Hi I’m Libby! As a South Bend native born and raised, I had a typical upbringing involving family,friends, and of course food. As a kid, my favorite animal was a pig, and I always used to sketch little cartoon pigs sitting in hot skillets with the caption that read “I smell bacon” yet I NEVER made the connection. At such a young age we are taught that it’s just a normal way of life to consume dead animal flesh and secretions because of “tradition.” And it wasn’t until my adult life when I discovered that it’s just all unnecessary suffering for the sake of pleasure on the Palate. Some people go vegan for health reasons, and some for environmental reasons. However, in 2017 I became vegan for the animals. The documentary “Earthlings” made me give up meat, dairy, and eggs literally overnight. I could not even finish the film, and to this day have yet to watch the whole thing. This documentary was a complete eye opener and mindset shifter. How had I been such an animal lover my whole life yet I continued to eat them? At that moment, I realized I was not living life within my own moral compass and made the switch immediately. A couple months later, I eliminated all seafood and have never looked back. The first couple years were tough, as I wanted to spread my new found knowledge to my family and friends and shout from the rooftops that food can be just as exciting and satisfying without unnecessarily killing animals! I faced rejection, ridicule, resistance, and even got made fun of. I couldn’t walk through the grocery store by the meat isles without having panic attacks. I just couldn’t understand how society as a whole has been so brainwashed to believe that consuming animals is necessary for surviving. I never wanted to be a “preachy vegan” so over time, instead of trying to talk to people about veganism and being faced with resistance, I decided to SHOW people through my own cooking that going vegan doesn’t mean food has to be gross or boring!
For the last two years, I have developed my vegan cooking techniques, methods, and all things vegan food related. Also, as an active member of the service industry for over 20 years in the Michiana area, food and hospitality has been my life and I wanted to become an advocate for the availability of more vegan food options in local restaurants, pubs, hotels, and other establishments. This goal drove me to become a trained Vegan Hospitality(™) Consultant and I have since founded Harvest Hospitality Vegan Consulting, where I can now help local businesses and individuals with vegan recipe development, menu evaluation, service and staff training, product recommendations, meal planning, supermarket tours, and so much more. I am proud that my vegan journey has influenced several people in my life and their desire to cut way back on consuming animal products, or eliminate them all together. Family members and close friends have seen my growth mentally, physically, and professionally, and more and more people continuously ask me questions about veganism and its benefits. Leading the vegan movement by showing rather than telling is what keeps me going and one day I hope we will live in a completely cruelty-free world!