Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer had known each other for a while. One day in the early nineties, they realized what good friends they had become, and they became roommates for four years.
Tanya grew up in a meat-eating family. "We ate meat three times a day," she recalls. "For the longest time I never really connected the idea that pork comes from pigs, beef from cows, chicken from . . . chickens." After high school she moved into an apartment with a friend who was vegetarian, and that influence – along with the fact that she couldn't afford to buy meat regularly – were her initiation.
While Tanya dabbled with veganism before going it full time, she can't pinpoint a moment that the transition occurred. "It's a process," she insists. "You don't become vegan overnight."
With a traveller's soul, Tanya has spent time in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. "Japan was my favourite." Her brow creases. "I spent lots of time alone and visited every Buddhist temple I could find." After nearly a year in Japan, Tanya returned to Vancouver in 1998 to go back to school. She hopes to one day work in the field of environmental protection technology.
Sarah and Tanya realize that, with How It All Vegan! they have become unwitting spokespeople for veganism, but they won't preach. "As I get older," Sarah sighs, "I find the living my life and teaching by example is a much more effective way of promoting a vegan lifestyle." She pauses. "Plus, I get tired of arguing."