Brenda Carey is the founder of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine. As Editor in Chief, it is her vision that that shapes the direction of the magazine. Her two most important promises to readers are that VHF will value and promote hard science, and will always remain positive, uplifting, and inspirational.
Brenda’s background is diverse. She was introduced to magazine culture as a model in her teens. From there, she became interested in photography and many other aspects of the art of the magazine business. As a teen, she was also a swimming instructor, a lifeguard, and an aerobics instructor. She remained athletic throughout her twenties, swimming and/or running daily. She also became a vegetarian around the age of 19 (in 1991), and a vegan a few months later. During the summer of that transition, she read 23 books on vegetarian health and animal husbandry, which began her passion for the study of nutrition and concern for the treatment of farm animals. She has continued to be a voracious reader on these subjects. For several years, Brenda compiled binders full of information on the benefits of the vegetarian diet and the detriments of eating animal products for friends and family to examine. The choice to be vegan goes beyond science for her, though. As Brenda often says, "It is a perfect example of good karma that we get better health for making a compassionate choice in our diets."
She quit modeling as a profession at the age of 22 to attend college with the goal of becoming an environmental and animal law attorney. From her first semester of college, she began to write a column for the college newspaper. She transferred to numerous colleges, but continued to write a column at each college about environmental and animal issues called “In My Nature” and then “Mother Nature.” Photography remained a hobby, and she was among the first to purchase a digital SLR - the Nikon D100. Nature photography became a passion. Brenda graduated number one in her college (Loyola Marymount University) in 1999 with a degree in Communication Studies.
She attended law school at UC Berkeley where she was a copy editor and fact checker for the number one environmental law journal in the country, “Ecology Law Quarterly.” She began working with environmental lawyers on cases, and even wrote argument for a Supreme Court case while still in law school. Shortly after graduating from law school, she founded a humane society. She discovered that under California law that any small group of citizens were entitled to form a humane society; and if they received the requisite training, they could employ humane officers who have the power to enforce state anti-cruelty laws. She and several friends went through the training to become humane officers. It was during this time that she wrote "The California Animal Law Guide,” which is a field guide to assist law enforcement officers in understanding and enforcing anti-cruelty laws. (AnimalLawResource.com)
Brenda later moved to Hawaii and became an adjunct professor in the Communication Studies department at Hawaii Pacific University. She also began taking acting classes and performing stand up comedy and improv (she even co-founded an improv theater in Honolulu). It was during this time that she also became an Ashtanga Yoga instructor at Yoga Hawaii. After a couple years, Brenda moved to NYC and pursued stand up comedy there for about 8 months before heading to LA to develop The Brenda Carey Show. The show received local awards, but was never picked up by a major network.
A few years later, Brenda read a book called Vegan Bodybuilding by Robert Cheeke and was inspired. Brenda began to lift heavier weights in the gym, and even started a blog about her weight-lifting journey as a plant-eater. She quickly developed a following. During this time, she also sought out and met athletes who were authors of her favorite books - Robert Cheeke, Scott Jurek, Koya Webb, Victoria Moran and others. It was through the experience with this blog, and meeting these inspirational vegans, that she decided to found this magazine.
And, finally, it seems that all these varied experiences were meant to be. The sports, modeling, newspaper writing, photography, law school, experience of running a very difficult business (the humane society), professorship, and everything she has done in her life seemed to all be training her for the unique task of creating Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine.
“I am extremely humbled and feel so blessed to be the one who gets to use everything in my being to bring this magazine to life!” -Brenda