• Laura Simonson

We Chews Vegan: Carolyn & Roxi

"The most important thing about sharing life with a vegan dog is that it aligns with my ethical and moral beliefs of reducing animal suffering around the world by not eating or using them in any way." This is a powerful statement by humane education book author, Carolyn Drew.


This bond between humans and dogs is one of the many reasons we at Virchew decided it's high time to raise our paws for Veganuary! During the month of January, we're super excited to highlight some of our furiends and their hoomans as they share their "We Chews Vegan" stories.


Meet Carolyn & Roxi!


An Author & Kill-Shelter Rescue


roxi the rescue dog in virchew canada laura simonsons blog for veganuary

These two are on a journey of discovery and love and we are so grateful to share their story. Roxi's life changed nine years ago when she was rescued from a kill-shelter in Southern California. It took a coordinated effort of Canadian and US volunteers to get her safely to Vancouver and to her new home. Roxi was welcomed into the loving arms of four humans, two rescue felines, and a rescue canine who would become her best friend and loving big sister.


An author of humane children's books, Carolyn plans to continue to write and raise awareness of animal welfare issues around the world in hopes that my stories can help improve the lives of sentient beings in some small way.


Good For Our Hearts


Carolyn is a relatively new vegan having eliminated animal products from her diet 2.5 years ago. "I embraced veganism during the summer of 2019 while writing my humane education children’s books and studying animal rights issues. My first vegan milestone event was Thanksgiving 2019 when, for the first time ever, I decided not to serve the traditional turkey dinner and successfully plated my first by-scratch tofurkey! The next traditional family event was Christmas where my homemade tofurkey slid off the pan and back into the oven in pieces! Since then, I have tried many of the amazing pre-made plant-based roasts, and they are delicious!"


Good For Our Dogs


Roxi has been meat-free for 5-months and is thriving. She became vegan in September 2021 after Carolyn had been searching for alternative food choices for her canine health issues. "There was this lightbulb moment of the shocking irony of Roxi eating animals - when the books I’d been writing feature her as the superhero rescue dog who saves all the animals!"


carolyn drew and roxi the rescue dog in virchew canada laura simonsons blog for veganuary

Veganism is more than a diet. It is a conscious compassionate lifestyle choice that not only improves your health, but saves the animals and our planet. Your choices help our world!


Good For Our Planet


As a vegan duo, Carolyn and Roxi are making change just by how they eat! (Did you know you can count how beneficial not-eating animals can be by using the Veestro Vegan Calculator*). Check out how incredible these two are!



Upon seeing the numbers, Carolyn exclaimed "Wow! There is no question that it is great to have data to actually see how much an impact one person can make. It really is substantial! The most inspiring number for me is the number of animals that Roxi and I have saved. Fifty-four animals a month translates to 648 animals a year – and Roxi and I couldn’t be more encouraged to keep going!"


It's The Perfect Time to Chews Love


Carolyn has three tips for anyone and everyone who has signed up for the Veganuary Challenge.


1. You don’t have to be perfect, just start.


2. Use the Veganuary support – lots of great tips & recipes!


3. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – each & every individual vegan choice helps you, the animals, and the planet.


"It is never too late to start a vegan journey. Roxi’s in her late sixties in human years and she’s always learning new tricks! Veganuary is a great introduction for vegan-curious folks to try new foods during the month while also getting support, encouragement, and recipes from the Veganuary community."


roxi the rescue dog in virchew canada laura simonsons blog for veganuary

Veganism is NOT Extreme


Carolyn found her way to veganism in 2018 while grocery shopping with her daughter - there were so many egg options. "FREE-RANGE, FREE-RUN, ORGANIC, CAGE-FREE, CAGED…. Caged? They actually put that on the label! Why would we buy eggs if we knew they were from caged chickens in small, cramped, unsanitary, and inhumane conditions? I read the cartons, I read the inside of the cartons, I deliberated, I chose, and I said to my daughter, “I sure hope these eggs are from happy chickens!”

But then, her curiosity and empathy towards the egg-laying chickens led her to research egg labels, egg-laying chicken conditions, and factory farming in general. Not only was she appalled at the horrendous conditions and animal abuse, but also couldn’t believe that the egg industry sent male baby chicks down a conveyor belt to be ground-up alive.


Soul-searching led her to combine her love of animals and years of telling bedtime stories to her children (always starring our beloved pets, and always with an ethical message), with her professional experience working with children in the special education field. So, in 2019, Carolyn began writing humane education children’s books featuring her rescue dog, Roxi, as a subtle but powerful age-appropriate way to get the animal rights message out there. The Roxi the Rescue Dog series now boasts five books where she helps cows, tigers, bunnies, elephants, and chickens.


roxi the rescue dog in virchew canada laura simonsons blog for veganuary

We Chews Vegan: Eat the Change - Together is a digital event launched by Virchew to celebrate our human-dog bond through the stories of some really cool people and their pooches who are living and thriving together on a vegan diet. We'll share not only the incredible tangible impact that can be made but also the intangible benefits that warm our hearts and lift our spirits - all of which contribute to a better, kinder world filled with love.


If you missed our first post in the series about Julia and Zak, "The Olympic Athlete & An Anxious Rescue", click there now.


Hungry for more? Fetch our stories and testimonials over at www.virchew.com/testimonials



*Calculations were made using the Veestro Vegan Calculator for humans and this study for our companion animals.



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