Julia is a member of my graduating class at Dickinson College, and I got to know her through mutual friends when I lived in the Treehouse. Whenever I’m around her, she exudes a genuine and calm but also energetic and cheery aura. I think Julia makes the world a better place just by being herself. In this VegHead Profile, she shares the reasons she’s been eating more plants, her goals for traveling, and what she hopes comes next after graduation
Name: Julia Ormond
VegHead Status: Vegan-ish
Hometown: Oakland, California, USA
Current Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
Occupation: Student at Dickinson College, WDCV-FM Station Manager, Whistlestop Bookshop employee
Companion Animals: Java, a chocolate Labrador puppy who is almost 1 year old and is very much a wild animal toddler.
Favorite Plant-Based Milk: Soy or Cashew milk
Favorite VegHead-Friendly Cafes and/or Restaurants: Glow in Ketchum, Idaho (the best, best, best food I’ve ever eaten oh my lord); Souly Vegan in Oakland, CA (soul food, but vegan! Delicious and homemade)
Favorite Foods: vegan desserts!!! Also oatmeal/granola breakfast bowls with all the healthy goodies
Favorite Place You’ve Visited and Why: Tie between Amsterdam and Berlin! Because they’re full of history, young, and very open-minded.
Favorite Veg Person of Interest: any super fit weight lifter who is vegan (I’m thinking super masculine men on Instagram who are ripped and super hot and support vegan and sustainable eating—I don’t have any names in mind, more so just the breaking of stereotypes regarding gym life and veganism)
Favorite Veg Cosmetics/Body Care Brand or Company: LUSH
Fav Veg-Related/Environmental/Social Justice Books: I’ve been reading a lot of articles/parts of books for my thesis this year about Indigenous food ways and land-based practices.
Fav Veg-Related/Environment/Social Justice Movies: I recently watched What the Health on Netflix, and I think it sheds light on a lot of the health issues regarding meat production in America; so not only what meat does to you when you consume it, but also the environmental effects on specific communities and the world as a whole.
When did you go vegan and why? What, if any, are the difficulties you have encountered? Tell us your story:
I went vegetarian in 7th grade after watching the movie Food Inc. I already didn’t eat that much meat, but that movie confirmed it for me. When I graduated high school I decided to stop being vegetarian because I thought a dietary choice like that would be hard in a new place where I wouldn’t be able to make much of my own food, but it turns out Dickinson was the perfect place for a continued vegetarian diet! Only this past summer, when I returned from abroad in Bologna, Italy, did I decide to finally try veganism.
It’s been pretty hard because I’m extremely busy and veganism is a time commitment, but once again Dickinson has surprised me in that I have found it easy to continue veganism in the Caf if I put a little extra effort in! Time has been difficult for me; it’s hard to put so much time into preparing food when there is so much else going on. Also, I’ve had some push back from certain family members, but have also found great support in other family members!
Where did your environmental ethic come from? What experience or individual inspired you or opened your eyes to the importance of sustainability?
I am from the Bay Area, which is a very environmentally friendly part of California, or at least we say we are. I remember in elementary school when composting was first introduced to our municipal waste system, as in we could put our compost bin right next to our recycling and trash on the side of the road, and the city would properly dispose of it. Not a lot of cities have that, and it opened my eyes to how much food we waste, and how EASY it is to reduce your overall waste. In this sense, I first attempted to embody sustainability in everyday life. Once I came to Dickinson, I learned a lot more about the social justice aspect of sustainability, and my many classes in the American Studies department solidified that in my mind.
Is there a particular environmental or social justice issue you have a special interest in? Tell us about the issue and why you became passionate about it.
I think what frustrates me the most and what is talked about the least in the environmental movement is the effects of factory farming, or really any environmental disaster, on low income communities. Black and brown citizens are disproportionately affected by our food ways and the innumerable ways in which we degrade the environment around us. In my experiences, I have rarely heard someone say they refuse to eat dairy/meat because of how factory farming affects communities of color and low-income communities. So that is what I try to talk to people about when the discussion of veganism/vegetarianism as a diet/fad/personal health issue comes up.
Tell us about your travels:
Last Spring I studied abroad in Bologna, Italy, and absolutely fell in love with Italy. I also visited Germany (which I loved), and my other favorites include Switzerland, Amsterdam, and the Czech Republic. I loved traveling around Europe, and definitely want to do that again. But a current travel goal of mine is to roadtrip across the United States and visit as many national parks as possible!
Do you have a favorite veg recipe you want to share with us? Or DIY instructions for a self-care product or eco-friendly tool?
My favorite vegan dishes to make are different variations of curries, because it is so easy, yummy, filling, and healthy! You can throw in any veggies you like, and switch up the grain base. Other favorites would be vegan desserts, all of which could please me, especially if they include chocolate.
As for tools, last year I made myself my own beeswax fabric that can be used like plastic or Tupperware, and it is so helpful! It reduces waste, can be washed and reused, and smells great!
What are your future plans?
I am currently the Station Manager of WDCV-FM and hope to stick with the public radio sphere for a little while longer. A long-shot goal of mine is to work for NPR within their Music department. I am still figuring out what my plans are for the future, whether I have the ability to take time off or find a job right away, and where I will live. But I know for sure I want to spend more time with my family, move to a new city near some of my friends, and find a job I believe is helpful for this country and the world.
Follow Julia Here:
Facebook: Julia Ormond
LinkedIn: Julia Ormond