šŸ‘‹ Hi, I'm Serena. I love sharing how easy and fulfilling being vegan can be!

I am a:

  • šŸ• dog foster parent,
  • āš½ soccer player,
  • šŸ‘©ā€šŸ’» data scientist,
  • šŸ“± Foodshake app developer,
  • šŸ’ hockey player,
  • šŸ“ˆ machine learning researcher,
  • šŸš“ā€ā™€ļø cyclist,
  • šŸƒ marathon runner,
and I also happen to be vegan šŸŒ±.

I've been vegan for 10 years. I've been vegan as a student, as a working professional, and in multiple countries. And in my opinion, me being vegan is the most uninteresting part about me!

I became a vegetarian when I was in high school in 2008, and went vegan shortly after. I kept my veganism a secret - only my family knew! I didn't want to seem weird or bring attention to myself. In university I decided to actually tell people I was vegan. The social pressure was difficult - I became known as "the girl who only eats vegetables" by the dining hall staff (there weren't many vegan options). Eventually, the social pressure became too much, so I decided to resume eating dairy and egg products when offered to me. I continued to eat plant based at home. In 2015 I went vegan for the second time when I realized that every meal is an opportunity to make an impact for the animals - to me, that's worth pushing past any social pressure (externally or internally placed).

Part of the social pressure to eat animal products came from my family. I grew up going for dimsum every weekend with my maternal grandparents, and celebrated many special occasions at Chinese restaurants. You see, meat is very prevelant in Chinese dishes, and sharing food together is integral to our culture. By declaring I was vegan, I felt I was alientating myself from my family in saying that I didn't want to eat the food that was so important to them. I became an expert in finding vegan options at Chinese restaurants, and I've now realized how easy and second nature it is. And my family are thrilled to spend time together, even if we collectively eat less meat.

I love veganizing my favourite foods from my childhood: Chinese, British, and Canadian foods, especially my paternal grandma's baked goods - I learned everything I know about baking from her, and you'll see many of her recipes (veganized!) on this blog. I love trying new dishes, and delighting my friends with vegan baked goods. I truly believe that being vegan is easy once you get used to it, and I hope my blog can help you feel that way too!

Serena McDonnell