After a brief reprise I'm excited to have another compassion files feature for you today. In today's post, Lauren Toyota shares what compassion means to her and why living compassionately is important.
A few months ago I watched a video with Lauren where she spoke about her reasons for becoming vegan and shared a recent experience at a Toronto Pig Save vigil. I was really inspired by Lauren's message in the video and I hope that you enjoy today's interview.
We are also excited to announce that Lauren and her boyfriend John Diemer of hot for food blog will be speaking at VegFest!
About Lauren Toyota
Lauren Toyota has been a television host in Canada since 2005. She’s a music know-it-all and an entertainment junkie whose job has allowed her to travel the world and interview people like Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Will Ferrell. More recently you may have seen her on MTV’s weekly live show ‘After Degrassi’ where she and some super fans analyze all the drama from Canada’s hit series Degrassi. While her career in television certainly provides enough excitement and stimulation, Lauren likes to spend all her free time in the kitchen cooking! Her life and her hobby cooking transformed in 2010 when she decided to adopt a vegan diet. Lauren found her best motivation to sticking with this new lifestyle was to write about it. She started her blog hot for food at the same time as making the diet change, posting her experiments and adventures in the kitchen. This year the blog has become a bigger part of her life as she now shares kitchen duties and a love for animals and vegan food with her boyfriend John Diemer.
What does compassion mean to you?
Compassion means caring and once you start caring about your physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being you start to see how everything is connected and you realize the profound effect you have on everything around you.
What motivates you to make compassionate choices in your daily life?
I am motivated to make compassionate choices because I want to remain and sustain health in all ways - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We’re all trying to be the best we can be and I think that it starts with self-love and compassion for other beings (people & animals) as well as for the planet.
Why is living a compassionate life important to you?
It just makes you a more balanced and grounded person. It opens up doors and opportunities you thought couldn’t exist and it’s a contagious way to live. Other people will see your light and they’ll want to live that way too.
Can you share some examples of how you choose to be compassionate throughout your day?
The way I eat is the biggest thing. Being vegan is the thing that makes that full circle connection. You do it and you instantly notice big changes in your life physically, spiritually and emotionally. I’m also into making ethical consumer choices. What we buy and spend money on is how we have a voice. If you buy ethical, organic, non-gmo etc. you’re sending a direct message through the system. It’s also living every day trying to understand and see the other side, especially in people and their choices and behaviors. Just noticing other people instead of only caring about you is an act of compassion.
What are some tips you can provide to people looking to practice compassion towards themselves, other people, the planet and animals?
The biggest thing is to not be ignorant. I’ve always wanted to be informed about everything. I’m not just saying this because I’m vegan. The more informed you become the more compassionate you become. It’s automatic.
Connect with Lauren:
Thank you Lauren for sharing! We're grateful to have you part of our compassion files. If you haven't checked out the hot for food blog yet, you'll want to head over to see all of the amazing vegan recipes Lauren and John share.
Now it's your turn, what tips would you offer to people looking to practice compassion towards themselves, other people, the planet and animals?