It is time for my monthly interview! Each month, on the last Sunday of the month, I have the opportunity to share the story of one of the many unique vegans living here in Wyoming. I love sharing people’s stories and showing people how many vegans there are here. I also love doing these interviews because it always shows others how easy it is to be vegan in Wyoming. This month I got to interview Jessica Dalton.
Jessica has been vegan since the beginning of 2018. Although she is relatively new to veganism, she has spent a few years as a vegetarian. She decided to go vegetarian for the animals. While she was vegetarian, she “started watching documentaries about eating meat and animal products”. Ultimately, she ended up going vegan for environmental and health reasons. “What the Health” and “Cowspiracy” were two of the most influential documentaries for Jessica. For her, the transition was pretty easy, especially since she was already vegetarian. The most difficult part of going vegan were “the little things, like going out to dinner”. It was also hard for her to get used to all of the “products… there is milk or diary in everything and it’s just unnecessary”. Lucky for her, she had a lot of support when she went vegan. Her mom is pescatarian. “She has always been pretty supportive and gets vegan food when she can.” She has some vegan friends and quite a few vegetarian friends, which helps too. Last year, she got to have a “vegan Friendsgiving” with some fellow vegans as well as a few non-vegans. She rarely gets questions like: “where do you get your protein?” she thinks it is because “it’s (veganism) becoming more common”. More frequently, she will get questions about food and products from people wanting to go vegan or vegetarian.
When it comes to food, Jessica finds it really easy and she will “mostly cook at home”. She gets a lot of inspiration from people she follows on Twitter. She will “see someone like a chef post their food and think about how good it looks”. It reminds her that she “can still eat a lot of food”. These days, vegan food is incredibly accessible at stores, and Jessica definitely takes advantage of that. Her favorite “go-to” is the Boca Chick’n patty. She will put the Silk Almond Milk Creamer in her coffee, “and the Earth Balance butter is a necessity”. When she can, she likes to go to Denver or Ft. Collins to try different vegan foods. Her favorite restaurant is Tasty Harmony in Ft. Collins. When it comes to local restaurants, Jessica really doesn’t have a favorite place. She likes Lime Leaf a lot and “always likes the veggie lo mein with tofu”. In her opinion, “Chinese food always sounds good!” She also likes Mexican food, “La Cocina is really good.” She has a friend who works there and “He always makes the fajitas vegan. He always puts a different corn/bean mixture instead of the refried beans that they use.” As far as cooking at home goes, Jessica mostly makes “wraps and sandwiches… or boils rice and veggies and puts soy sauce with those”. “They’re all pretty standard, but they’re good!” She said that sometimes she’ll “get a little crazy, but it’s mostly noodles and stuff like that.”
When it comes to living the vegan lifestyle and spreading the vegan message, Jessica uses “social media, like Twitter to promote stuff”. She will post the vegan food she makes and reposts videos about vegansim to help spread the word. On Earth Day last year, she “Tweeted a bunch of facts about how dairy and meat affect the environment”. She has been lucky since she has been able to see a lot of her friends go vegetarian and consider veganism. Her best advice to those people is “make sure you get enough of all of your nutrients…eat your fruits and veggies”. She has noticed that “a lot of people, when they go vegan, will eat a bunch of the processed stuff.” She understands that “when you’re just starting out, it’s kind of hard not to, but it’s better to try to get out of that”.
I really enjoyed getting to talk with Jessica for this interview. It was really neat to hear how her friends (Sabrina and Jordan) have inspired her along this journey since I had already interviewed them. It showed me that there are people in the Casper community that are helping each other and working together to create a stronger vegan community! I hope that her story inspires others to spread veganism and help others on their journeys.
If you are a vegan in Wyoming and interested in being interviewed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.