a terrific series on her blog called Green Recovery, where people share overcoming an ED – I hope you’ll check it out:

  • Ali Seiter

    Oh, it was such a pleasure to meet you, JL! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, and especially for allowing me to assist you with your presentation. Good luck in all your future endeavors!
    Best, Ali.

    • JL

      You were awesome Sunday, @aliseiter:disqus! Thanks for being so open and willing! Hope to see you soon!

  • MJ

    Thank you for sharing your experience at The Seed! I have to go next year! I want to move in with Ethan and Michael too! Will they have room for me next year 🙂 They had me at “tofu scramble!” Thank you for sharing your advice about making a career of following your passion! I am finally taking photos and sharing on instagram. I aspire to blog, and I share your belief of “meet people where they are at.” That has worked wonders for me! Thank you again! Mwah! <3 🙂

    • JL

      @2a3ab45f615b99b59f08d2b52da45bf8:disqus, it really is a fun weekend! Please do let me know if you start blogging – would love to support you!

  • It was great to see you again, JL. We miss you!

    • JL

      I miss you, too, @facebook-1049550152:disqus!

  • JL gives good hugs! So happy to have met!

    • JL

      LOL, @twitter-601526451:disqus! 🙂

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