I'm so excited to be closing out my 2011 Veggie Girl Power Interview Series with Portia de Rossi, a passionate lover of animals and proud voice for vegans everywhere. Get to know Portia...
Cover Girl Vegan. Portia is no stranger to the spotlight. As a talented actress she attracts media attention at every turn. And Portia gracefully uses her celebrity spotlight to share her compassion and vegan message with the world.
Portia was on the cover of the July + Aug 2011 issue of VegNews. As well as a host of other media outlets. The two characteristics that stand out when I see Portia in action are "grace" and "compassion." Her grace in communicating her vegan beliefs is obvious. It comes so naturally to her. And her passionate love of animals always shines through. Her compassion speaks loud and clear.
I always feel proud to be vegan when I see Portia in the spotlight.
Power Vegans. It's no secret that Portia and Ellen make an exciting power couple in the world of vegan. I simply can't wait to see what they do next in their fight to save animals and change the world. A vegan restaurant perhaps? Rumors excitedly swirl! I can't wait to watch their tale unfold. They are a truly inspirational couple in so many ways.
2011 Veggie Girl Power Series Interview: Portia
Q1: Sunrise, what is the first food and/or drink you reach for to start your "Veggie Girl Power" day?
Portia: I make a shake with mango, kale and almond milk. Kale is one of the best things you can eat, but I find it difficult to get my daily dose in any other way. Plus I'm told that blended kale absorbs faster than kale you have to chew. Actually, the shake is the second thing I drink. The first is a huge soy latte with agave nectar. I may be healthier since I've become vegan, but I still need caffeine!
Q2: As a Veggie Girl Power trailblazer you inspire many girls, who or what has inspired you?
Portia: Kathy Freston, author of Veganist and Quantum Wellness among other books, is a huge inspiration to me. I have the privilege of knowing her so I can ask her any nutrition and heath question I may have. She also has the answer to any question about meat and dairy production, animal protection laws, the impact of animal consumption on the environment and whether or not to cut my hair. (The last one is specific to me but you get the point--Kathy knows everything.)
Q3: When you first went vegan, what was the most challenging aspect of your new lifestyle? How did you overcome those obstacles?
Portia: Going out to dinner was a bit of a challenge at first, because I thought my only option was pasta with olive oil. But over time I've discovered that other cuisines, like Thai or Indian, have many vegan options in their menus. I do make a point of telling waiters that I'm vegan and I encourage them to talk to their chef about making more vegan dishes. This economy runs on supply and demand, so they more we demand, the more they'll supply.
Q4: When people ask you why you 'went vegan' what is your usual response?
Portia: I love animals and I can't eat them. And I don't feel okay with confining them into small crates and reducing them to things that produce food for humans.
Q5: What is the one message that you always try to project to your fans/followers?
Portia: I tell them how easy it is to be vegan. I tell them they can eat all the foods they love and they'll never have to feel deprived.
Q6: Vegans love to share their knowledge about food and nutrition, what is an interesting food fact you love to share with people?
Portia: I don't know if I necessarily love to tell people about how bad dairy is for them, but I feel compelled to tell people how bad it is. After I completely gross them out by talking about puss cells, I then tell them how delicious soy and almond and rice milk are, and how great Follow Your Heart cheese is and how you can make cream out of cashews.
Q7: Vegans don't live on carrot sticks and hummus alone, give us your most creative/delicious vegan snack idea!
Portia: I make caviar from beluga lentils, sea salt and capers and I put it on top of a blini with vegan creme fraiche. It's delicious...especially with a glass of champagne.
Q8: Words to live by: what is a favorite life tip or quote of wisdom?
Portia: Cruelty to animals is just an excuse for cruelty.
Q9: How do you respond to negative comments from those critical of a vegan lifestyle - both online and in the real world?
Portia: Criticism usually comes in the form of concern about nutrition--protein, to be precise. I just thank them for being interested my health and tell them the facts: plant protein is much healthier for you than animal protein and that we don't need nearly as much protein as we think.
Q10: What vegan ingredients and/or vegan products have you discovered that you simply couldn't live without?
Portia: Earth Balance, Veganaise, Field Roast sausages and everything from Gardein....oh, and chocolate Soy Delicious ice cream.
Connect with Portia:
Portia doesn't tweet but you can catch up with her appearances on The Ellen Show here: Portia on Ellen.
Check out all the interviews in this year's VGP series!
Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
Portia de Rossi