I am a California girl living on an organic farm in the middle of Wisconsin. I work for PETA and live with five rescue cats, an elderly rescue dog named Daisy, and my fiancé Brad, an orthopedic surgeon (and aspiring farmer) who eats a fully plant-based diet.
My sister, Stephanie, just gave birth to her second child. She is celebrating her fifth
wedding anniversary to a British man named Stephen who has been vegan since birth.
How did each of our journeys to our current and delightful lives begin? On the high seas on an all vegan cruise! My sister and I (actually my whole family) have been ethical vegans for about 10 years now. Finding someone who matches your lifestyle and shares the same ethics that you do regarding what you eat and how you live your life can sometimes be challenging. We both found our veggie eating partners on international waters when we were least expecting it.
Seven years ago my parents, two sisters, and I were on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise, an incredible all vegan cruise that gathers people from all over the world to hear lectures from leading medical professionals touting a plant based diet, great teachers of yoga, meditation,and lots of other forms of self improvement.Stephen was traveling with his mother, both coming from Brighton, England. He surprised her with the trip for her birthday. At a PCRM lecture with Dr. Neal Barnard, Stephen’s mom noticed that my mom was wearing an animal rights t-shirt with an anti-milk message. We all started chatting, bonding over our common beliefs. Stephanie and Stephen (and yes we call them the “Stes”) spent the rest of the week getting to know each other. He returned to England and we returned to Los Angeles. Over the next year they Skyped at all hours and visited each other back-and-forth. On the same cruise a year later, on the deck where they shared their first kiss, Stephen proposed. They now live in Los Angeles with their two-and-a half year-old son, Preston, and their newborn, Camden. Both will be raised fully vegan!
Five years ago, I was on the Holistic Holiday at Sea where I lectured on living a compassionate life for animals. I was minding my own business on the first night of the cruise mixer when my mom and my other sister Kimberly (also married to an awesome vegan man and raising their one year old daughter, Rose, plant-based!) started chatting up a young
doctor named Brad. He was traveling with his friend John, also an orthopedic surgeon. They had both become vegan for health reasons after reading The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. After a few minutes, my mom and Brad’s friend, John, decided that Brad and I were a great match. This was before we even met (I actually had noticed Brad and his cute smile in the dining room that day but of course would never approach him on my own! Way out of my comfort zone!) By the time my sister dragged me over to meet him, my mom and John had already planned our union and future life together. They sure called it! We got along so well that we kept in touch, did the Skyping thing like the “Stes,” and visited each other back-and-forth for two years. I moved to Michigan to be with him there. We got engaged and are now living in Wisconsin on our own 45 acre self-proclaimed “kale and cat sanctuary.” I have learned so much from Brad about the many reasons to go plant-based for health. In turn, he can now recite the merits of spaying and neutering your animals and why to never go to Sea World.
Who knew? My sister and I boarded this ship on the Holistic Holiday at Sea to do some yoga, get some sunshine, and eat some amazing food but we came home with our life partners.
In the years that we went on the cruise as one big family, Brad and I designed and made t-shirts that said “Vegan Life is Better.” We printed hundreds of them, different colors for each year, and passed them out for free to people on the ship, just to spread the vegan message.
For more information on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise, Click Here!