Community Voices: Bryan Barnes
November was World Vegan Month and I want to thank a few of my buddies, Leon, Jon, Colleen and Coralie for sharing their stories.
1. Where are you from?
I've been around the Baltimore area for most of my life. I grew up in Reisterstown, went to the University of Maryland and now I live in Charles Village.
2. How long have you been a vegan and what inspired you to embrace veganism?
I went vegan in September of 2005 and was a vegetarian for 7 years before that. What inspired me to make the leap from vegetarian to vegan was learning more about the dairy industry. The cruelty in the industry and the unhealthy side effects drove me over the edge. The first thing I noticed after making the change was feeling more healthy. I very rarely get sick these days.
3. How did you get involved with Hill Killer?
My brother, Mike Barnes founded Hill Killer back in 2012. I saw that he was doing great things on his own - and I told him that I wanted to help. It's been a fun ride since then! I have tackled a lot of the marketing and digital efforts, based on my background, but my favorite thing to do is design products.
4. How has veganism impacted you and your role in Hill Killer?
It's been a natural fit. I promote veganism in my everyday life by supporting vegan businesses and working with local groups to grow the community. With Hill Killer, I get to work on Team Vegan, which has been a great way to express my beliefs while promoting the message and power of the movement.
5. What inspires Hill Killer vegan apparel and what has the support of the vegan community meant to you?
Our Team Vegan line was originally started by my brother Mike. Mike has been with me since the beginning and understands the struggles that every vegan goes through, like telling your family that you will be eating Tofurkey at Thanksgiving dinner or answering the seemingly endless stream of "where do you get your protein?" questions. We both felt like it was an underserved community and many vegans are especially proud of their athletic prowess and accomplishments. We want to provide the opportunity for plant-based athletes everywhere to proudly declare that they do not need animal products to live an active and balanced life.