Barbi Lazarus works as the Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator for the Toronto Vegetarian Association. A longtime vegan, she has an enthusiastic passion for food and spends much of her days daydreaming about her next meal or dessert. Getting to work at a non-profit organization for a cause that means the world to her is a dream come true, but her life isn’t all about animals and delicious plant-based meals. Barbi has a fascination with cacti and deserts, and loves crafts, hiking and watching the Home and Garden network.
1. What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? Why?
Date squares. I have an enormous sweet tooth and man that thing is sweet! I love the sweetness and the soft, gooey filling. I also have a huge appetite and find it very filling and satisfying.
2. Do you follow any special diets?
Just veganism! I prefer to focus on making sure to incorporate lots of healthy and delicious foods, rather than focusing on foods to avoid.
3. What do you love most about working at TVA?
Meeting and working with so many amazing and inspiring people. Since working here, my network of like-minded individuals has grown exponentially, sometimes I feel like I live in a little vegetarian bubble and I now find it so weird that people actually eat meat because I’m so used to being around people who don’t! It’s so amazing to be able to meet so many people dedicated to such an important cause, and it keeps me inspired, motivated and positive knowing that there are so many good people out there contributing. Of course being the first to hear about new vegetarian or vegan places opening up and little perks like free samples from time to time is also a major bonus!
4. What is your favourite trade shows?
Can I say the Annual Vegetarian Food Festival? It really is true!
5. Do you feel that Toronto is a leading city for vegan and vegetarian living?
Definitely. I constantly have a growing list of new restaurants I still need to try, as well as old favourites I don’t visit enough. If that’s coming from someone whose been living as a vegan in the GTA for over 14 years, I can’t imagine how difficulty it must be for people travelling and visiting Toronto!
6. If you had to choose your last meal on earth, what would it be?
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
I insist on using straws to drink my smoothies, even though I know it’s wasteful. When it comes to food, I indulge quite a bit in all things sweet and decadent but I don’t consider that a guilty pleasure. There’s no guilt to be had when I know the food is cruelty-free!