Q & A with Lateefah, founder/owner of The Veggie Connection who spends her time bi-coastally between Georgia and California
Annika: What is the The Veggie Connection and what inspired you to establish it?
Lateefah: The Veggie Connection is a network event where attendees are exposed to a host of vegetarian/vegan vendors, speakers, entertainment, and more. The Veggie Connection aims to not only create awareness regarding the plant based lifestyle, but to ensure that it is accessible, enjoyable and sustainable for all who are on this journey towards wellness and abundance.
I established The Veggie Connection to fill the space where these sorts of events are not occurring. I feel that people shouldn’t have to travel far just to experience an event of this nature that usually occurs in a major city. I also wanted to create an environment based on an intimate type setting. I like for attendees to be able to take their time to talk and interact with each vendor, speaker, entertainer, and not be overcrowded. At The Veggie Connection Events attendees can relax and enjoy themselves in an air condition facility or in a park setting with blankets and tents.
Annika: Where have some recent Veggie Connection events been held? Where are some upcoming events? The Veggie Connection is currently being hosted in Georgia and California. We will be adding Alabama and a few other cities in 2017.
Annika: Is your children’s school vegan friendly?
Lateefah: Yes my children’s school is vegan friendly, the meals are freshly prepared.
Annika: Is your children’s pediatrician vegan friendly and did they express any concerns with your child being vegan?
Lateefah: Yes our pediatrician is vegan friendly, and no they did not have any concerns with my children being vegan.
Annika: How did your family respond when you went vegan? Are there other vegans in your greater family and social circle?
Lateefah: They really didn’t say much, because I was in my 30s when I made the transition and they are a little veggie curious. They all haven’t made the transition yet but I am working on them!
Annika: How old are your children and are they vegan?
Lateefah: 6 and 15 months, yes they are.
Annika: What are some of their favorite foods?
Lateefah: Chili Lentils, Raw tacos, Hummus, Veggie Pot Pie, and Chickpeas and Quinoa.
Annika: How do you navigate situations like your children attending peer’s birthday parties where there may be predominantly non vegan food?
Lateefah: We travel with food, so we bring our own.
Annika: What are some of your favorite foods?
Lateefah: Raw Tacos, Breakfast Burrito, Zucchini Lasagna, Mac n Cashew Cheese with Baked Beans.
Annika: What are some of your favorite ingredients to cook with?
Lateefah: Cumin, White Pepper, vegan seasonings.
Annika: Favorite meals to make for your family?
Lateefah: Cashew Cheese Pasta Bake.
Annika: Favorite restaurants?
Lateefah: Lovin it Live in Georgia.
Annika: When did you become vegan & why?
Lateefah: In 2008, health reasons and I was becoming more and more aware of what I was eating. They day I decided to transition I started a 21 day detox and from there I made the transition.
This interview is part of an ongoing interview series by Annika Lundkvist with vegan mothers and fathers around the globe. For more interviews and information please visit this page: Interview Series: Vegan Pregnancy, Parenting & Kids.