Actress, friend of animals, and proud vegan, Emily Deschanel was interviewed recently on the Our Hen House podcast, chatting about all things vegan, including her 20 years of vegan living.
Deschanel said that her vegan journey started when she watched the documentary, “Diet for a New America,” which opened her eyes to the cruelty happening in factory farms and how exactly food got to her plate: “I wanted no part of it.” She went vegetarian after watching that and became vegan 2 years later. What helped her transition from vegetarian to vegan was her time at a Bennington College summer program that she attended the summer before 12th grade. She said that there were vegan options at every meal, from tempeh to “soy milk on tap,” and having vegan food readily accessible made the transition easy. 20 years later, she’s amazed at how much has changed in the world of vegan foods, saying it’s “huge” now compared to when she began.
Deschanel also spoke about the importance of eating a plant-rich diet and not eating a lot of junk food that happens to be vegan. She recommends to people struggling to go vegan or vegetarian to transition slowly and consult with a nutritionist that is “sympathetic” to veganism. Having a good, solid reason to make the change can be a good motivator, too. “I think if you [go vegan] for the animals, you’ll stick to it for a long time,” she said.
And what’s an interview with a vegan without some talk of food? Deschanel took listeners on a walk through a typical day of eating for her. Because of her hectic work schedule, she’s been getting more meals delivered, but everything is chock full of plants. Her breakfasts as of late have been either a “veggie hash” with hot sauce, or she’ll make a shake with either Vega or Sun Warrior protein powder, coconut water, berries, and greens. She eats a salad for lunch every day with protein coming from beans, nuts, or seeds. She says she snacks and enjoys treats, such as fruit and cookies or Alter Eco Quinoa Crunch chocolate, to satisfy her sweet tooth. Dinner is made up of lots of veggies, usually with a sauce. She tries to eat as many salads and raw greens as possible, saying a vegan diet should be plant-based and full of foods “as close to the source as possible.” She enjoys a green juice every day or every other day. While Deschanel doesn’t eat the plethora of vegan meats on the market, she does think that those products are good for people who are transitioning to a vegan diet.
Switching over to her professional life, Deschanel chatted about when her passion for animal rights overlaps with her work on the crime drama, “Bones.” She said that she has made suggestions for show topics and actually requested there be “one animal law episode per season,” though it hasn’t worked out that way for each of the 8 seasons that have aired thus far. When asked if there was any backlash following the animal themed shows (which have covered factory farming and the exotic pet trade) from viewers or advertisers, Deschanel says she’s never heard of any problems, adding that more than anything, she gets flack just for being vegan. (But she takes it in stride.)
Deschanel has advocated for animals by partnering up with different organizations, such as PETA and the Humane Society of the United States. She has a new PSA coming out with Mercy for Animals, which will reveal some of the cruelty happening in factory farms, as well as encourage people to be active for animals, go vegan, and support organizations such as MFA. “Bones” will be starting its 9th season on FOX this fall. Deschanel is also happily raising her baby vegan.
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