A few years back, authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin did something remarkable: the pair released a book on veganism that not only appealed to a mainstream audience, but became a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
Now with over four Skinny Bitch books on the market and a series of fitness DVD’s just released, their humble little brand has turned into a global phenomenon.
Ecorazzi first met Skinny Bitch co-author Rory Freedman at Farm Sanctuary’s Annual Gala last year and recently sat down with the celebrated author once again to pick her brain. Check out the interview below.
Ecorazzi: OK, we’ve spoken with you before about being VEG, but why don’t you remind our readers just how you began this journey.
Rory Freedman: Up until my “awakening,” I called myself an animal lover but ate meat for every meal. Then, one day in college I got a PETA magazine in the mail. There was an article on factory farming and slaughterhouses (with pictures). I will never forgot the horror I felt in that moment, knowing that every time I sat down to eat meat, I was directly contributing to the confinement, torture, and slaughter of innocent animals. I sat at my little table in my college apartment bawling my eyes out, and vowed to myself that I would never eat another cow, chicken, or pig ever again. And from there, I eventually transitioned into veganism.
E: You have this great new inspirational journal out and also a set of work-out videos. What’s next for the Skinny Bitch empire?
E: You must be so psyched that the world has so lovingly embraced your books. What’s been your proudest Skinny Bitch moment so far?
RF: When the book first started gaining momentum and landing on the NY Times best seller list and things like that, I was beyond excited. But now, I don’t really have an attachment to those feelings. This is probably gonna sound weird (and maybe lame, too, I don’t know) but I don’t really have this big sense of pride surrounding the books. Even though I wrote every word, I almost feel like the whole thing has nothing to do with me. Like, the power to veganize people exists in the Universe, and it just so happens that I thought of one way to harness it. But when there are still billions of animals suffering and dying and there are so many people in the animal rights community who do so much more than I ever will, it’s hard to stand around patting myself on the back. (All that said, I must admit: anytime I hear from PETA president, Ingrid Newkirk, I get a little heady.)
E: Rumor has it that you had something to do with Ellen and Portia going VEG? Any truth to that? Oh yeah and can you tell her I think she’s awesome?
RF: I wouldn’t dream of outing anyone. But I will say that I think Ellen and Portia are both awesome, too. They are the real deal–100 percent in it for the animals and totally committed to fighting the good fight.
E: Since we’re maybe a little obsessed with stars up in here, which 3 celebrities would you like to see go vegan?
RF: Whoever would have the biggest impact on the rest of the world going vegan! I don’t know who that would be…maybe Oprah, Brad, and Angelina? Or would it make more sense to target kids/teens and go with The Jonas brothers?
E: What would you say to readers out there who are toying with the idea of vegetarianism? Any words of encouragement? Helpful tips?
RF: DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Don’t let it overwhelm you or make it bigger than it is. Just pick a date, get organized (food shopping, etc.) and pledge to do thirty days meat-free. (Visit GoVeg.com for a free vegetarian starter kit.) And remember to take it one meal at a time. If you approach it like, “I can never eat meat again?” of course you’ll struggle. But if you just tell yourself, “Right now, for this meal, I’m going to eat something else,” you’ll make it through with flying colors.
To get fully motivated, watch this quick video.
E: People probably make a lot of assumptions about an author who writes a book called Skinny Bitch. What’s one thing you’d like the world to know about Rory Freedman that they would never guess?
RF: Hmmm…I guess people who haven’t read the book might assume that I think women should be skinny, or that I’m a bitch, or that I’m hung up on my own weight. I’d want them to know that I could give two shits about how much I weigh, that I think full-figured women should rock their curves with pride, and that I’m generally a nice person. (When I have PMS, not so much.)
I’d also like the world to know that I have an acute sense of smell. It’s a gift and a curse. I don’t know why I’m so proud of it, but I am.
E: Now, as our readers know, I always close with the same question: If you had the chance to meet one person who you’ve found specifically instrumental in the vegetarian community – dead or alive, past or present – who would it be and why?
RF: I’m blessed to have so many friends in the movement and to have already met many of my heroes.
There are so many beautiful people in the animal rights community who do so much, but every year when the Canadian seal hunt begins, I think about Rebecca Aldworth at the Humane Society. She goes out on the ice floes, face to face with hunters who bludgeon baby seals to death. I have such a tremendous respect for her; I’d like to thank her for doing what she does and find out how she’s able to do it. I’d also like to pay homage to Gail Eisnitz, author of the must-read book Slaughterhouse.
(And of course, I wouldn’t mind meeting all the cute, single guys in the movement…)
A big thank you to Rory Freedman for taking time out of her busy schedule to share some thoughts with your adorable Ecorazzi team. If you haven’t read Skinny Bitch yet, make sure you pick up a copy today and check out the Skinny Bitch website for all the latest news!