Nashville, Tennessee

By Lori Stultz, Outreach Coordinator

Spring has arrived! And as happy as I am to welcome the new season, I also wonder if anybody else has taken notice of the date and, like me, asked yourself where the past few months have gone. Can it really be April already?

They say time flies when you’re having fun, right? I also think time flies when you’re crazy busy. Hopefully it is a balance of both for everyone who is reading this. I’d definitely say that is the balance I’ve been doing my best to maintain since the last blog I posted about my tour.

Last time I wrote, I was wrapping up the month I spent leafleting in Texas. Since then, I’ve been to Colorado (for a week-long break at home), Tennessee, and Kentucky, and now I’m in Oklahoma! Well, I really should say we are in Oklahoma. A few weeks ago, I picked up my intern, Holly Brown, and she has been accompanying me on the road. Another correction: she has not only been accompanying me, she has been helping me tremendously and providing a huge source of positive and fun energy.

I have to confess that I was a bit wary about having an intern with me for five weeks and essentially being with someone else 24/7. As an introvert and a bit of a control freak, I was worried about the lack of privacy and the degree of compromise it requires to live on the road with another person. Holly’s presence, however, has been anything but difficult. It has been so wonderful to have her along for the ride! She is a bundle of giggles and is a natural leafleter! The first school we leafleted together, Vanderbilt University (in Nashville, TN), she jumped right in, and together we distributed 1,017 leaflets. It has taken hardly any time for us to adjust to living and working together, and truly, I haven’t just acquired an intern—I’ve gained an invaluable friendship.

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So, without further ado, let’s meet Holly!

How old are you, and where are you from?
21 and Damascus, Maryland.

What school are you attending, and what’s your academic year?
Georgia Southern University, senior, graduating Spring 2016.

Tell us a little about your personal story-what was your “call” to veganism?
Luckily, my sister was already vegan and my mom and dad were also wanting to change the way they ate. We began by watching a lot of documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and Vegucated and reading books including Main Street Vegan and The China Study. After learning all the horrors of factory farming, I went vegetarian and then vegan a few months later. Having the support from my family and working together was extremely helpful and made it a lot more fun.

How did you hear about Vegan Outreach?
I first heard about Vegan Outreach just from looking at online vegan websites, blogs, and recipes. I came across their website and then had the chance to talk to some Vegan Outreach volunteers at the Atlanta VegFest. I learned a little more about the work they do and their intern program and decided to apply!

What has been your favorite part about living on the road thus far?
So far, I think that my favorite part has been during leafleting when students stop to talk because they want to learn more and express their interest in helping animals. I have also really enjoyed meeting volunteers and spending time with our hosts.

What are your plans for the future?
In the future I plan to earn my masters in occupational therapy and continue volunteering in the animal rights field.

See? Who wouldn’t love Holly? Okay, okay. I know a short questionnaire is a bit different than living and working with her, but still-take my word for it. You would love her just as much as I do!

We are going to wrap things up by showing off some of the delicious meals we’ve had together since being on the road. These pictures are a mix between meals we’ve had at vegan restaurants, meals Holly and I have made for our hosts, and meals that hosts have made for me and Holly. Get ready to feel hungry! By the time you’re done looking at these pictures, I guarantee you’ll be wanting something to eat.

The first six pictures were taken when we ate at Avo, a 100% vegan restaurant in Nashville. (Note that Holly and I did not consume all of these plates by ourselves! There was a total of five of us trying out the restaurant.)

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We started out with their Kimchi Spring Rolls.

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Next, we tried their Tree Nut Cheese Plate.

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For the main course, the five of us shared lasagna with a Caesar salad on the side,

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Falafel with Hummus and Cauliflower Rice,

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Veggie Spiraled Pad Thai,

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and finished the meal with Lime-Flavored Cheesecake.

To express our thanks to one Tennessee host for letting us occupy his guest room and couch, Holly and I made this scrumptious mango curry stir-fry with tofu served over white rice!

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Lastly, here are a few of the meals our hosts in Frankfort, KY, served us. They are artists by day but professional-level cooks by night:

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Thai Curry served over rice noodles, potatoes (sweet and white), tofu, and green peas,

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Vegan Dumplings and Sweet Sauce served with Pineapple Fried Rice,

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Macaroni and Cheese with peas (the best combo ever), served alongside Barbecue Tofu and steamed kale.

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And this was a lunch our lovely hosts packed us for a post-leafleting meal: white rice and flavored black beans served with faux chicken, Tofutti cream cheese, and homemade pico de gallo.

Holly and I have four leafleting-packed weeks ahead of us! We look forward to sharing more about our travels in Oklahoma, Texas (again), New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming!

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