Meet Benjamin (Ben) Hagerty, a passionate traveler and co-manager of the travel blog, It's Bree and Ben, alongside his wife, Brianne Nemiroff. Their journey goes beyond typical travel experiences as they explore sustainable tourism and embrace a vegan business philosophy.
Through their platform, they offer valuable insights, travel guides, and essays about vegan and plant-based travel, making a positive impact on fellow travelers seeking mindful and sustainable adventures.
Benjamin's love for flavors and dishes associated with a vegan diet began during his upbringing in the vibrant San Francisco Bay area. However, it wasn't until 2015 that he and his wife, Bree, decided to fully embrace the vegan lifestyle after a one-week trial. To their delight, they felt great after abstaining from meat, prompting them to transition gradually into a vegan way of life.
In 2017, after tying the knot, Benjamin and Bree embarked on an extraordinary road trip adventure across the U.S. and Canada. Their year-long journey became a unique blend of travel and work, as Benjamin continued to work remotely as a travel consultant while documenting vegan-friendly places for their website.
Their travel experiences uncovered surprising vegan-friendly areas in unexpected places. Along the way, they encountered vibrant vegan communities in St. Louis and Kansas City, showcasing innovative and creative approaches to veganism beyond the West Coast and New England.
Inspired by their journey, Benjamin and Bree established their website, It's Bree and Ben. Beyond just providing information on vegan-friendly restaurants and venues, they aim to promote mindful and sustainable travel practices that align with vegan philosophy.
As part of his graduate school project, Benjamin conducted extensive research, uncovering four key areas of concern that shape the experiences of individuals and businesses in the vegan entrepreneurship niche. These areas include the impetus of health and well-being, the framework of inclusivity, facing "vegan phobia" and discrimination, and the cost of doing vegan business.
Despite the challenges faced by vegan entrepreneurs, Benjamin and Bree honor the vegan lifestyle, viewing it not just as a dietary choice but as a way of life encompassing compassion, environmental consciousness, and empathy. Through It's Bree and Ben, they share valuable insights into exploring the world through a compassionate lens, appreciating the abundance of experiences that a vegan lifestyle can offer.
Their journey exemplifies the profound connection between sustainable tourism, veganism, and mindful travel. As a community, we can support and uplift compassionate entrepreneurs like Benjamin and Bree while making conscious choices that positively impact the world around us.
The interview for the Vegan Visibility Podcast took place while Ben was in North Vancouver, BC, which rests on the ancestral homeland of the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), and Tsleil-Waututh (səlilwətaɬ) communities.
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