Rarely do I post anything personal on my channel. Bite Size Vegan isn’t about me – it’s about providing effective education to the best of my ability. That said, by popular demand – it’s time to get up close and personal.
I don’t usually get personal on my channel. But when I do… it’s incredibly awkward…for all of us…[for the full dose of glorious, glorious awkwardness, you hafta see the opener of the video above…]
Bite Size Vegan has never been about me. It’s about providing fact-backed, rigorously-researched yet easily-accessible information on veganism delivered in digestible digital doses.
Of course condensing complex topics and hundreds of hours of research into—what I at least hope are—entertaining and engaging videos is quite the undertaking. And as Bite Size Vegan has grown, it’s outgrown my own limitations.
So I had to learn (and am still learning) to ask for help. This video is a reward for some of the incredibly generous help I received in a recent 1:1 match fundraiser.
We did meet the goal (which is mind-blowing) and the requested reward—by popular demand—was a “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me” video. [tweet this]
While I personally don’t find myself particularly interesting, especially given all the educational topics in need of expounding, it’s time to deliver the goods.
Though I may still sneak in a wee nugget of education here and there in this video…just can’t help myself.
Just kidding. Not about being vegan but…moving on.
My father was a pathologist and I spent many hours as a kid opening buckets and holding organs and checking out the bodies in the freezer. So while the smell of formaldehyde may make you nauseated, it makes me nostalgic. Some people think this is weird, but I always thought—and still think—it’s weird that they keep corpses in their home freezer. And eat them. So who’s weird now? [It’s still me.]
I didn’t understand what a hashtag was until maybe 7 months or more into Bite Size Vegan. I initially made a Twitter account for Bite Size Vegan and was so confused and overwhelmed by it that I closed it after 2 hours and didn’t make another for I think about a year. I’d never even watched much YouTube when I started my own channel.
Yep. That one kinda sucks. Though my father did start looking into a form of raw veganism towards the end of his year-long fight with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer. But! I do get to have the honor of receiving messages from so many families around the world who HAVE gone vegan because of my videos. Which is incredible! Just…not….my family.
My best friend and I were the first and only girls on the boys’ wrestling team, as there was no girls’ team. I won my very first match and pinned my opponent at his school’s homecoming event. And did so as a “weak, protein-deficient vegan.”
As I had no—and still have no—business/marketing savvy to make full-time activism work, I figured I’d become a doctor and thus be able to fund my activism and art. Of course I realized that I’d be in school for ten plus years and not have the time to speak out effectively during that decade, which seemed like a waste. So in a very uncharacteristic move, I threw myself full force into building Bite Size Vegan without any idea how I’d make it work and was incredibly terrified the entire time. Including now. It’s still happening.
I have one biological sister. But over the time of my childhood and adolescence I had over 30 foster brothers and sisters. They were either waiting for adoptive homes or for their parents to complete court-ordered treatment or parenting lessons. But they were family.
Technology terrifies me. And if there’s any way for it to malfunction, it will do so in my presence. It wasn’t until over a year of doing Bite Size Vegan that I finally gave in and got a smart phone. And I’m still using iMovie to edit my videos.
My father’s side is…hillbilly. Most likely originating from Ireland and England. But he grew up on a farm in central Florida where you talk about goin’ swimmin’ in the crick down yonder over the heel.
My mother is Cajun from outside New Orleans, Louisiana. A fiery mix of French and Cherokee Indian, she grew up on the bayou, poor as dirt but incredibly hard-working just like her father.
If I get around my family my Southern starts to show. And even though I don’t speak with an accent in day to day life, I do say “y’all” and “fixin” quite often. As in: “hey y’all, I’m fixin to film a video about my personal life. It’s probly gonna be pretty boring.” [check out the video for the joy of my pronunciation.]
I get message all the time from people saying they hope to one day have my level of composure or be as well spoken. Well here’s the truth. I’m still uncertain most of the time. I’m still afraid of not being effective or saying the wrong thing. I still freeze up and I still explode sometimes.
And most of the time I fake it till I make it (which has yet to happen).
But as I’ve said many times before, activism does not require perfection. In fact, being imperfect is a powerful part of being relatable. I don’t have to tell you how the stereotype of the “high and mighty vegan who’s always right” hasn’t done any favors to the movement.
If you’re not vegan, I’d encourage you to dig into the resources, the citations, the backing of my videos [see examples listed below or search here] and the wealth of documentaries and information online. You can’t make a grounded, informed decision if you don’t have all the facts.
Look beyond personalities to the actual realities. [I didn’t mean for that to rhyme.]
To my vegans, just get out there, flaws and all and join me in the imperfect army of vegan activism. Let’s raise our voices, whether they be tenuous and trembling, or overcompensatingly overbearing, and do the very best we can. You can’t learn from your mistakes if you never try.
If you take anything from this overly-personal fluff of a video, let it be that if I can somehow reach people around the world with the vegan message, even with my total lack of tech skills and social media savvy, and utter interpersonal interaction incompetence, anyone can! [tweet this]
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who donated, to my Nugget Army family on Patreon who make every video possible and provide such valuable input when I most need it, and to all of you who watch, like, subscribe, and share the videos.
I can only do so much as one person to get them out there. And to the entire team of incredible volunteer translators diligently adding captions, titles and descriptions to my videos to reach a global audience with free education.
I can never thank you enough. But I’ll keep trying by doing my best to provide the most effective educational content I can.
If you made it this far into the video and especially if this is the first video post of mine you’ve seen, or even if it’s not, please do see the videos linked below for some actual education that has nothing to do with my personal life.[They’re far more edifying.]
I do hope you enjoyed this bite size look into my world. If you do like seeing the more informal and personal side of the bite size vegan behind Bite Size Vegan (that’s me), do join us on Patreon in the Nugget Army where I have no filter whatsoever! And usually some of the most atrocious lighting and hairstyles you can imagine.
Now go live vegan, thank you for everything, and I’ll see you soon…
— Emily Moran Barwick