How do our food choices impact our own lives, as well as that of the planet? Is there a pathway that supports health for the individual and sustainability for the Earth?
In this episode of Light Transitions radio, we were honored to explore these issues and much more with Johanna McCloy.
Johanna (pronounced “yo-hah-nah”) McCloy is dedicated to bridging cultural gaps and empowering individuals to realize that their voices and their actions matter. With compassion and action, they can cross divides and help to generate the positive changes they seek to see in the world. Soy Happy (now Veggie Happy) was created with this in mind.
In 2000, Johanna attended a Major League Baseball game and found no viable vegetarian menu options in the entire stadium. She realized that many fans were either bringing their own food or eating before or after the game, due to the lack of options, so she decided to do something about it. She compiled statistics on the rise in demand for vegetarian options, and presented her menu proposal to the concession manager one week later. She then began outreaching to every MLB park (none offered veggie dogs at that time), as well as baseball fans, consumer groups and supportive organizations.
Fans started to speak up, celebrities offered endorsements, media paid attention, and concession managers responded. As of 2011, 22 MLB parks offer veggie dogs, due in large part to Johanna’s advocacy and consultation.
Using our baseball experience as a model, Veggie Happy continues to empower consumers on the importance of their feedback and to promote and celebrate vegetarian/vegan options for foodservice establishments.
Johanna’s personal essays have been published in India Currents Magazine, Moxie Magazine, Journeywoman and a book entitled Voices from the Garden (Lantern Books.) She has written countless articles regarding consumer advocacy and Veggie Happy/Soy Happy for a variety of publications, including Erik Marcus’s book, Meat Market. Johanna is also co-creator and co-editor of Dare To Be Fabulous (DTBF) , celebrating womens’ stories of daring, joy and empowerment.
Johanna studied acting with the legendary Sanford Meisner in Los Angeles. She is often noted for her Guest Starring role as Ensign Calloway in Star Trek The Next Generation and other notable credits in radio, theatre, television and film. She also has professional experience as a story analyst (for Castle Rock, Jersey Films, Bedford Falls. and Dick Clark productions, among others) and as a producer of personal tribute videos. (She continues to free-lance in these capacities.)