Here at vegetarianwomen.com, we are fans of Moonglow Jewelry, designs created by vegetarian Carrie Wolf. In a recent interview, she was kind enough to tell us a bit more about herself, her vegetarianism, and the creation of Moonglow.
VW: Carrie, What made you decide to go vegetarian?
CARRIE:: My love and respect for animals. I have always loved animals. But it is an interesting thing how at a young age, if you are not raised as a vegetarian you don’t always truly understand what it means: that the animals in front of you that you love can also be what you are eating. Growing up my best friend understood this when she was eight- years-old, maybe even younger, and I just thought she was a finicky eater. But once I got older, learned more, had many wonderful summer vacation talks with my grandfather who has been a vegetarian most of his life, I made my choice. (Side note: my mother and her siblings where raised as strict vegetarians. When she grew up it wasn’t a choice that she stayed with. She is one of four siblings; two are still vegetarians and two are meat eaters)
VW: Do you have any favorite recipes or vegetarian products?
CARRIE: I love to cook and I love making dips and salsas. One of my favorites that even gets the non vegetarian eaters happy is my spicy corn and bean salsa. I also am a huge fan of Morning Star.
VW: Many people imagine Hawaii, your home state, to be a vegetarian’s paradise. Is there a large vegetarian community in your area?
CARRIE: For me, I am always amazed or disheartened how much more vegetarian friendly the mainland is. In Hawaii, I would say we do have a good vegetarian community but for most of us it seems to be a solo mission and one in which you are always on the look out for a good vegetarian restaurant (which is rare in Honolulu) or one that has one or two meals that are actually vegetarian. I think it also depends on what you like to eat as a vegetarian and what level you are (i.e. fish or dairy)
VW:: You are the caretaker of “fur kids”, as you call them. Exactly how many animals do you care for?
CARRIE: Right now we have four beautiful fur kid cats. From oldest to youngest: Miss Kitty, Sparkie Bean, Coconut and Lucky Lou. I am fostering two sweet little girl kits Cinnamon, Cinni for short and Wiggles, Wiggi for short. I have about a dozen doves and two pigeons that I feed where I work.
VW: Are your family members and friends accepting of your vegetarian lifestyle?
CARRIE: My husband is completely supportive of my choices. He has been from the day we met and he understood what a vegetarian was really all about and what I would and wouldn’t eat, just as I know I will/must respect his eating choices. When we eat out, he thinks about it and makes sure I can eat there before we do. He also knows what questions to ask or things to look out for if and when I miss them (ha-ha). My mom had a hard time with it at first, just because she was concerned about my heath and my nutrition intake but all of my family knows and makes sure to remember me at dinners and outings. Never any uncomfortable moments at, let's say, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Friends are always tricky. My closest friends, OF COURSE. Casual friends and such, it's not so much that they aren’t accepting, it's more not remembering that I am, or not understanding what a vegetarian means. For example, that putting a spoon that was in the chicken into the rice makes the rice unacceptable for me to eat. it. But I am also the type of vegetarian that doesn’t try to convert everyone or make them feel bad about their choices. If I’m questioned I will be honest and if asked I will educate on the cruelty I feel is involved in the food/animal industry.
VW: How and when did you get started with your jewelry-making?
CARRIE: I would have to say I have always been the kid into crafts; we have a lot of creativity and artists in our family. I remember having a big bag of plastic beads that I would make into necklaces for my dolls, my friends and myself. As I got older, my love of jewelry grew and I decided I liked doing it, that it would be cheaper to make my own and also it would be made to my liking. I first started selling my jewelry on consignment at a music, comic and book store at which I worked when I was 18. Officially ~Moonglow~ came to be in 2003.
VW: And how did you decide on the name Moonglow.
CARRIE: Well I have always loved the moon. There is a quote that I like to say “I have loved the moon too fondly to be fearful of the night.” Taken from a quote by Sarah Williams and placing moon instead of stars. When I was in high school, I started using the name as my pen name for my writings and I would put it onto things I created. It was a nickname of mine with close friends and it just stuck.
VW: What sort of materials do you use for your designs?
CARRIE: My jewelry consists mainly of gemstones and silver. I will not use any leather, shell, pearl, etc… Nothing that came from a living creature.
VW: Do you take requests for specific designs?
CARRIE: Most definitely. Many people like their necklaces longer, shorter, more of something or less. So as long as I have or can get the material and it isn’t something that I will not use, of course, Ill give it a go and see if I can put a piece together that they would enjoy.
VW: Thank you, Carrie! We appreciate you taking the time to tell us about yourself , your vegetarianism and your jewelry-making.
Moonglow jewelry is available at . MOONGLOW