Merriam –Webster’s definition of the word inspiration is: "A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation."
Pretty profound, eh? Although, I believe myself to be extremely liberal and progressive, I can also be a creature of habit and have known to be stubborn at times. I’m sure that a few of my exes would be elated to divulge…
With that being said, I was inspired a few years ago to take the plunge into my vegan lifestyle which also led to a career as a campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I can’t even put into words what a journey I experienced during my time with PETA.
One of my biggest inspirations to this day is Amanda Fortino, who is still a crusader at PETA. Besides fighting for animal rights or sharing the same insane sense of humor and sharp tongue, we both love spreading the word on how simple it can really be to commit to being fashionably responsible. As if you didn’t know already, this broad is one of my heroes and here’s the interview to prove why.
Let’s start this out by being straightforward, shall we Fortino? Why did you choose to be vegan?
Amanda Fortino: I never felt right eating animals. For a while I did it, because that is what I was told to do in order to be healthy, but it never felt right. After first coming across tofurkey, I realized, to my delight, I wasn't the only one who didn't want to eat meat. In my small Northern Michigan town being a vegetarian was as rare as being an alien from Mars, but it was what felt right to me. After many years of being vegetarian I read Skinny Bitch from cover to cover in one sitting. I couldn't put it down! All the while I cried, laughed, cursed, and was instantly vegan. I was so inspired I applied for a position at PETA and that was almost three years ago. Today I am a loud, proud vegan and work in fundraising for the biggest animal rights organization in the world.
You are lucky enough to call Los Angeles your home now. By the way, say hi to Fred Segal for me. Ahem, let me get back on track… what are your three favorite places to shop in LA that offer sustainable or vegan apparel and accessories?
AF: (1) Alternative Outfitters in Pasadena is a boutique with all vegan items! You can find the hottest faux leather jackets, heels, boots, purses, wallets, belts, and the list goes on. And it's not only for women. Alternative outfitters sells fantastic items for the always sexy, cruelty free man.
Steve Madden faux patent Mary Janes - $45
(2) I always like hitting up Main Street in Santa Monica. There are so many shops that sell cruelty free purses, shoes, accessories, and beauty products. I can't even walk my dogs down Main Street without finding a cute vegan purse I just have to buy! In fact, I bought all of my holiday shopping for my vegan sister, right on Main Street. Of course, I managed to get a few things for myself.
Maddie Dress at Dame - $59
(3) If you you really want to splurge vegan style, you must treat yourself to a stroll through Stella McCartney's store on Beverly Blvd. 'Nuff said.
Stella McCartney Evergreen Hexagon Print Donna Top - $715
Seriously, those damn McCartney’s can do no wrong! Meat Free Monday y’all. On another note, can I tell you how jealous I am of your hair? It’s ALWAYS shiny and on point. Rather annoying actually. Let’s talk beauty products. What are the three top vegan products you can’t live without?
AF: (1) Onestà’s natural, plant-based formulas are free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, DEA, TEA, colors, dyes, animal testing, and animal ingredients.
Onesta shampoos and conditioners $15 - $20
(2) ZuZu Luxe cosmetics line blends soothing, clean, all natural ingredients, such as spring water, herbs and vitamins as well as rare and exotic essential oils.
ZuZu Luxe black mascara - $13.59
(3) This lotion repairs skin damage from environmental stressors while it smoothes and softens skin without a greasy residue.
Desert Essence Hand and Body Lotion in Spicy Vanilla Chai - $8.99
Miss Fortino, thanks for all the insight and for making the good fight look so smashing. I along with the animal kingdom salute you!
X to the O,