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Veganism: The Noble Way of Living

Food Empowerment Project: The Power in Food Choices – with 'lauren' Ornelas (vegan), Part 2 of 3



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“So, our main area is promoting veganism for the animals. So, as a very proud Chicanx, Mexican, we created vegan Mexican food, which is full of vegan Mexican recipes. And I wanted to create this site to celebrate and share with my family and with friends how delicious vegan food can be and we can still have a part of our culture there.”

In 2018, lauren became the first woman of color to be inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame at the Animal Rights National Conference in the USA. lauren is also well-recognized for her farmworker rights advocacy in the USA.

In order to provide policymakers with qualitative data about the lack of access to healthy food, FEP conducts major community surveys in the neighborhoods that request them. Two surveys were recently carried out in Santa Clara County and Vallejo, California, in 2014 and 2018, respectively. FEP also follows its surveys up with focal groups, which are live discussions with members of the local communities.

The data collected by FEP was presented to the policymakers, who used the data to help determine which local stores are going to get “healthy makeovers.” lauren says that this is largely due to the lopsided distribution of government subsidies, which currently favors foods that are less healthy. The US government directs more than $US 37 billion of taxpayers’ money a year towards meat, dairy, corn, soybeans, wheat, and rice, whereas only 0.4% of the total subsidy goes to fruits and vegetables, despite clear evidence and public consensus that fruits and vegetables are the most health enhancing foods.

A major milestone in FEP’s 14-year history is its successful campaign against a California regulation known as the “50-mile rule.” By drafting online petitions, hosting protests, and seeking out audiences with state officials to repeal the regulation, FEP helped to bring about an end to the 50-mile rule in 2018.

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