At the Compassion Consortium, we celebrate diversity. We believe every being brings a unique view to the community that we co-create when we gather together. So, each month, we publish an essay which provides a view from our community, a slice of one human's journey of compassionate living. 

October 2022

A Vegan in Kenya

by Kenneth Odhiambo Ndonga, VLCE, with Cherie Hans, VLCE

(Kenneth is also enrolled in the Compassion Consortium Animal Chaplaincy Program)


This guest essay is a reprint from Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Blog, www.mainstreetvegan.com

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My name is Kenneth Odhiambo Ndonga and I am a Vegan from Sondu, Kenya. I am a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator (VCLE) from the Winter 2022 program of the Main Street Vegan Academy (MSVA). I am also enrolled in the Compassion Consortium Animal Chaplaincy Training Program and working toward my ordination as an Animal Chaplain. My hometown in Kisumu City is about 200 kilometers from our capitol Nairobi. 


I have been a Vegan for four years. A critical sickness that led me to stay in the hospital prompted me to become Vegan. My doctor advised me to eat from the plant kingdom for better health. Eating a Vegan diet helped my well-being a great deal. My wife and children are all Vegans now too.


I learned about Victoria Moran through a Google search which led me to her Main Street Vegan website. Victoria and I began to correspond after I emailed her for more information on veganism to help in Kenya. As my vegan mentor and motivator, Victoria was kind enough to sponsor me in her January/February 2022 Zoom MSVA course.


Due to a poor Internet connection where I live, I traveled to a hotel to attend the Zoom meetings for the MSVA in Kisumu City.


I learned new ideas and skills to promote Vegan awareness. Being a Vegan is not popular worldwide, and in Kenya, some of my countrymen think negatively of me because of it. They call me a satanic person.
There is also a need for animal rights protection in Kenya. The animals harmed the most in Kenya are rabbits, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, dogs, and cows, though there are many more.

There is also a need for animal rights protection in Kenya. The animals harmed the most in Kenya are rabbits, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, dogs, and cows, though there are many more.

Vegan Outreach: Support Centre Group
 

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As an animal activist, I started the Support Centre Group for vegans here in Kenya. We have 35 members, 20 are vegans and 15 are more plant-based than they were before joining our group. Hopefully, our group will promote and empower animal activism in Kenya.


I am helping to educate Support Centre Group members on how to grow legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts so that we may be a more Vegan-oriented society. I have started to donate vegetable seeds but I do not have enough for everyone at the moment.


The Support Centre Group is hoping to:

  • Advocate for animal rights in Kenya

  • Help people to be nonviolent towards animals

  • Eat from the Vegan kingdom

  • Partner with other Vegan-based programs and activities to promote a plant-based community

  • Reach out and educate other Kenyans on the importance of being a vegan, promoting awareness in schools and churches

  • Organize vegan events all over Kenya

  • Save as many animals as possible by advocating for their rights

  • Teach humans the inhumanity of killing animals for food, clothing, or any other cruel or unkind purpose

  • Educate others that plant-based eating can help to prevent many diseases.

A Vegan Success Story!
 

A wonderful success story is about Jane Anyango who started a Vegan diet October 2021. Jane had become overweight after her first child was born. She needed to make a change and be her best for herself and her family.


Jane is still learning a great deal, but in this short amount of time, she has learned a tremendous amount by living a Vegan lifestyle. She stopped eating all animal products. Furthermore, she no longer consumes any bread or flour products. Jane eats homemade soups and salads with beans. She also eats a wide variety of fruits daily–especially in the morning.


She has lost 30 kilograms already! This is especially remarkable as this has happened during menopause. Jane’s energy level has skyrocketed, and her sleep is so much deeper. Her brain health has also improved.

 

Jane told me, “This is the greatest thing I have done for my health. Helping wonderful animals is a gratifying bonus.”


Plan for the Future
 

I am interested in having a Vegan-based community that will embrace a Vegan lifestyle. And I want to create awareness for animal rights in Sondu, Kenya.


I would love to link the Support Centre Group with other Vegan organizations.


Living a Vegan way of life has helped me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is joyful for me to help others embrace veganism for its benefits to the animals, one’s good health, and the environment.


A single vegetable seed donation can save one thousand animals.

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Kenneth Odhiambo Ndonga is a Main Street Vegan Academy graduate and a current student in the Compassion Consortium Animal Chaplaincy Training program. A social worker who advocates for children living with disabilities in Kenya, Kenneth is trilingual and speaks Luo, Kiswahili, and English. Kenneth enjoys reading, listening to music, and traveling in his free time. He lives with his wife and four sons who all share his Vegan values.


Kenneth can be reached at sonduvegan@gmail.com. Donations to the Sondu Vegan Group’s seed-sharing initiative can be sent, earmarked “seed sharing donation,” to https://www.paypal.me/mainstreetvegan. The next donations draft will be sent to Kenneth on November 1st. 


Cherie Hans, VLCE, is a Main Street Vegan Academy-certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator who also holds certifications from Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution and Dr. Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition programs. She has a Master of Science in Bilingual Education from St. John’s University, NY, and a Bachelor of Arts from the City University of NY: Queens College in English and Spanish and currently teaches adults in English as a Second Language. After graduating from Main Street Vegan Academy, Cherie started Fit and Fifties Vegan. She is from Queens, New York, but now resides in New Jersey with her husband and many rescued cats.