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The Power of a Vegan Community, by Lita Dwight, VLCE

Nearly eight months ago I embarked on a journey with 12 other individuals determined to change the lives of animals by becoming vegan lifestyle coaches and educators (VLCE) through Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy. Little did I know at the time, the power this group would have to exponentially impact my singular efforts to positively impact the lives of countless animals.

In 2014, I decided to start a corporate wellness practice rooted in a desire to help people make better nutritional choices. In that pursuit, it was an otherwise benign documentary about the experience of three individuals experimenting with a vegan diet called Vegucated that brought me to veganism. But it wasn’t the improvement in the participants’ vital signs, the joy they experienced losing weight, or even the fact that they were able to get off of their diabetes medications that moved me most it was the experience of a tiny nameless piglet being “processed” to enter the food industry under miserable conditions foreclosing the possibility of his (or her) ever experiencing what it truly would be like to live the life of a pig. It was at that moment that I internalized all of her pain and the pain of the millions of animals who experience a similar fate. And on that day, after watching Vegucated, I became a vegan.

Shortly after that epiphany, I decided to form a company that would help those transitioning from animal-based foods to a vegan diet by offering non-dairy equivalents of popular dairy foods such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. I had heard that dairy and, in particular, cheese, was one of the common obstacles for non-vegans who wish to make the switch. And so Bryt Life Foods was born, but given that I had no background whatsoever in the food industry, I knew I would need help.

With the intention of learning from others in the vegan community who were expressing veganism in their own unique ways, I signed up for MSVA and this decision would alter my vegan path forever.

I ask you: what are the chances that simultaneously with my decision to offer vegan non-dairy foods, a fellow MSVA grad was on the verge of opening a vegan cheese shop, Riverdel, that would carry the products I was developing?! I formed Bryt Life Foods on September 23rd and two months later, Riverdel opened its doors. The support from the MSVA community has been overwhelming.

Lita Dwight

Victoria Moran often talks about “vegan miracles” and finding the MSVA community was mine. I have never been a part of a group of people with such an enormous capacity for compassion, love, understanding and support. One person, one singular act with the support of this special community can transform the world. As the proverb goes, individually we are one drop, together an ocean. If you want to be a part of a group that has the power to change the world, join now!

Lita Dwight 2Lita Dwight is a vegan lifestyle coach and educator who started her own vegan yogurt and cheese company in September 2015. Bryt life foods makes creamy, delicious non-dairy yogurts in 5 flavors: plain, vanilla, tart cherry, maple fig and matcha and soon blueberry lemon and strawberry lime. Bryt Life also offers a delicious line of non-dairy cheeses, including bleu cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and smoked provolone. Currently, you can find Bryt Life foods products at Riverdel in Brooklyn, NY, and soon in your local stores. You can contact Lita at lita@brytlifefoods.com,  follow her on Twitter @brytlifefoods, click here to follow on Facebook, or check her out on Instagram at #brytlifefoods.