By Lisa Rimmert, VO Director of Development
Kim Gonsalves is an enthusiastic donor to Vegan Outreach, as well as a fantastic volunteer. As a mentor in our Vegan Mentor Program, she provides one-on-one guidance with her mentee’s transition to cruelty-free eating. Kim also helps with office work and copy-editing, and I can safely say she is one of my favorite people to know. Meet Kim!
Tell us about yourself, Kim.
I have a husband, a 10-year-old son, and two tripod chocolate labs. I have a severe sweet tooth and like to bake any and all types of vegan treats (my specialty is chocolate chip walnut brownies). I am an avid movie buff and enjoy all movie genres. Three of the most important movies in my life are Out of Africa, Hannah and Her Sisters, and The Thin Man series with William Powell and Myrna Loy. I love games and puzzles of all kinds (jigsaw, crossword, crypto-families, et al.). I am passionate about language structure, words, etymology, and grammar (don’t judge me). Last May, I received my M.A. in Linguistics and am currently looking for work as a teacher of TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages).
Share with us the story of how you became vegan.
I had always loved animals and considered being vegetarian since college, but I thought it would be too hard. Eventually I became good friends with someone who was vegan and her dietary life was so easy (and tasty, which I knew from many dinners at her house and going out to dinner together). About a year after I met her, I took a 3 week road trip, on which I had steak almost every night. I didn’t feel very good after most of the meals so when I came home, I decided to stop eating beef. This vegan friend was there for me as I continued to I eliminate more animals from my diet. She gave me a lot of support, for questions about nutrition and how to veganize certain meals. For me, it was making the connection between how I felt about animals and the choices I was making. Once I made that connection, it was easy for me to simply live by my values.
How did you first get involved with Vegan Outreach?
I first got involved with VO through a vegan friend of mine. She had leafleted for VO.
You do so much for animals by donating to VO! What inspires your giving?
I’m inspired to give when I hear the stories about how people go vegan after getting the real story about how animals are treated and those who make the connection between compassion and their diets.
What advice would you give to someone reading this who is considering adopting a vegan diet?
I would advise someone considering adopting a vegan diet to keep in mind your reasons for wanting to go vegan. Some people don’t have any vegans in their life and that can make it difficult to maintain a vegan lifestyle. However, if one remembers one’s reasons they made the choice in the first place, it makes being vegan very easy. Also, take your B-12. 🙂
Finally, share with us your absolute favorite meal.
This is a hard question; it’s like asking me for my favorite movie. It’s tough to pick just one. My favorite meal that is made for me is the vegetable and bean soup my mother-in-law makes whenever I see her. My favorite meal that I make at home is simply lightly pan-fried tofu with spices, mashed potatoes or rice, and broccoli. My favorite meal at a restaurant is The Big Rig from Watercourse in Denver (available at weekend brunch only).
Thank you, Kim!