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Tonya Kay

Tonya Kay photo courtesy Tonya KayTonya Kay is an actress, TV personality, professional dancer and danger artist living in Los Angeles. A vegetarian of 28 years, vegan for 18 of those and raw vegan for the last 11, Tonya Kay pioneers the green health movement with appearances, publications and green media (available at KayosMarket). Watch Tonya Kay's self-produced web series The Eco Tourist on EcoHearth's Eco Tube. You may have also seen her recently on TV's My Ride Rules, The Tonight Show, Criminal Minds, Glee, House MD, Secret Girlfriend and American Idol with Rhianna. She has performed live in STOMP, De La Guarda, with Panic At The Disco, Kenny Rogers and in countless music videos and commercials. Look for Tonya Kay in the new Muppets Movie, starring in MTV Network's Video Game Reunion, playing a lead in the scripted animal-activist feature film, Bold Native, performing the voice of Green Girl in the raw vegan superhero animated film Rawman and Green Girl and performing burlesque live in Hollywood, California, almost any weekend. In 2012, Tonya Kay will star in the films Off World and Within The Darkness. For more on Tonya Kay, visit her website.

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When I Went Vegan—and Why
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00  |  Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry

Vegan-Labeled Food photo by Mike BenedettiI remember clear as day the moment I went vegan. I was in my late teens performing on tour with Kenny Rogers. I was the girl on the tour bus who was always awake, since the situation of driving and being around seven other cast mates while in my swaying bunk bed speeding down the highway at 70 miles per hour was too stimulating for a light sleeper like me. At about 2 a.m., the driver pulled up to a quiet truck stop somewhere in nowhere Tennessee. Just the driver and I were awake. I crept into the sundries store out of sheer boredom and somehow saw all the neon-colored packages and shelf after shelf of product for what it was. I thought to myself, "Why does any of this exist?" And I decided to go vegan.

It wasn't necessarily an animal-compassion epiphany that urged my personal transition from a decade-long vegetarian to a vegan. It was the desire to eat real food. How painfully ironic that all I wanted was an insomniac's snack at the truck stop that night, and out of an entire convenience store, 0% of what was being sold constituted food to me. I saw it. I got it. And I rebelled against it.

It took me about a month to truly make that transition. I got off tour, went back to my Indiana residence at the time, and began my education. My first step consisted of reading the label of every single food in my home and if it had meat, milk, egg or any associated products as an ingredient, I just never replaced it. By the way, yes, fish are meat—you are not a vegetarian if you eat fish. That's not a judgment, but a fact. I encourage people to draw the line where they see fit and continue to grow from there, but people who eat fish are not vegetarians by definition.

So began my move toward the deep desire to stop being lied to and empowering myself to choose real food. I wanted to eat food, not products—and my transition to vegan was born of a desire for that freedom.

Additional resources:
Why I Went Vegetarian by Tonya Kay
Why Raw Food? by Tonya Kay
EcoHearth's Eco Recipes (Vegan, Vegetarian and Raw)
Why Mother Nature Loves a Vegan

[Sign up to be notified each time Tonya publishes a new Clean and Green Everyday blog entry on EcoHearth. See a complete list of writing by Tonya Kay on or visit her Clean and Green Everyday blog. – Ed.]

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Comments (5)add
Written by Nicole , October 19, 2011
Funny, I had the same epiphany at the gas station on a trip. I'm not a veggie or vegan but I had stopped eating refined sugar and as I looked around I thought...none of this is even FOOD! What world. So sad so many of us shovel that stuff into our bodies. I'm trying to teach my daughter now and hoping it's not too late. Love and miss you!
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Written by Tonya Kay , October 14, 2010
Well, that's one way to look at it!
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Written by Steve the Kaleidoscope Guy , October 13, 2010
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
-- Unknown

I appreciate you Tonya. You most certainly and proudly walk the talk.
My journey to better health is ongoing. I'm a flexitarian at the moment but contemplating taking the plunge.
Thanks for sharing your authentic views here.
Speaking of views...

Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
~George Carlin
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Written by Tonya Kay , October 13, 2010
I love the quotes you accessorize with!
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Written by Steve the Kaleidoscope Guy , October 12, 2010
I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician. ~Marty Feldman
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The packaging for a microwavable 'microwave' dinner is programmed for a shelf life of maybe six months, a cook time of two minutes and a landfill dead-time of centuries. — David Wann, Buzzworm, November 1990   >More quotes...