Jeanette and Alex Ruiz, founders of the podcast Planted in Miami.
Jeanette and Alex Ruiz, founders of the podcast Planted in Miami.
Photo by Steph Lynn Photo

New Video Series Shows Why Miamians Went Vegan

Ask a vegan, and they'll likely tell you that before they made the switch, they proudly proclaimed, "I could never go vegan!"

Everyone is positive they could never give up meat, eggs, and cheese — until something clicks. Be it the horrific animal abuse, the health risks, or the environmental consequences, people's reasons are as diverse as vegans themselves.

This diversity is the focus of a new project, 31 Days. 31 Reasons. Why We Went Vegan, by the local podcast Planted in Miami. The video series will showcase the stories of local vegans and their journeys to a plant-based lifestyle.

Every day throughout January, a new video will be posted to the Planted in Miami social media channels.

"In January, people are inspired to make new year’s resolutions, and they are usually focused on changing their diet," Planted in Miami cofounder Alex Ruiz says. "We thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have people from all walks of life share their stories of why they went vegan in hopes of inspiring others to make the change in 2017. We really wanted to show diversity in age, race, religion, etc., to break the preconceived ideas of what a vegan looks like."

With 31 stories, there are an array of journeys in play. Many people have preconceived notions of what vegans look and act like, and those thoughts are often based on old stereotypes.

"One person in particular, who is deaf and has been vegan for 1.5 years, really made an impact on us," cofounder Jeanette Ruiz says. "She wants to become more involved in activism because she’s noticed that the deaf community is underserved and many of the documentaries are not closed-captioned, and she would like to see that changed."

The Ruizes debuted Planted in Miami in 2015 and have recorded 35 episodes. On the podcast, they interview local vegans and change-makers, from chef Loren Pulitzer to plant butcher Ryan Bauhaus to author Ellen Kanner.

The couple hopes the new series will be informative and inspirational.

"One common theme with the participants was that there was a defining moment in their life that made them go vegan," Alex says. "We are hoping that in viewing these 31 videos, something will stand out and inspire someone to start thinking differently about the food choices they make and the impact it has not only on themselves but also on the planet and animals."

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