Hi, we’re Susan and Ryan, and we’re vegans!

We’re both engineers (met in college, actually).  We love science and learning.  We love all animals (komodo dragons, tomato hornworms, poodles, whatever).  We love listening to music:  Rodrigo y Gabriela, Queen, Ella Fitzgerald, the Black Keys, Rush, Billy Joel, Pink Martini, Lake Street Dive – new favorites added periodically.  We love classical ballet (mainly Susan, though Ryan appreciates it) and Star Trek (mainly Ryan, though Susan appreciates it).  We’re fans of the Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.  Ryan reads a lot of fiction (Dashiell Hammett and Gene Wolfe are his current favorite authors).  Susan reads a lot of books on cooking science (her copy of “On Food and Cooking: the Science and Lore of the Kitchen” by Harold McGee is literally disintegrating from use).  In a past life, Ryan used to do a lot of open track days in his beloved 2000 Subaru.  Susan can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes.  Plus, did we mention we’re vegans?

Choosing to become vegan is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made in our lives. EVER.

We stopped eating meat, poultry and seafood in 2005, then eventually eliminated dairy, eggs,  and honey a couple of years later. Our initial motivation was purely for animal compassion.  Gradually, we learned about other, also very good reasons people choose to become vegan, including health, environmental, social justice, and spiritual.  Basically, we could honestly find no rational reason to not be vegan.

We chose the name Big Tent Vegan for our blog, because we think we as vegans should be as welcoming as possible to everyone, no matter what point they are at in their journey. We feel that every gesture towards more conscious and compassionate living should be celebrated and encouraged, not judged. Our hope is that the support we express for every positive action will lead to another, then another… eventually leading others to make the connection and embrace being vegan just as we did.

Of course we love vegan businesses and support them whenever we can. But we also support non-vegan restaurants that offer good vegan options, just as we support non-vegan businesses who offer vegan shoes, cosmetics, and other goods. Basically, we support anything that makes it easier for people to choose cruelty-free vegan options instead of non-vegan ones.

So ethical vegans, healthy vegans, tree-hugging-vegans, whole-food-plant-based-vegans, part-time vegans, aspiring vegans and the veg-curious are all welcome. We look forward to engaging and learning with anyone who is sincerely interested. Please feel free to email us with comments or questions, especially topics you’d like us to cover in future posts:  susan@bigtentvegan.com or ryan@bigtentvegan.com  

Thanks for reading. Peace and love to all who live.

Susan and Ryan


P.S. Ryan here, just wanted to add one more thing -- Susan has won over 60 awards for her vegan cooking and baking, including three Best of Shows at the Orange County, CA Fair (2010, 2012, & 2015), plus ribbons at the National Pie Championships in Orlando, FL (2nd Place in 2011, 3rd Place in 2014, and 3rd Place in 2017. All of her wins were for vegan food entered directly against non-vegan food. 

A lot of people seem to think that vegan food is somehow bland or otherwise not as good as non-vegan.  By entering, and winning (!), these contests, Susan hopes to remove this obstacle for people trying vegan food (she's not a very competitive person by nature, and would not otherwise enter competitions like this). She hopes that when people hear that vegan food is winning awards against non-vegan, it will help them to make more compassionate choices in the food that they eat.