• The Authentic Vegan

    Posted on June 18, 2012 by in COMMUNITY


    What a thrill & an honor it is to share my growing commitment to the welfare of animals, our environment and my health by going vegan. I can certainly promise honesty in blog posts as I tend to be very transparent, authentic and love to share why I have chosen to lead a life with great purpose.

    As for why I went vegan, I have always had this overwhelming compassion for animals….particularly those poor souls on factory farms, who suffer at the hands of human beings.  Several years ago, I had watched a graphic documentary of pigs & cows being abused – for hours – at the hands of their own caretakers. I then watched them being led to slaughter all the while being kicked in the face, punched & prodded. These animals were terrified their entire lives and then died a violent death.  I recall bawling. I recall continuing to eat these innocent creatures. I detached from the reality of what I saw and made excuses that animals are treated much more humanely now. I was living an inauthentic life because, like many of Americans, I said I loved animals yet I ate them.

    It wasn’t until 2010, when I fell ill to a rare neurological health condition that I began to explore various diets in an attempt to restore my vitality & quality of life. Soon after, I read The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone. I also watched another documentary – one that would change my course- Earthlings.  After watching Earthlings, a documentary of the brutality factory farm animals live through daily, I never looked back.  

    I have always wanted to be a part of something much bigger than myself. I wanted to be ‘Authentic’. I wanted to make a difference however, given the fact that I was bedridden a large portion of every single day, I thought I missed those grand opportunities. I tried to make a difference anyway and authentic intention followed by action creates ‘change’. I decided to create a Vegan meetup group in Chicago & soon after creating the online profile, the members were increasing daily. I spoke with a young lady who agreed to be my Event Planner at no cost. She organizes & attends my events at restaurants, cooking classes, grocery stores, etc. She steps in when I am unable to due to the unpredictability of my health.  Thus, one of the largest Vegan meetup groups in the city of Chicago was born. I have met wonderful new friends and we are all stumbling together as we attempt to be ‘healthy vegans’.

    Because of the enthusiasm of those in my group & the growing momentum of my own pursuit of health, I decided to expand further into creating Eco-Minded Chicago. It is a Chicago based community of people who are eco-conscious. I love this endeavor and I am so intrigued & motivated by all of the people in my wonderful city who want to make a difference along side of me.

    Finally, I am in the very early phases of writing my 2nd Children’s book which will focus on veganism equating to kindness to animals.  

    I do this all from my bed the majority of the time. My point in sharing this ‘tid bit’ of information is that every single one of us are capable of making a powerful impact in this world.  Every single one of us are capable of creating change not only  for ourselves but our environment and our precious animals whose lives we are to protect.  They rely on us to be their voice, their protection, their heros.

    I cannot say that I am the healthiest vegan but I can say that I am committed to animal welfare, learning how to change my diet to aid in healing and finally, committed to helping others who want to do the same. Through all of the changes I have made and all of the animals lives who I am personally saving, I have become the Authentic young lady I have always aspired to be.


    Kelly Lynn O’Brien‘s goals are vast in that she wishes to inspire those that suffer from chronic health conditions, to dig deep and realize that 100 percent restoration of health is possible. Kelly Lynn is a Writer for MindBodyGreen.com, Natural Health Magazine, Blogger at Girl Gone Veg and aspiring Children’s book(s) author. She has orchestrated one of the largest Vegan Meetup groups in the city of Chicago & recently created Eco-Minded Chicago, a Chicago based community focused on eco-conscious living. Kelly has a BA in Communications & Marketing from Indiana Northwest University & currently resides in Chicago, IL. with her dog, Marley.