I met Liz the fall of my sophomore year here at Dickinson College, when she was just starting out as a freshman. I was (and am) always looking out for fellow vegans, and Liz not only chooses to leave animals off her plate, she’s an all-around sustainability super star and world traveler with a passion for doing good. Keep reading for her easy veggie and lentil curry and to see her hanging with wild gorillas!
Name: Liz Bodenman
VegHead Status: Vegan
Hometown: Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Current Location: Bremen, Germany
Occupation: Student of International Studies & German with a concentration in Sustainability
Companion Animal(s): Dog named Frodo Baggins, cat named Ginger
Favorite Plant-Based Milk: Fortified Soymilk
Favorite VegHead-Friendly Cafes and/or Restaurants: Eden- A Vegan Café in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Favorite Foods: Baked Sweet Potato with black beans, lime, and guacamole; cooked spinach with marinated chickpeas and mushrooms; Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Truffle Vegan Ice Cream
Favorite Place You’ve Visited and Why: Haiti: it’s beautiful, the people are lovely, and it’s very underrated.
Favorite Veg Influencer/Celebrity: Natalie Portman
Favorite Veg Cosmetics/Body Care Brand or Company: Catrice (in Europe)
Fav Veg-Related/Environmental/Social Justice Books: Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, Richard Oppenlander’s Comfortably Unaware
Fav Veg-Related/Environment/Social Justice Movies: Cowspiracy
When did you go vegan and why? Tell us your story!
I went full vegan when I was a senior in high school after two months of being vegetarian. It’s been three years of bliss! When I first went vegan it was in an attempt to help heal my eating disorder, but as I went deeper into it, I learned about the animal and environmental welfare the lifestyle provides. Now I would say I’m an ethical vegan through and through. I absolutely love the vegan lifestyle, and couldn’t imagine ever going back to contributing to animal cruelty and environmental degradation.
Tell us about your travels!
So far in my life I’ve been to Canada (I know, so exotic), the Bahamas, Haiti, Morocco, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, France, Czech Republic, Poland, and Uganda. Then last summer I did an internship in Rwanda for two months, and this year I’m studying in Germany for eleven months. While I’m in Europe I plan on hitting up as many countries as possible. Right now I’m at 15, so if I could get to 30 before I go back to the states, that would be great! I really want to see Eastern Europe, since it’s inexpensive and relatively unexplored by tourists while continuing post-Soviet recovery.
Do you have a favorite veg recipe you want to share with us?
My go-to recipe is lentil and vegetable curry, because it’s easy, cheap, healthy and tasty. I wing it each time and use whatever ingredients I can find in my kitchen. The recipe normally goes like this: cook lentils and brown onions/garlic separately whilst cooking whatever veggies you have/want in some water, curry paste, and whatever spices you want. Then add the lentils, onions, and garlic, and let simmer. It should all meld together into a gooey, yummy stew-like consistency. Serve with whole wheat rice or tortillas (with soy yogurt on top as a special treat), and you’ve got yourself a good meal!
What are your future plans?
After I graduate in 2020, I plan on joining the Peace Corps to take a break between degrees. My dream would be to be stationed in either Thailand or Malawi, but I’ll be happy wherever I’m sent. Then I would return to school for a master’s in foreign service, preferably at Georgetown. I’ve always wanted to pursue to doctorate, so I will most likely attempt to attain that after my masters. Once I’m finished with my studies, the goal is to work abroad for an NGO that focuses on women’s and environmental rights. I really want to travel to at least one new country every year if I could (though I might not be able to achieve that goal till I’m more stable in my studies/career).
Follow Liz Here:
Facebook: Liz Bodenman
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Bodenman