A light and funny side of vegan lifestyle is about to get to thousands of people with Vegan 101 aired at Comedy Central!
“- His name is Dave… Dave Butcher.
– His name is Butcher? Michelle you know that I’m vegan and I’m very specific about who I can go out with!”
(Vegan 101 – Season 1 Episode 1: Dating a Vegan)
Sometimes it takes time to you to get to know about vegan people and projects. In the last two decades specially the number of initiatives spreading veganism has grown a lot and it’s hard to keep up to date with every thing. Also, even with the internet we are just not able to know and hear about every single vegan project or person.
I’m glad I’ve heard about Joanne Rose a few months ago. She is an actress, writer and producer and has decided to create and run Los Angeles based Vegan Vision Productions. Born in 2008, the company’s first project was multi-award winning US sketch comedy series, Vegan 101, launched in 2009 and ran for 3 seasons. The series was a big success and had Eric Roberts as guest-starred on season 2.
Five years after Vegan 101, Rose is back with a new sitcom, Sex and the Single Vegan. She’s always celebrating 20 years as vegan and took some time to speak with All About Vegan Food about her personal and professional life.
Before we start talking about Vegan Vision Productions, tell our readers a little bit about the person Joanne Rose.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and am an US permanent resident. I am known for my multi-award winning US sketch comedy show, Vegan 101. Besides Vegan Vision Productions, I love to nourish my soul by reading inspiring books and autobiographies, work out, meditate, catch up with friends and family. Balance is so important.
You are celebrating your 20th “veganniversary” this year. Congratulations for doing so much for the animals! What has inspired you to become vegan?
I was always a huge animal lover and I learnt a lot about the vegan lifestyle through interviews with actor, River Phoenix who was a great inspiration to me. I chose to become a vegan in 1994.
How and when the idea of Vegan Vision Productions came to you?
While awaiting my break as an actor in Los Angeles, I decided to write, act and produce my own comedy projects. The book Success Principles by Jack Canfield changed my life. After doing Your Life Purpose Exercise I was able to connect the dots. As a vegan, I was always inspiring people around me and making others laugh with my wacky sense of humor so I combined the two. I formed my own production company, named it Vegan Vision Productions and started creating my own work.
Your first project for Vegan Vision Productions was the multi-award winning comedy series Vegan 101. What were the most challenging aspects of the series and the most compensating?
I self-funded all episodes of the entire series so that was the most challenging aspect. The most compensating was when Comedy Central picked up the series this year.
I’ve read you are working in a new project, “Sex and Single Vegan”. What can we can expect from it?
Sex and the Single Vegan is a half-hour sitcom about a single vegan woman blogs about the misadventures of her dating life until one day her blog goes viral. Now she has to deal with the consequences including the man she’s fallen for.
Your newest project also made me think about an article published at the Telegraph.uk stating that vegans can’t be sexy. I personally don’t care about how vegans look, but how do you feel about these type of misinformed and judgmental articles?
I am surprised and ashamed to learn that such articles exist. However, the media are notorious for causing controversy which such ridiculous stories that don’t have an ounce of truth to them. To me vegans project an inner and outer beauty because of the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based and compassionate lifestyle.
What has changed in your life personally and professionally from Vegan 101 until Sex and Single Vegan?
Discovering who I am as an artist with clarity and embracing that. I have grown so much as a human being from following my heart. Professionally, it has moved me in to writing for TV and now Feature Film and my production company has grown as a result of my new projects.
We feel like we must talk about vegan food, so what are your favorite meals and places to eat? Top 5 maybe?
I love Macrobiotic and raw vegan food. My favorite vegan places to eat at are:
1. Real Food Daily, Los Angeles
2. Cafe Gratitude, Los Angeles
3. Au Lac, Orange County, California
4. Rawvolution, Santa Monica, California
5. Vegan Glory, Los Angeles
And one last question, you’ve moved from Australia to LA a long time ago. Do you visit Australia often? Would you be able to compare Melbourne with LA in terms of how vegan-friendly they are?
I visit Australia annually. I currently in Melbourne on vacation right now. To me, Los Angeles is the best vegan-friendly city with so many delicious healthy options and endless variety. The LA vegan scene caters to everyones special needs. I am also gluten intolerant. My favorite vegan restaurant in Melbourne would be The Vegie Bar.