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NBSV 096


Transcript of the No-Bullsh!t Vegan podcast, episode 96

Actor Justina Adorno (Mayans M.C.) on veganism & the film industry, animal rights + more

Karina Inkster: You're listening to the No Bullshit Vegan Podcast, episode 96. Actress Justina Adorno joins me today to share her vegan story, talk about her current role on Mayans M.C., discuss using only vegan makeup and hair products on set, and much more. 

Hey, welcome to the show. I'm Karina your go-to, no BS, vegan fitness and nutrition coach. I've got a quick listener shout-out to username Johnny from here to there, who left an awesome review of this show: “Vegans unite! Found this podcast by accident and was an immediate fan. Totally inspiring, and a great way for vegans to unite. The guests are empowering and always giving great advice and sharing inspirational ideas and stories. Best discovery I've made while searching for a podcast.” Well thank you, Johnny from here to there, much appreciated. 

Now, if you haven't yet left a review of this show, I would really appreciate that. It only takes two minutes and it helps new listeners like Johnny to find the show. So you can head to, or find the review option on whatever podcast platform you use. Thank you so much. 

Introducing our guest for today, Justina Adorno. Justina currently stars on the gritty drama FX’s Mayans M.C. She plays the role of Stephanie AKA Nails in the show’s third season. Having a passion for animal rights, Justina lives a vegan lifestyle, is adamant about using only vegan makeup and hair products on set, and educates her followers across her social platforms on the abuse that animals endure. She has supported many animal organizations, such as Mercy for Animals, PETA, Best Friends Animal Society, ASPCA, Little Wanderers NYC, and Animal Lighthouse Rescue NYC. She rescued two cats, Catspy, and Penny, and believes every animal deserves companionship, love and freedom. 

Hey Justina, thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks for coming on the show. 

Justina Adorno: Thanks so much for having me.

Karina Inkster: Excited to have you here. We've got a lot to talk about. I'm very, very stoked by the way, for our listeners who can't see us right now, you're wearing a sweet vegan t-shirt. 

Justina Adorno: Yes, I am.

Karina Inkster: It’s awesome! 

Justina Adorno: I only have vegan t-shirts. 

Karina Inkster: You only own vegan t-shirts?

Justina Adorno: Yeah, I realized that I’d collected so many t-shirts I had to declutter everything, but I only have vegan t-shirts now. 

Karina Inkster: That is amazing. Very cool. Well, let's jump right in. Let's talk about your role that you're currently playing on Mayans M.C. I remember the Sons of Anarchy, which is kind of where it stemmed from, right? But can you tell us about the show and about your role there? 

Justina Adorno: So yes, Mayans M.C is a spinoff of Sons of Anarchy on FX, and it's about a Latinx-biker gang and all the tribulations that they have to go through, whether that be within brotherhood, drugs, biking, and the range of what Sons of Anarchy has gone through, you see it in Mayans and my character, she's new this year for season three. Her name is Nails and she works at the bar that the guys always go to, and she develops a relationship with Angel and it gets really complicated, and as the season progresses you kind of see the dynamic between the two of them, at work and at home. So it's really interesting. 

Karina Inkster: And it's a majority Latinx crew, right? Cast, I mean. 

Justina Adorno: Cast. Yes. Predominantly cast, and crew too. We have a lot of Latinos behind the camera. It's a diverse set behind the scenes as well. But on camera it is all Latin men for the most part. 

Karina Inkster: Gotcha. That's amazing. I have not checked it out yet, but I'd really like to, and -

Justina Adorno: You know, I didn't watch the show before I got on it either. 

Karina Inkster: Okay!

Justina Adorno: So we're on the same team. But then I started watching and I was like, actually, this is amazing. But season three, like everyone was telling me while we were filming, it's just so, so different. It's so much more elevated than the first two seasons. So if you didn't get invested in season one and two, season three you're going to be like this is my new favourite show! It’s crazy.

Karina Inkster: Awesome. Yeah. I know what you mean. Sometimes there's a certain season, but you can't really start there. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. 

Justina Adorno: You can’t start there, but hey I feel like you totally can!

Karina Inkster: Ok!

Justina Adorno: And then you’ll want to go back, You know? Like the first episode, I swear if everyone just watches the first episode of season three, you're going to want to know more. So that might motivate people to want to watch the first two seasons so they can catch up and understand all these issues that are happening. But season three is definitely, it’ll reel you in for sure. 

Karina Inkster: Well you've sold me.

Justina Adorno: It's true, it’s true! I was like, what? This is what we filmed? It's crazy. 

Karina Inkster: That's so awesome. Well, let's talk about your veganism, cause we're going to combine these things too, because I’m really interested in talking about veganism on set, and hair products, makeup products, making sure they're vegan, all that kind of stuff, but let's start with your vegan background story. So how did you come to veganism? What brought you to it? 

Justina Adorno: Yeah, I mean, it's crazy. I always, like that's a part of me. I always talk about it being a journey. It's been one hell of a journey. I've been on it since I was, I want to say 15 years old. I didn't even know what veganism was, but I was just like, you know, I don’t - I saw video in high school. I don't even know what it was. And I remember feeling so guilty and just crying and people felt bad and uncomfortable when they watched it in class, but I just was overwhelmed and I couldn't stop thinking about it, couldn’t stop talking about it. And I was like, I'm going to be a vegetarian! And I tried, but then I would catch myself still eating things that weren't vegetarian when no one was watching or, you know, I would - and then I'd feel so guilty. 

And I created this super unhealthy relationship with food because I really wanted to, ultimately I didn't know, go vegan, but I didn't have the tools. I didn't have the support. I didn't have any role models. I didn’t know anyone else who was doing that. 

And it was really difficult coming from any background, but, you know, in the Latin background, I'm Puerto Rican. My family finds a way to put something that comes from an animal in almost every dish. And I'm like, why? So there would be years where I would be vegetarian and then Thanksgiving would happen. And my morals went out the window and it was a huge battle. It wasn't until right before I landed Grand Hotel on ABC, I was like, you know what? I had a really bad experience with a job with like food. It always, it was just kind of tied in with each other. I just had such an unhealthy relationship and that all stemmed from guilt. 

And I knew one way to come out of that was to rid myself of guilt because I wasn't going to be putting anything harmful and just like completely not aligned with my morals and who I am, which is an animal lover, I claimed. So I told myself I'm not going to contribute to this disgusting industry any longer. And it started with my  diet, what I ate, you know, I became vegan. Then I realized, wow, it's so much more, you know, it's what I'm wearing. I never thought into like wool, you know? I didn't think that there was any harm happening until I, thank God for social media. I thank social media for my lifestyle now, because I saw the things I needed to see, which are things that people don't want to see. 

I got to see the truth and I started,  I definitely stopped buying everything. And then I started clearing out what I already had, you know? I never bought leather, but for some reason, wool like, it’s just we have this misconception of like where we get our products and how the animals are being treated while we get them like oh, we're not killing them, so it shouldn't be bad. And it's like, okay, that is not even it at all. They're not happy-dappy on a field being lightly groomed and treated like a little princess. That's not at all what was happening. And so I started integrating it into my life completely up until I knew I was vegan. I was like, I am completely vegan. I'm going to work and I'm not going to apologize or feel bad asking, or letting them know that I am not going to have non-vegan cruelty-free products. 

We are going all the way because the options are there. And if you don't know, let's educate ourselves. You are makeup artist, that’s a part of your craft. Let me help you learn. And you can help me learn whenever you find out about vegan brands. And you can tell me, cause it's an evolution within our species that we need to join forces together. It's not about, I'm better than you. It's about let's learn together so that we can continue to evolve in the right way and help each other and help this world and help these innocent creatures that are being exploited for what? For what? And that is the biggest thing for me. I'm like for what? 

There's so many options. Then I realized wow, my childhood dream of wanting to help animals and be an actor, I can have both of them, you know?  I could have both of them. So when I'm on set, like I've made friends with like the chefs that are there. One of them, he was a part of two shows I've already been a part of - he's on Mayans and on Grand Hotel.  He specializes in vegan food. So there's always a massive amount of vegan options, and he's very, very particular with it. And he's super passionate about it as well. And you know, food was always covered. The vegan options they're always taken before everything else. So I'm kinda like, is everyone not getting the picture here? Like we're all artists, we're all concerned about our health, our appearance. Why aren't salads and healthy options and juice and the vegan options being a priority?

You know what I mean? And I feel like as annoying as I'm sure some people may find me sometimes, I don't care because I know that I'm not here being annoying. I'm here doing my job, doing justice for these animals, and making up for lost time that I was being selfish with not seeing the light, not seeing that I wasn't sacrificing quality time with family or friends and socializing. I was gaining so much more because now I'm able to give back to my friends and family. I'm able to give back to the animals. I'm able to help educate myself and other people on this lifestyle that I believe we should all be living and should have already been living. You know what I mean? So, yeah.

 And hair products too, it's starting to shift into like the direction it's like, okay, well then there's these vegan brands, but let's also be as clean as possible. Like, we don't have to have this product. Let's just use coconut oil or argon oil, like one ingredient, please. We don't have to put all this stuff or like buy this expensive vegan brand. It's like, no, we can just go back to the basics and just get the whole food product, like one ingredient or two or whatnot, you know? 

Karina Inkster: Yeah. I want to dive into that some more, you know, specifically on set and how that's been. But first of all, you mentioned family and friends, and you also mentioned, you know, certain cultural backgrounds, perhaps yours included, involves a lot of animal products traditionally, and your parents putting animal products and basically everything. So what has that relationship been like? Have you had pushback from your family? Are they also into learning more about veganism? Like what's it been like on that personal level? 

Justina Adorno: Yeah. My family has been amazing, especially once they saw the turn and strength within me. There was one point where I didn't go home for Thanksgiving when I was taking myself seriously, when I was like, I'm not doing this. I wasn't sure if I was going to be weak and manipulated and lose all sense of moral code. So I was like you know what, I'm not going home this year. I'm going to make myself my own little vegan Thanksgiving. And my dad - I was living in New York, my mom lives in South Carolina - My dad used to live upstate New York. And he's like, oh, why don't you come up here? And I was like, no, I need to do this for myself. I need to prove to myself that I could do this. And it’s no big deal. 

You know, if anything, I'm giving thanks right now to the animals for showing me compassion. Like that was that day for me. And I feel like that when I did that, it made everything just click easier for me. I was like, wow, this is so easy. I made this whole vegan Thanksgiving for myself by myself. And my family kind of saw like, okay, Justina is taking this seriously now. My dad for him to be closer with me, he started telling me all these things about like herbs and this and this and that. And like vegan this, vegan that, and he started getting into it. He's not quite there yet, but my dad has physically transformed because he did go more so on a health path. So it cut out a lot animal products - cause we know being vegan doesn't mean that you're healthy necessarily. 

You can still have pizza, donuts, cake every day if you so wanted to. But because of veganism, he started going the healthier route, like only plants and herbs and juicing and all this stuff. So my dad is on that journey and I'm super proud of him because I think he's gonna get there. I really believe he's going to get there. People think you have to do it overnight. Like ideally, amazing, yes. But you don't go to the gym one session and like you're a gym freak and you have abs within two months, like, no, that's not going to happen. It's a process you know? Just because you lose your vision for second, doesn't mean the journey is over and you can quit there. So my family too, every time I'm with my mom and my siblings I'll cook vegan, or my mom will cook vegan. I have a lot of support now just because they've seen it. It's my job now. You know, I've taken that title as it being my purpose, which I'm so grateful for. 

Karina Inkster: I love that, absolutely. And like you said, you can join together the actor piece and the vegan / activist / educator piece, you know? I mean they can go together in a lot of different ways. 

Justina Adorno: They do. They very much do because as a lot of people know, a lot of actors collaborate with certain brands and I want to collaborate with all the vegan brands. That's who I want to collaborate with. You know, like there's this vegan shoe brand that, my god, women owned and everything.  They've been so good to me. They're called Born in California Footwear, BC Footwear. And they have some of affordable vegan shoes. 

Karina Inkster: I think I have some of their stuff actually. Yeah. I think I know them. 

Justina Adorno: Yeah. They're super dope because veganism gets a bad rep about it being expensive, right? So I try to find like brands that are affordable, you know what I mean? That people who relate to me can attain, you know? They're like, I can't buy this $10 vegan cheese all the time. I'm like, don’t! Don’t! I don't even buy it all the time. It's a journey. These are just things that you can latch onto to wean yourself off of these addictive exploitive products. This is the middle ground. And then afterwards you won't even want them anymore. I'm finding that out. I bought this cheese that I loved. I used to love so much and I ate it the other day and I was like, bleh! I don't want it anymore. 

Karina Inkster: Interesting. 

Justina Adorno: Cause my my heart has been like wanting to be cleaner and it's a pretty clean product, but I was like, oh, I don’t want cheese anymore. I don't even want cheese anymore. And so with me, with my whatever platform I have I’m always talking about veganism. It's kind of hard for me not to. It's my favourite topic to talk about. Just because there's so much to learn. 

I just watched Seaspiracy. I'd love to be a part of a documentary, in-front or behind the camera, just to be a part of a production that's solely based on educating ourselves on what our actions do directly with animals, you know? And so, yeah, I watched the Seaspiracy. My mind was blown away. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know how many - it’s like, we can just do one bad thing. We're like doing everything, like everything and only being told one thing. And we have got to change, we've got to change. And you know, people are always like, oh, so you care about animals more than humans. And my first instinct is always like, yeah, I do. I do. But actually I think that the real - I feel bad for these animals, of course, don't get me wrong. I'd rather spend time with animals. 

But I feel so angry and I'm so frustrated for us humans, because we're being lied to all the time and we're being manipulated. It makes me sad because we're just hurting yourselves. And I do care about humans, which is why I'm so angry about it, which is why I'm so passionate about it because we don't even know what we're talking about. We're not being told the right things and we're being led down a destructive path and I just want us to do better. 

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. Well, and the other thing is veganism is a human construct, and if we're not taking humans into the picture, we're missing out. We're going to lose a lot of folks to our message, you know? So I think human rights, animal rights, they are linked, inevitably. I do know some folks, a few who are just like, they don't give a shit at all about humans, but in the process they're losing some of the people who may be interested in the message if they expressed it differently, you know? So it's kind of a weird point. 

Justina Adorno: Yeah. I'm learning my approach too, because I can come off very brass sometimes, you know, very strong just because I just get so mad whenever I see the torture and murder towards the animals. And I mean, to me, who wouldn't get upset and just like, gosh, cause who's doing  it? The humans are doing it to them. So my first reaction, my mercury is in Aries so I'm fire, super fast verbally with my reaction. But of course I'm just like, wow, this person! Then I took a step back and I'm like, wow, this is this person's job. This person probably doesn't have any option, but to do this and what is happening to their mental state? Because now they're killing animals. This is not okay. 

The environment that they're in physically and mentally is disturbing. Quite literally, we are doing them an injustice as well. And that is definitely something that I don't talk about as much. I don't think we, us as vegans, don't talk about that part as much because we're just so focused on the animals. So, the surface issue, but the root of the issue is why? What’s happening to these people? Why is this their only job? And I feel like Seaspiracy kind of touched on that with these people, you know, they've been captured for X amount of months and years. It's like stuck on that ship, forced to fish and live in these toxic environments and doing  horrific things that they started questioning their morals, but they were trapped. 

Karina Inkster: Exactly.

Justina Adorno: They were stuck. They were enslaved,  and it's like, wow, this is happening. This is happening. And it's like, yes, yes, yes. Can us vegan activists have a better approach? A hundred percent. We're all figuring it out. We're all figuring out. But the biggest thing is we just want to do right. We just want to do what's right and the way to do that is to just all of us, stand up with each other and say, we're not going to eat this. There will be other jobs for that person that's working at the slaughterhouse, they will come about, but we cannot do this for that person where now they're trapped in this cycle for themselves where this is the only job that they're able to get. You know what I mean? We have to bite the bullet in the beginning and say no to everything so that we can have a reset and figure it out because nobody is winning. Nobody is winning at all. 

Karina Inkster: There's a lot to unpack there, human rights, animal rights. There's so many relationships between them. I think what you said about we're still figuring it out is a really important point. There's a lot, I find, a lot of all-or-nothing thinking within the vegan movement. So within people who are already completely plant-based or vegan. And there's this kind of concept out there that if you criticize any aspect of the vegan movement, you're now a shitty vegan where I think, like you said, we're already figuring it out, or we're still figuring it out you know? We need to be open to constructive feedback, and we need to be thinking about how we are presenting the message and what that message is in the first place. So, yeah, I think what you're saying could be a whole other series of podcast episodes about how are we presenting veganism? What are the interrelated issues here? There’s  a lot to unpack for sure. 

Justina Adorno: It's overwhelming. 

Karina Inkster: I know it is, but let's transition-

Justina Adorno: It’s like how did we get here?

Karina Inkster:  Yeh, how did we get here? Let's transition to you being adamant that only vegan products are used on set. This is something I'm super interested in because I don't know anything about being on set. I don't know anything about being an actor. And so I'm interested in how that works for you. Like has there been pushback from professionals who are like, nope, I use my products and that's it. What’s the process there?

Justina Adorno: Yeah. So it has been very interesting. I remember I was vegan and I started doing a show and I wasn't there every day. I wasn't a series regular. And I remember kind of feeling like, not shameful, but if I asked for just vegan makeup and vegan products, am I going to come off as a diva? Am I going to be coming off as like, oh, I'm asking, you know? And so I remember going back and forth a lot and I was just asking questions at that time. And I did feel like certain, I just felt uncomfortable. 

I felt like I was being super judged, but I remember when I had the opportunity when I was working on Grand Hotel I was like, you know what, I'm going to stand up for what's right. And I'm not here asking for white candles, scented, X, X, whatever. You know what I mean? I'm just asking for what's already out there and they probably have a lot of it and don’t even know it. And you know, the sets they get makeup too. Like they get sponsored and whatnot. And you need a new makeup anyway, they need to get makeup that fits my skin right? That's just how it goes. And so I had asked for that and it worked, it worked out fine. And you know, when I got on set, I asked and sometimes certain makeup artists on different projects that I've worked on, they've been taken aback. They've been like, oh you know, sometimes people like to claim certain things like, oh, I'm vegan, but then they don't really stand up and go all the way. 

You know what I mean? Or like, it's fine. And I made it a point to not be like that because it's not fine. And it is my body. It's my body that you're putting these products on and I care. And who is anyone to judge a person for standing up for what they choose to put into their bodies and what they choose to support. So I think because of my passion and because of where I was coming from, and the way I have approached certain makeup and hair artists, I think they understood where my passion was coming from. It wasn't an entitled thing. It was just I can't put anyone's dollar or support anything that is hurting these animals. I just can't do it anymore. And can you help me? You know, it's kinda like, can you help me find out new brands and I'll help you. 

Like, let's Google it. I remember one time I had someone say, well, what are some vegan brands? What do you use? And I was like, well, first of all, I don’t. I just started getting into makeup, but I was like, I don't wear makeup. I don't wear makeup. So sorry. That’s not my job. I don't know about makeup. I kind of don't care about makeup. I was just letting you know I don't like to put these kinds of things on my skin and I'm vegan, I care.

And so I think once I started talking about veganism with them and my true passion for the animals, they softened up with me and we were on the phone, like looking up products and was like, oh well I know this brand. And they were like, oh, I have this actually. Or they were asking each other hey, does anybody have this brand or, like they’d exchanged stuff. And then when I came back, they would have it already ready because in the industry once in the beginning, they establish certain looks for you. They'll have those products. And that's all it is. It's not like an every single day it's a whole new journey of what makeup we're going to put on you. You know what I mean? 

Karina Inkster: That makes sense. 

Justina Adorno: So it was just like a one-time thing. It's just a one-time thing that we have to have this educational discussion and like who doesn't like to learn right? 

Karina Inkster: Well, you have a good point and it should be part of their job, honestly. Especially now when there's more and more actors and probably crew members as well, but in the makeup department, it's obviously mostly about actors. Like so many of the actors on Game of Thrones for example, are vegan. I don't know what it is about that cast, but like, so many of them are vegan and they had like, you know, the faux seitan based meats, if they ever had to eat meat in a scene, it was actually vegan. 

Justina Adorno: That's amazing. Oh yeah. That's happened to me too.  I’ve made sure anytime I'd have to eat something on set that they may sure that it was only no animal products were on my plate and if there were need - like I had to drink a milkshake once on Roswell and I was like, it has to be vegan. And they were like, okay. I think it slipped somebody's mind. And they were like, no, we told you has to be vegan. And they switched it. And they bought all the vegan milk, the vegan ice cream and made sure it was vegan. Because don't you find like, sometimes - I just instantly think everything's vegan now. 

Karina Inkster:  Nowadays we have so many options, yeah. I kind of have that mindset. 

Justina Adorno: I’m just always in that world and mentality of why would this not be? Or like it slips my mind sometimes. So like doing a scene with it around me, it's distracting. And then I kind of feel disrespected just because I feel like if I have acknowledged that this is part of my lifestyle, it's my religion. I don't believe in animal exploitation and I don't want to put it in or on my body. For someone to kind of not take that seriously for me, it just makes me so sad. It really does. And it just makes me sad for one, someone  didn't consider what I believe in, and two, this is the world that I live in. This is me kind of spiralling. And I'm like the poor animals and like, forget it. My whole day is  kind of  shot because I'm like, wow, we don't care. We just don't care. You know?

Karina Inkster: Yeah. That can be tough. 

Justina Adorno: But I think everyone does such a great job with respecting that, especially on Mayans. Oh my God like Elgin our show runner, he is vegan. Him and his wife are vegan.

Karina Inkster: Oh great!

Justina Adorno: And a couple of the actors, Richard is vegan. And you know, like a couple of actors are, plant-based or at least try to be as much as possible. So everyone's ready on set for that, and it makes me so happy. I remember one time I saw someone had an ice cream bar and they're like, oh Justina it's vegan. And then I was like, it's vegan? I was like, Haagen Dazs has some vegan ice cream? Why did I not know that? And I go in and I go to the guy who is in charge of all the snacks and stuff. And I was like, can I have the vegan ice cream? That one’s vegan. I knew a Magnum had some, but I didn't know Haagen Dazs had some. And he's like, yeah, it's vegan. And I was like, show me the box. He was mad at me!  He was like you don't believe me? You think I wouldn't give you one? I was like I just want to make sure.

I just want to make sure, just because there's been so many moments where I've been to an event and I'm like, wait, these are vegan? And they're like, yeah, these are vegan and blah, blah, blah. And then I eat it and I'm like, oh, I instantly know. I joke around, but I'm so serious. I feel like I taste the fear. I taste the fear and when something is not vegan and I was like, this is not vegan. And they go and actually check and it's not. And it just goes to show how us as humans we're not as thoughtful as we like to believe we are you know? We are quick to be like, yeah! instead of saying one moment, let me make sure. Or let me figure that out for you. You know? It's okay to not know something. What‘s important is to verify, to do your research. That's so crucial. 

Karina Inkster: Yeah. I feel you on the kind of weirdness or awkwardness potentially around someone who says, yes, it's vegan and then saying, hey, can I just check the ingredients? I have a lot of food allergies. And so even aside from the vegan thing, it's vegan plus loads of food allergies. And so I don't expect folks to know these or have them in their brain. I want to see the freaking ingredients. Like I'm going to check it. 

Justina Adorno: Yeah. Let me save you time. Let me look at that box!

Karina Inkster: Exactly!

Justina Adorno: I mean, and you saying that it's just like, Oh my God, food, food, food, food, we need it, right? It's such a huge topic that's so complicated. I don't know how it is over there, but in America -

Karina Inkster: It's not too different over here, honestly. 

Justina Adorno: Okay.

Karina Inkster: Maybe a little, but not a lot. 

Justina Adorno: That makes me feel better, but it also makes me sad still. You know, it's just like, we all have a lot of food allergies because they're not natural and we shouldn't be consuming every and anything just because we can. I’m learning that about myself too. It's like, we don't listen to our bodies. We really don't. And some on the spectrum of that, that's like such a big question, but we really don't listen to our bodies, especially with what we're consuming, because we've just hushed our bodies up. We're like, oh, this a little bit of pain or a little bit of uncomfortableness, or now my body's a little puffy, but we don't think about why, you know what I mean? Because there's an ingredient list. 

Karina Inkster: Well, and also most of the world, most of the human population is lactose intolerant. And you know this. I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's ridiculous. How many folks, like, there's something like over 90% of indigenous folks here in Canada have some form of lactose intolerance. And so it varies by different ethnic groups, some of whom have extremely high levels of lactose intolerance. And so not only is that a problem because dairy is normalized and it's not taking into any of these ethnic differences, but also it's a problem because dairy is normalized. 

Justina Adorno:  I agree! It's not meant for us! It's not meant for us! Why are we forcing this? You know? And it's like, oh, well, it's always been this way. And I'm like, there's a lot of really messed up things that don't make sense that have been a certain way that now that we know better, shouldn't we stop? Like hello, this is one of them. And I think, I mean, obviously there's progress, right? There are multiple options of milks at the store now that were not there five years ago or three years ago, but we've got such a long way to go because then they manipulate that. They're like, okay, here's your nut milk with some gum guar X two three, and all of these things that are unnecessary, but I I'm hopeful. I stay hopeful regardless of all the people that are like the whole world isn't going to go vegan. And I’m like not with that mindset, sure.

Karina Inkster: I’m under no illusion that the whole world is going to go vegan tomorrow -

Justina Adorno: Well duh, yeah.

Karina Inkster: Possibly ever, but also maintaining the sense of hope and having a platform and having a message about veganism is huge in itself. So what would you say to some folks who are listening to our show who aren't yet vegan? I mean, most of our listeners are somewhere on the spectrum. Not everyone is plant-based. There's a lot of curious folks.

Justina Adorno: That's amazing. Curiosity will cure the addiction.

Karina Inkster: Uh huh, interesting!

Justina Adorno: For sure. I mean, all it takes is curiosity. Sometimes I find that people who fight me literally, I feel like they're verbally fighting me about veganism. I'm like, at least you do care. Don't you? Because you are starting to feel uncomfortable with what I'm saying about the things that you do. And you should feel that way. You should feel like I'm coming at you, but I'm not coming at you. You're coming at yourself right now because - 

Karina Inkster: That's a great way of putting it. 

Justina Adorno: Everything that you're doing right now, it's being reflected back at you. You're uncomfortable now. And now you feel like I'm making you a bad guy and you're not the bad guy, you've been born into this. We all have, like I wasn't born vegan. 

I’ve been like battling this addiction and mentality since I was 15, you know, even longer. Because I remember specifically when I was child saying, I don't want to eat this. Or  wait, where does this come from? Or like, you know, I remember being in Puerto Rico and I saw these bunnies and my cousin laughed at me because he was like, our grandma's going to kill them and cook them and having a freakout and refusing to eat anything, crying about it.  

We just get back into the sleep state of being conditioned into these normalized ways. And it's like, no one's coming at you. If you're curious, it's because you are listening to your heart, you're listening to your intuition. So follow that. Remember if you're ever doubting or questioning anything, what do you believe is right? Do you believe that these animals should be murdered, tortured? 

Because that happens, even if it's not part of the job, it happens. These people are in a toxic, disturbing environment. They start losing it. They start feeling entitlement. These animals don't want to be killed. So they're running around, freaking out, fighting the humans as they have a right to. And so these people are handling them like you're watching a Saw movie. You know what I mean? That's just what's happening. So if you don't think that that's right, then don't contribute to it. You will survive. You will survive. They're not going to, you know? Keep going, don't stop. Or if you need to check yourself again, watch those messed up videos. It's horrible but that keeps me engaged with myself for continuing spreading the message. When I come across those videos, I'm already vegan, but I know so many people that aren't, and I know I can't get through this video. 

I know they're not gonna, but they need to know that this is what's happening. And this is what’s taking place in order for them to have their brunch. You know what I mean?

Karina Inkster: Yes!

Justina Adorno: They just need to know. If you're okay with all of this live your best life. I'm sorry, I’m going to continue to fight for these animals. You shouldn’t, like don't feel bad if your friends or family are coming at you for changing. It's like you’re wanting to do right for the right reasons for yourself and for these innocent creatures.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. 

Justina Adorno: Everybody wants to make a difference in the world, right? I feel like that's almost everyone's goal. They want to make a difference. Going vegan is the easiest way you can do that. 

Karina Inkster: I think it's the easiest with the biggest impact. It's like the bang for your buck make a difference move that you can make in your life. 

Justina Adorno: A hundred percent. And guess what? If it’s a money thing, then you have the beautiful option of going vegan in the healthiest way. If it's money that's a problem you don't have to get those mock meats. I’m not even interested in them as much anymore, unless they're like super, super clean and it's like a treat, you know? 

Karina Inkster: Exactly. That’s how I see them. For sure. 

Justina Adorno: It's definitely not every everyday a hundred percent on every meal thing for me anymore. So you don't have much money. I get it. We shouldn't be spending that much money on food anyway, but then you have the option to be healthy with it. Stick to the basics. Stick to the whole foods, fruits and vegetables and yada, yada. You're going to get your nutrients. Trust me. Your body’s going to want them.  You're going to have those cravings. I know when I crave I'm like, why am I obsessed with beans right now? Like I need beans or I'm like, why do I just want like a fresh green juice? Like I never thought I'd have those cravings, but it's just like detoxing yourself from the bad things will continue to clear your mind and your body. Fill it up with good things. 

Karina Inkster: And what you mentioned earlier about social media being a huge influence in your own journey, I think that's true in a lot of ways for anyone right now who's curious because you know, 18 plus years ago when I went vegan, we didn't have social media. I couldn't just easily Google slaughterhouse footage or whatever. 

Justina Adorno: I know! 

Karina Inkster: Not that that's the only thing you should use social media for, but still. 

Justina Adorno: Oh, no, no. That's amazing. Like everyone who's been vegan before social media. That's amazing. 

Karina Inkster: I think nowadays though, I mean, this is also a whole other conversation, but social media can also backfire in a lot of ways. There's a lot of ways where people or organizations are doing things that I think are negative within the vegan sphere, a whole other conversation. But basically the point is the information is out there, right? And you're saying curiosity, I really like your point about curiosity being like the main catalyst here. 

Justina Adorno: It’s a cure, yeah. Curiosity is the cure because I know I must mess up in ways I don't even know. And I'm open for if someone's like Justina, yeah that was vegan, but did you know that this company, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? Please tell me! I feel I just want to be better and do better. That's it? You know? So it's like, I'm here to learn all the time. And like my gosh it's annoying. There’s always pros and cons to everything, right? Like you said, there's certain vegan companies that suck. It sucks. But then it's important for us to be like, hey, we love what you're doing. But also you all should think about this as well. There are us that are aware of those companies that are going back and forth and showing this, but doing this. 

It's our job. It's like cancel season, whatever it's called. There's a pro and con to that too. It's like, we should hold each other accountable for the things that matter. You know what I mean? Like, no one's canceled, but we can continue to just call each other out when we need to call each other out. And hopefully the receiving party can say, wow, thanks for letting us know that, we do need to work on this. 

Karina Inkster: A hundred percent and on an individual level, and also on a larger scale organizational commercial level even, I think that, and curiosity together, are going to be, and are, huge, huge motivators and catalysts. 

Justina Adorno: Yeah because it helps us grow as people. I mean we all go through experiences where we're like, man, I wish I would have done this in this way instead. Or I wish I would've known that sooner or why couldn't I see that I was being stubborn and the results could have been different if I would've just said you're right. I need to grow.

Karina Inkster: Yup!

Justina Adorno: You know, and let me take actions on that, you know? And that's with everything, not even just veganism, I look back at certain things and I'm like, oh my gosh, I was acting like I wasn't in the wrong. Or there was no room for growth. And there was so much room for growth. And instead of keeping that inside and realizing that internally, vocalizing that to the party that was giving me that information, letting them know I do need to grow there. I do need to grow. Please be patient with me while I am on this journey in bettering myself. That's the place I'm in right now. I just want to be better. I want to evolve, I want to be a better role model. I want to be a better version of Justina so that when I know people are looking up to me, I know that they're looking up to the better version of me that they could look up to. 

Karina Inkster: I hear you! You know, I want to also mention that we can aspire to be better vegans, humans, actors, what have you, but we can also be cool with where we're at currently right?  So just saying…

Justina Adorno: A thousand percent!

Karina Inkster: You know, appreciate where you're at, but there's nothing wrong with continuing to strive. 

Justina Adorno:  Yes. I feel like we all need a lot of that. I know a lot of people that are just, they're so hard on themselves with where they are now. I'm like, hello! All you have is now! Stop! Where are you? Like be right here. Yes you should want to be better. Just educate yourself then. If you know you can be better and you're not doing enough and do that, but like be okay with where you are.  

Karina Inkster: Exactly. It’s not mutually exclusive. You can do both things simultaneously. 

Justina Adorno: You can do both things and always finding a healthy balance is always key, right? Balance is everything. It's so true. 

Karina Inkster: Hey Justina, where can our listeners go to connect with you or learn more about you? 

Justina Adorno: Yeah, so I'm always on Instagram.

Karina Inkster: Okay sweet.

Justina Adorno: I need to get a break sometimes. I need a break. But I was looking at this vegan stuff and I'm like, I probably can't break from that. I feel like I'm doing an injustice if I don't share one thing about veganism. My Instagram is Justina.Justina and I also have another Instagram it's, Justinaveganjourney where I post foods that I eat and like just random things relating to veganism and just like self-love. But you always can find me on my main Instagram. And Twitter it's @JustinaAdorno. 

Karina Inkster: Awesome. 

Justina Adorno: That's mainly for if you want to be with me while I watch like the shows that I'm on. I always do live tweeting and I post some, once I see something vegan I repost that shit. 

Karina Inkster: Yes you do!

Justina Adorno: I’m like re-tweet! Oh my God! 

Karina Inkster: That's awesome. We will also have show notes so our listeners can get all of the links in one spot. But it was so great to speak with you Justina. Thank you so much for coming on the show. 

Justina Adorno: Oh, thank you so much for having me so great speaking with you. Please keep in contact. 

Karina Inkster: Justina, I loved speaking with you. Thank you again for being our awesome guest today. Make sure you check out our show notes at, where you can connect with Justina. And if you haven't already, please leave a quick star rating and review of this podcast on your listening platform of choice. Thank you so much. 

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