(Note: Apologies for technical difficulties on Tuesday, July 5th. We’re using a new mailing service and something was lost in translation. This is the Main Street Vegan blog you should have received on Tuesday. Thanks for your patience.)
I like to write blog posts about YOU — little inspiring bits to help you feel healthier, more effective, and more at peace. I hope you’ll indulge me, then, at Main Street Vegan’s tenth anniversary time, in writing about what I’ve been up to for the past ten years and, God willing, for the ten coming up. In spring of 2012, Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World, was published. VegNews called it “the vegan Bible, New Testament,” and after former President Bill Clinton received a copy from the publisher, he wrote to me saying, “I’m delighted that you’re making the vegan lifestyle accessible and achievable for as many people as possible.
Mercy for Animals co-sponsored the book tour and while I was in Dallas with a lovely MFA family that included several dogs and hugely expressive potbelly pig, I got a call from the director of Unity Online Radio asking, “Do you want to have a radio show? You could call it Main Street Vegan.” This led to 475 weekly episodes.
That summer the first Main Street Vegan Academy class took place, and the first 13 of our nearly 600 students became certified Vegan Lifestyle Coaches and Educators. They have become authors, influencers, owners of vegan businesses, and movers and shakers in the nonprofit sector on behalf of animal rights, human health, and environmental integrity.
It is gratifying to look back and see that Main Street Vegan has played its part in the burgeoning acceptance of Vegan living. We’re now at a time of tremendous upheaval when, in the U.S. at least, human-to-human violence has escalated, rights are threatened, differences are magnified, and civility seems to have gone the way of the minuet. Amid the upheavals and uncertainties of summer 2022, as Main Street Vegan embarks on its second decade, I do know this much is true:
- Truth is a force — satyagraha, Gandhi called it, “truth force.” When we speak the truth and act on the truth, there’s power in it greater than our own.
- The practice of ahimsa, nonviolence, dynamic harmlessness, is both the heart of Veganism and the most profound tool we have for changing attitudes, policies, and ourselves.
- This world has never been idyllic. It’s also never been vegan. If we can bring about the latter, we may have a shot at the former.
Perhaps I’m too idealistic and things are as hopeless as they look on the 24-hour news channels, but I’ve seen miracles in the past 10 years. Barnum and Bailey’s no longer uses animals…In 2021, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat alone saved the lives of one million cows…You can count on the fingers of one hand the major fashion brands still using fur…You can buy cruelty-free cosmetics in drugstores and there is an array of nondairy milk choices in grocery stores…Medicare and Medicaid pay for heart disease patients to undertake the Dean Ornish (vegetarian and nearly Vegan) protocol, and at Bellevue Hospital in NYC, appropriate patients can choose between conventional care and a plant-based, lifestyle medicine approach…”Plant-based foods” — this doesn’t even count broccoli and apples, just those foods that are viable standins for animal products — were a $7.4 billion industry last year. Hurray!
Kicking off our next ten years in style is the above video from ABC Localish, the good-news division of ABC/Disney. Sponsored by Hiscox Insurance (Main Street Vegan is a client; that’s how the ABC folks learned about Main Street Vegan Academy), videos like this one show how small businesses can do good in the world. How thrilling that they saw that a Vegan business is doing good in the world!
And here’s what’s projected for MSV, and for me, going forward:
- Main Street Vegan Academy will have its 34th cohort in October. We’re now on Zoom and the lower price point and ease of access have made this life-changing, live program available to far more students around the world. And we’re able to cover more topics and bring in more world-class instructors than ever. For example, we added Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter of the University of San Diego with his timely interactive presentation, “Systemic Racism in the Food System: A Vegan Perspective.” This fall, we’re honored to add to the roster the inimitable Chef AJ to present “You Oughta Be in Pictures: Chef AJ on Online Video, the Basics to the Brilliance.”
- A new podcast is in the works. Unity Online Radio closed it doors in April, and I was invited by MindBodySpirit.FM to join their ranks with The Victoria Moran Podcast: Meetings With Remarkable Women. Here’s the strategy: it’s a big world, and 90 percent of the people in it don’t have going Vegan on their radar. By presenting fascinated programming and intriguing guests all the time, hopefully pre-Vegan listeners will still tune in every fourth or fifth time when the topic is specifically Vegan-oriented.
- New websites, count ’em: 2! The MainStreetVegan.com domain wasn’t available back in 2012 so I went with .net, but I got the .com in the interim and we’ll be unfolding that with a substantially spiffed site sometime in August. This will feature Main Street Vegan Academy and the
Main Street Vegan blog only, and there will be a brand new site, VictoriaMoran.com, focusing on my work as an author. Again, I want to communicate with those who aren’t currently singing in the Vegan choir.
- A new book — The proposal is done and once that author website is up and running, it will go out to publishers. The working title is Age Like a Yogi: A Heavenly Path to a Dazzling Third Act.
- The Compassion Consortium — Designed to be a spiritual home (or second home) for animal advocates, the Compassion Consortium is an online community that is interfaith, interspiritual, and interspecies, and I’m honored to be one of its four founders (the others are Interfaith ministers; I’m just a person who’s fascinated by the meaning of life and convinced that other-than-human beings are beloved by their Creator). We have a monthly celebration service the 4th Sunday of every month, 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern; and the CC’s new Animal Chaplaincy Training Program is enrolling for September 2022.
Victoria Moran is an author, educator, podcaster, and visionary. She started her vegetarian journey in the late 1960s and went Vegan in the early ’80s. She left behind a binge eating disorder (and over 60 unwanted pounds), and her daughter, Adair Moran, a lifelong vegan, is now a professional aerialist and stunt performer. You can follow Victoria on Instagram @VictoriaMoranAuthor and follow Main Street Vegan Academy @MainStreetVegan. Or follow @VictoriaMoranAuthor on Facebook and join the Victoria Moran Podcast Listeners’ Group there, as well. (The new podcast will be up and running by July 21st; if you subscribed to the Main Street Vegan Podcast, you’ll get this one. If not, please listen/subscribe on your favorite app — Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.), where the Main Street Vegan archived programs also remain. The spiritual center for animal advocates of which Victoria is a part is the Compassion Consortium. And do check out Main Street Vegan Academy where you can train as a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator.