Meet Matthew

Me and My Mom!

Hey everyone! I'm Matthew, the creator of Vegan Heartland! I've been a Vegetarian since 2002 and a Vegan since 2005.  The idea of this blog came to me one day when I was cooking. I had plated the dish and sat down to eat it and thought "This is seriously pretty enough to take a picture". I didn't want to be a crazy person and just take a picture of it. I needed a reason to! So the idea of Vegan Heartland came to be.

I come from an amazing family here in the heartland of America. Minnesota and Wisconsin has been my home since the day I was born. To honor my home, my heritage, and my family's recipes has become the ultimate goal for me in sharing my food with you all!

How and Why I Became Vegetarian/Vegan

I actually remember the exact moment I became a vegetarian and vegan. When I was 15, I was already a pretty hardcore animal rights activist. I had the stickers all over my school planner, I would put stickers on products in stores (I don't condone vandalism anymore, kids!), I protested at various places, I wore T-Shirts with catchy sayings on them, I even gave up wearing leather. I had all the answers in place if someone came up to me with any questions concerning animal rights. In my school's speech class, we had to do a persuasive speech, taking a stand on a social issue. I of course chose animal rights. We were limited to 10 minutes, but I had so much I needed to get out about my cause that I ended up speaking for 15 minutes. At the end, my classmates were allowed to ask me questions. One girl raised her hand and asked me if I was a vegetarian. I had thought about it before obviously and had tried numerous times, but was never able to do it. A few days later, full of thinking and soul searching, I was riding in the car with my mom and sister. We were talking about the new veggie burger at Burger King for some reason and I decided that I was going to stop eating meat. My mom and sister decided to do it with me too, which was such a big help. Although my sister lasted about a week, my mom stuck with me for almost a year!

I had always wanted to go Vegan as well. I started the process when I became a vegetarian. I stopped eating honey, stopped drinking milk, occasionally bought vegan ice cream and yogurt, and stopped eating eggs. There was just one thing standing in my way. Cheese. Ooey Gooey Yummy Cheese. I was 18 in the summer of 2005 and was still living at home. I always said "Once I move out, I'll become Vegan!". But one day, I thought to myself "Why wait?" so I declared that day I would stop eating animal products all together. And of course, my brother decided to order cheese pizza that day. Rude, right?

My Quest for Health

So once I finally decided to become Vegan I discovered how much healthier it really is for you! I know there are those who do absolutely no research before they make the decision and end up eating way too many processed foods. It's a slippery slope, but I think most Vegans end up discovering things they never would have tried if they continued eating meat and dairy. Veganism has opened me up to a whole array of fruits and vegetables that I had never heard of! My one pitfall is sugar. You'll probably see a post every now and then about me giving up refined sugar. I try, I really do.  It's just so delicious! I see the key now is everything in moderation. A cookie or a slice of cake every now and then isn't going to hurt anyone!

My Recipes

Some recipes are ones that I've created, some are favorites that I've collected over the years, but a lot of them are taken straight from my family cookbook! My grandma is an amazing cook! Sadly, I'm not able to eat 99% of things she makes anymore, but she has given me all access to her family recipes! My mom and I recently went through her family's recipes too. I plan to make all of them deliciously Vegan!

Two of my favorite humans in the whole world! My sister and Grandma! It's too bad this picture is black and white. Otherwise you would be able to see where my sister and I get our red hair from! In my family, red hair usually skips a generation, so my sister and I got ours from my Grandma!

Why Am I Vegan?

My baby girl, Keeva

I just can't justify eating some animals, but not others. Everyone deserves the right to live in peace and with a life filled with love.