March 22, 2023
The World of Vegan, Sustainable Parenting, and Plant-Powered People as Told by Michelle
Meet Michelle! She aspires to inspire a positive change and make vegan living easy, delicious, and fun. Armed with uncomplicated vegan recipes, kind parenting tips, and eco-friendly substitutes for everyday essentials, she is a mama on a mission to create a better future for our world!
Hi Michelle! We love how World of Vegan seems to cover everything there is to learn about being a vegan. What inspired you to start it?
When I decided to become vegan more than 15 years ago, I was living in Ohio surrounded by self-proclaimed carnivores and I felt very alone. Since then, I have made it my mission to be a virtual friend, resource, and supportive cheerleader to others who want to eat and live more compassionately so that they don’t have to navigate that path alone. World of Vegan was born out of that mission to help make vegan living easier, more fun, more welcoming, and more accessible to people from all areas of the world and all walks of life.
Glowing inside and out.| Photo by Michelle Cehn
Mama on a mission to create positive change! | Photo by Michelle Cehn
Your Instagram bio says: “Vegan Mama on a mission”. Tell us that story!
To be honest, for a long time, I thought I would never have kids. Having kids is quite unsustainable after all. But my perspective shifted over time, and three years ago I became a very lucky mama to my little one. A very silly, very imaginative, proudly vegan kid. He loves tofu, baking green “dino muffins” made with oats and spinach, picking kale from our garden, and whipping up smoothies on the daily. My #1 mission as a mama is to help him grow up to be kind.
As I navigate parenthood, I try to do so as ethically and sustainably as possible (and practically), while also creating resources to help other busy parents make conscious choices. We have a Parenting & Vegan Kids category at World of Vegan where we share plant-based recipes and guides to vegan pregnancy, cloth diapering, children’s books, art supplies, and more.
It’s been really rewarding to see other new parents eager to step into kind parenting and helping inspire a more compassionate next generation.
How did you navigate sustainable living as your family grew?
Sustainability is at the forefront of my mind all the time as I parent because I am so acutely aware of how many resources a human being consumes in their lifetime. I’m far from perfect, and there are many times when I choose convenience over sustainability because parenting is hard. And sometimes I am too depleted to make the “best choice”. But I always try when I can.
A few choices I try to make to reduce my burden on our planet:
• Cloth diapering
• Eating plant-based food
• Choosing homemade snacks over plastic packaged snacks (this one is harder than you’d think)
• Shopping for secondhand clothing instead of buying new
• Prioritizing toys made from sustainable materials
Luckily, one of the biggest impacts we can make on the sustainability front is eating lower on the food chain, so by being vegan and eating plants instead of animals, we are also reducing that eco-toll.
Always opt for the better choice! | Photo by Michelle Cehn
It’s always a good time to empower people. | Photo by Michelle Cehn
You also run the Plant-Powered People podcast spotlighting stories about the challenges people have conquered transitioning to veganism. What’s your favorite episode?
I love to learn, which is my favorite part of hosting a podcast. I get to pick the brains of many of the smartest people I know who have dedicated their lives to their craft. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I learned the most from Episode 65 about Preventing & Reversing Diabetes with Cyrus Khambatta.
Tell us about your vegan cookbook collaboration with Plant Based on a Budget team! Are there specific reasons why you chose to feature budget-friendly recipes?
One of my best friends, Toni Okamoto, is the founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, and we’ve been working alongside each other for many years. Our missions to create a kinder world are aligned, and our skills complement each other perfectly. Her focus is helping people thrive on a tight budget, and my mission is to make kind living more accessible to all, which for many, involves learning how to eat well on a budget.
Together we’ve created wildly popular plant-based meal plans, host The Plant-Power People Podcast, released a mini-documentary, and published the Friendly Vegan Cookbook. I am so lucky to have a friend and companion in advocacy like Toni—she is really the best of the best.
Best friends turned podcast partners in creating a kinder world. | Photo by Michelle Cehn
Embrace all that is uniquely YOU. | Photo by Michelle Cehn
Which fashion items make you feel the most empowered and confident?
Wearing clothing that aligns with my heart as much as my aesthetic makes me feel whole. I really can feel a difference when I’m wearing something that I know was made consciously, sustainably, and in a human-friendly and animal-friendly way. The products we buy, and what we choose to wear, are a reflection of who we are, and aligning those outer layers with our inner core beliefs is an often overlooked form of self-respect and self-care.
Which upcoming projects ( personal or professional) are you most excited about?
I’m giddy with excitement to focus my energy on our recipes at World of Vegan this year. My attention has been split between many projects for a long time, but I’m on a mission to re-center myself this year. I hope to slow down and allow myself the time and creative space to bring some serious meal-time magic to life.
World of Vegan is quite unique in that all of the recipes we publish go past multiple lines of recipe testing before we consider publishing them. We want to make sure they’re really outstanding and that they will help readers fall in love with eating vegan.
I hope you’ll subscribe to our e-newsletter to be the first to see what’s coming next!