Vegetarian Elite
Spirited Actress & Dancer Tonya Kay: Connecting with Oneself through Raw Veganism      
Welcome jubilant viewers to Vegetarian Elite. It is our pleasure to introduce to you actress and dancer, the lovely Ms. Tonya Kay.

When people feel good, they make different choices, too. So I’m really into that, just helping individuals feel their best so that they can get to that childish place where they can create and love and play again.

Today, we will spend some time with the multi-faceted artist and find out how a simple change in diet that started three decades ago have helped transform her life and livelihood.

I just really believe you can change the world if you change what you eat.

Multi-talented only begins to describe Tonya Kay. She is an award-winning actress and writer; professional dancer, model, vocalist, environmentalist, and philanthropist. Aside from her starring roles in movie and television, Tonya is also well recognized for her athletic abilities, especially her unique combination of stunt and dance.

Her talents have led to invitations to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, American Idol with multi-Grammy winning singer Rihanna, and America’s Got Talent, among others. As a professional dancer and stage performer, she has toured with STOMP, De La Guarda, Panic at the Disco, and Kenny Rogers.

The next couple of months, I’ve got some appearances on some TV shows. I just won best supporting actress in the 2011 Los Angeles Movie Awards, for my portrayal of Kielle in a series called “Silver Lake.” I’m going to be dancing in the Muppets movie. That comes out this Thanksgiving, and I got to work with the Muppets. And I’m going to be in an episode of “Friends with Benefits”; it’s a new series on NBC. And I’m filming a music video this week. Oh, and I’m on a car show; I restore classic cars. And I’ll be on Speed TV on a show called “My Ride Rules.”

A couple other projects that I’m in that you should definitely check out are “Bold Native.” “Bold Native” is the first fictional film about the Animal Liberation Front. Everyone on the production team was vegan or went vegan for the duration. And that was about the coolest set I’ve ever been on.

Also, I am the voice of Green Girl in an animated series called “Raw Man and Green Girl,” and it’s about raw super heroes who fight the nasty, the beekeeper and Franken food and things like that; it’s super cool for kids.

I’ve gotten to work with some really great, notable other vegetarian and vegan celebrities. I did a modeling shoot with Russell Brand. I filmed a music video with Rob Zombie. I worked with Ellen DeGeneres in Las Vegas, she’s a famous vegan. (Very famous.) And it’s really cool to connect with these people in the workplace. Hollywood really grabs onto the next fashion, the next fad. They’re really open to change; California’s progressive.

Like raw food and raw vegan food are a super popular movement. There are 12 restaurants in the area that I can go to that are raw vegan, and there are tons more that are raw-friendly. And the great thing about the raw vegan movement is that just because it’s popular, people latch onto it. But they stick with it because it works. There’s not a human being that doesn’t feel the positive change that happens to them. It’s definitely experiential. You don’t need to read the books – you need to do it.

Being on a raw vegan diet for the last 10 years, Tonya accredits her achievements and strength to her plant-based diet. With a strong belief that this is the best diet for maximum health and for protecting the environment, she strives to convey this message through different activities such as writing books and television appearances. She writes weekly columns in the EcoHearth Magazine, volunteers for the preservation of endangered species, and donates to animal protection projects.

I went vegetarian for animal compassion reasons, unconscious animal compassion reasons. I went vegan to break the system; it was an act of rebellion.

I went vegan when I was on tour with Kenny Rogers. And it was 5 AM, we stopped at this truck stop and I wanted food. And when I went in there to the truck stop, I looked at this with all neon packaging and cartoon characters, and none of it looked like a food to me. And I saw instead how the system is really set up against us. And I went raw vegan as a desire to really find out what healthy was.

And I had been taking care of the other animals for so long that I was kind of doing a reverse specie-ism. So going raw was really an act of self-love where I considered myself one of the animals and now we’re all one. And I have extraordinary health. The health benefits going from cooked vegan to raw vegan have been extraordinary, nothing less than miraculous in my life.

Can you talk a little about how being a raw vegan impacts your life as an actor?

There are so many ways that being a raw vegan impacts my life as a professional actress and a professional dancer. Athletically, being a raw vegan has helped my athleticism just skyrocket. Now I get injured far less.

My connection to my body has become so crystal clear, that I can hear the movements that are causing injury long before I ever was used to. And then if I do get injured – cuts, bruises, contusions whatever, accidents happen – then my healing rate is so much faster. It’s also mental. It’s the knowledge that I’ve gathered being a raw vegan that has made me a better athlete. I have the tools to eat, make choices that help me sustain my energy over a long period of time, where before I just didn’t even know.

And I get a little bit sad when an adult asks me questions about diet and how sugar is processed in the body. And why do they have diabetes or why are they depressed. And I get a little bit sad that in the school systems we’re giving kids diplomas but they don’t even know how their own body works. We have not prepared them for life if they don’t know how diabetes is caused. Adults are turning to me and asking “I want these tools now.” So I feel like having these tools, this education, and then acting upon it, has made me a better athlete.

And in the acting world, my ability to tap into my emotions is so clean. I’m not afraid to connect with people. That’s a really great asset for an actor to have because I really believe that acting is one of the most noble art forms that one can undertake.

It’s a fascination with humanity and psychology and wanting so badly to know what the experience of another person is like that we would forfeit all of our own experiences in order to understand them better. So being a raw vegan has just cleaned up that space where that happens. Where I can just really get into another person and share the thing that helps me understand what it’s like to be them. That’s called compassion.

Tonya Kay was born in Michigan in a small farming community, and at a very young age was concerned by the inhumane treatment of animals. Intuitively, she refused to eat her friends, the animals.

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years. I have been vegan for 20 of those years. And I’ve been a raw vegan for the last 10. And each progression was a distinct and separate experience unto itself. Obviously I went vegetarian very young. And that was probably based on an unconscious knowledge of the suffering that animals go through.

My grandparents had a slaughterhouse and I got to see firsthand what was going on and really I didn’t know I was making this decision. My mom was the one who told me at the dinner table. She says, “Do you know what they call people like you,” and she says, “Vegetarian.”

We asked Tonya to share with us her own experience in transitioning from vegan to raw veganism, in hopes that her story will help our viewers who aspire to the same way of eating and living.

I never want to feel restricted at all. So I just made a list of all of my favorite cooked foods, because I was already a vegan. and which ones were my favorite, I decided I would always have on hand, in my kitchen. Anything that was not on that list, I just got rid of that stuff, and replaced that with more raw food. So in the end, I was just eating huge amounts of raw food and always also had my favorite cooked foods on hand.

And then over time, just being patient with yourself, I noticed that my tastes changed. And my taste buds now, they’re super receptive to the life taste. And brown foods and oily foods and whatever, they just don’t rank very high anymore.

Ms. Kay strongly believes that creating the world in which we wish to live in starts with ourselves.

I’m in for the health. I’m in for the compassion, but the environmental aspect is what really moves me right now at this point, a decade into my raw veganness. I just really believe you can change the world if you change what you eat.

By changing our diet, really we would be changing the environment. We would be changing the way we interact in the community. If we had a mass movement of people going vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan – if a mass movement went to that direction, it would be a more peaceful society, a more utopian society, be like living on a paradise island. And that’s where I want to live. I want everybody to join, join this party over here because this party is good.

Our admiration, Ms. Tonya Kay, for your will power, idealism, and appreciation for life. Wishing you success in all your endeavors of bringing much kindness and beauty to our world.

My name is Tonya Kay.
Be Veg,
Go Green
2 Save the Planet!

For more on the multi-talented Tonya Kay and her work, please visit

Gracious viewers, thank you for your presence today on Vegetarian Elite. Coming up next is Between Master and Disciples, here on Supreme Master Television. May the songs of Nature lift your heart to dance and your soul to sing.

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