By Nzinga Young, Greater NYC Community Engagement and Events Coordinator
At Vegan Outreach, volunteers are the some of the most important members of our team. You can find them leafleting college campuses, tabling at local events, and using their unique talents to raise funds for Team Vegan—our annual team fundraising campaign.
Today we meet one of Vegan Outreach’s indispensable volunteers, Merari Ordaz—a holistic health practitioner who lives in Bakersfield, CA. Merari and her father run YORNS, a holistic health center where they help clients address their health concerns with plants.
“I think vegan is the best way to be healthy, not just physically, but emotionally,” Merari says. “I take care of my home, my body, so I can take care of the home, our planet.”
Her vegan journey began in 1998 when her father became more aware of the positive health effects a vegan diet can have for humans. He wanted to make a change in his family’s health, so he removed all meat from the household.
Merari had the opportunity to learn about holistic health alongside her father. “Being homeschooled gave me the opportunity to travel with my dad as he was learning. I attended a doctors’ conference, and there was a video shown on how animals are killed for food. That’s when I told my sister, ‘I’m going vegan.’ ”
Nine years later, Merari is still a proud vegan who spreads the message every chance she gets. She hands out leaflets and plays vegan documentaries in her family’s office so clients can learn the ethical side of adopting a vegan lifestyle.
“I’m really happy as a vegan, and I like to share it with everyone.”
Recently, Merari traveled to Japan to participate in an international competition for Karate. She received her diploma for a first-degree black belt and brought home a silver medal in combat.
Earlier in the year, Merari was the keynote speaker at an event held for the Wendale Davis Foundation. After giving her speech, she and a few friends and family members performed an incredible dance routine—sporting their vegan outreach t-shirts!
We thank Merari for all she does to spread the word about veganism. Her positivity, dedication, and can-do attitude are an inspiration to us all.