“In My Life…”
Words are my medium and I’m crazy about them. Still, we know that a picture is worth a thousand. To that end, here are a few photos from my personal album. These are all the kind of amateur pix we used to call snapshots, but I hope you’ll find them fun.
Here I share photos of my life with family and friends (with thanks to some classic Beatles’ songs for the title inspirations). If you enjoy these, do follow me @VictoriaMoranAuthor on Instagram where I do my best to update the images and videos regularly.
My daughter and Main Street Vegan coauthor Adair Moran. She’s a professional aerialist and stunt performer. Am I as proud of her as I can be? You bet.
Such a beautiful day, 2019, before we knew there would be a pandemic…My husband, William Melton, dog-son Forbes and I went to Greenwich Village and had lunch in an outdoor Italian restaurant.
Forbes on said beautiful day. Forbes loved eating out.
William with his daughter Sian Melton and son Erik Melton, in Toronto where they live. We visited in July 2018 — a great time to see the kids and get Forbes away from 4th of July fireworks.
It was love at first sight. Same when William met him. We adopted Forbes shortly after this meeting in October 2012 and he was the light of our lives until his very unexpected death from an aggressive blood vessel cancer August 1, 2022. RIP, bright spirit.
Our rescue pigeon, Thunder, enjoys some courtyard time. Adair is a licensed wildlife rehabber and Thunder came to her with a group of other fledglings in 2018. Turns out he’s blind in one eye and can’t really fly, so he needs to live with people. When Adair went on the road to perform in 2018, we became the people.
Breakfast in London with my stepdaughter, Sian, circa 2017 when she was living there and I was over for VegFest UK. Sian was actually born in London (William and his first wife lived there for five years) and we are both Anglophiles of the highest order.
Erik visits NYC. He must have inherited the tattoos from his dad.
This is my all-time favorite picture of Forbes, taken at a Main Street Vegan Academy class when we still did those in person. It captures his angelic nature.
This is my alltime favorite picture of William and me — July 2017. I’d just come back from fasting with one of my health mentors, Dr. Frank Sabatino, in Florida, and William was on a raw-food regimen for the summer, so maybe that’s where the vitality was coming from. Either way, I treasure this one, taken at Champs Diner, Brooklyn.
And while we’re on favorites…This one is more recent, taken March 20, 2022, the day before my 72nd birthday. I didn’t know that just 10 days later I’d be struck with a serious exacerbation of the tinnitus (ringing of the ears) I’ve dealt with since flying with an ear infection in the mid-1990s, or that few months later my precious Forbes would leave this world. But the morning William saw this picture, he said, “I don’t know who looks happier, you or Forbes.”
Forbes does downward dog. We are a family of aspiring yogis.
William with his accordion…He was trained as a classical accordionist (I know: I didn’t realize that was a thing either) and when he was 12, he was ranked 2nd in the world on this instrument at the New York World’s Fair. He picked it up again as an adult, but more for blues and standards that Beethoven and Bach. He took up blues harmonica, too, and coauthored with Randy Weinstein The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing the Harmonica.
Adair on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, her childhood home and mine too. The Plaza is an outdoor shopping and dining area created in the 1920s. It’s truly art come to life, giving KC the distinction of being second only to Rome for its fountains.
I thought they were dog toys, too, but Thunder loves stuffed animals. He’ll latch onto one and they’ll be inseparable for days. Then he’ll move on to another.
Maybe because she saved his life, Adair is a kind of pigeon whisperer with Thunder. She seems to understand him in ways no one else does.
It may not show, but Sian and I are so full of French Vegan food at Delice and Sarrasin, Christopher Street, NYC, that we’re about to burst. April 2022.
Forbes loved shopping at Marshall’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond. I liked it a lot, too.
William and Erik on his most recent visit. These two are so much alike. They don’t say a lot. They’re private people. Both are artistic and funny and they follow sports. That’s a blessing because I’ve never been much of a sports fan, but I hear William checking in with Erik about KU basketball and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Adair with a porcine friend at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary in New Jersey. A Vegan and non-stop animal person her whole life, Adair wanted to spend her last pre-tour birthday with cows and chickens and goats and, of course, pigs. Later, William volunteered at Tamerlaine doing Reiki for those animal residents who wanted it.
This is one of Adair’s many headshot iterations. Her first professional NY headshot was taken when she was 13, before we’d even moved here. Waiting to pick up the photographs—that’s how it worked back then—Adair nodded to an elderly woman stalwartly toting out 500 8×10 glossies, and asked, “See that lady?” I said I did, and that I was pretty sure she was the nonagenarian Ellen Albertinti Dow, who had played the rapping grandmother in The Wedding Singer. “That’s going to be me,” my daughter confided, “because I’m not going to quit.”
Nicholas Alexi Moran married Adair in 2005. They’d met on a children’s theater tour of Ramona Quimby in which Adair was cast two weeks after we got here from Kansas City. Nick is also a performer and they’re currently both in the Pirates Voyage show at one of the Dollywood theaters in Tennessee. In this picture, Nick popped up to NYC for a call-back audition and stopped by to see the in-laws and Thunder, whom Adair raised as a fledgling.
I love this holiday pic with Adair. We’re both big on all the December/January holidays and before she went on tour four years ago, it was such fun to shop and cook and decorate with her. Maybe those days will come again. It’s always a good idea to cherish each moment. They tend to be fleeting.
Wearing white is really impractical, but I love to do it when I can, and this dress, purchased from an NYC street vendor, has managed to survive several summers without succumbing to some impossible spot or stain. I’m here with Thunder in the courtyard between the two buildings that make up the apartment complex where we live.
William and Rupert on adoption day, December 2022. William is trained in both animal Reiki and Tellington T-touch, a specialized kind of massage for non-human mammals.
Yes, he’s an angel: Rupert came from a hoarding situation: 8 years without going outside means that he’s terrified of the outdoors and every “walk” (super-short!) is a venture in courage building. He’ll get there!
I’m with Adair and Nick after their show in Pigeon Forge, TN. If you like aerial performance, scary stunts, and stage combat, you might want to follow Adair on Instagram: @a_daring_girl. She never ceases to amaze me.
Rupert is much more at home now. He still has PTSD and even some OCD — so many things have to be ritualized, i.e., he’ll put on his jacket and leash if he’s sitting on the couch, nowhere else. But he knows he’s home and he knows he’s loved.
This is what Rupert thinks of morning. I was always a morning person, but I have to say, sometimes in winter when early still means dark, I kind of agree with Rupert.
Thunder and Rupert are okay together. Thunder tends to peck so they’re not exactly buddies, but everybody is safe and we’re all family.
Rupert came to us in December, 2022. He had been rescued in Tennessee from a terrible hoarding situation. He has PTSD, OCT, and–now, thank goodness, lots of LOVE.
Rupert‘s big sister, Sian, William’s daughter, found this adorable raincoat for him.
We lost our precious Forbes August 1, 2022, to a very aggressive canine cancer. He was the light of my life, and William’s. We had great support: grief counseling with animal chaplain Rev. Dr. Russell Elleven and a beautiful memorial service from animal chaplain Rev. Sarah Bowen, author of Sacred Sendoffs.
Thunder has his own bathing bowls, but sometimes the dog’s water bowl seems like a preferable alternative..
My daughter Adair in Ninja attire for her summer 2023 gig at Legoland in Upstate NY. Then she and Nick were cast in the 2023-24 Middle East and Australasia tour of Marvel Universe Live.
“I get by with a little help from my friends…”
2018: Evanna Lynch came to my apartment to interview me for her ChickPeeps podcast. I knew she’d played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies, but I didn’t know what big deal that was. Good thing, because we just met as fellow people who love animals and who’d had experience with eating disorders (hers anorexia, mine binge-eating). On the wish list: get to London and see Evanna on her turf in my favorite city. (Check out her stunning memoir, The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting.)
Moby! Known as a mega-talented musician, he’s also a gifted visual artist and an incredible writer—his two memoirs, Porcelain and And Then It Fell Apart, are total page-turners. And he is one of the most dedicated animal activists on the planet—and kind enough to show up at Mercy for Animals headquarters for the LA launch party for The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook.
Loren Fishman, MD, studied philosophy at Oxford and then moved to India where he knocked on the door of the legendary yoga master, BKS Iyengar, woke him up, and asked to study under him. He spent a year in Iyengar’s tutelage and returned to the States with the instruction to become a medical doctor “so people will listen to you.” My husband, William, and I are so lucky to have Dr. Fishman on our healthcare team. I’m also a great fan of his books, including Healing Yoga, Yoga for Arthritis, and Yoga for Back Pain.
When I moved to London at 18, I’d read about yoga but had never taken a class. Stella Cherfas, pictured here in 2018, changed all that when I wandered into her studio in Manchester Street. For years we lost touch — she had been living in Austria and I rediscovered her through the magic of Google in 2016 when she was back in London. Stella is in her mid-nineties, still teaches yoga for seniors, and lives in a 3rd floor walkup. She is a wonder.
Stephanie Redcross West has all the skills and talents that I don’t. Founder and director of Vegan Mainstream, Stephanie knows about digital marketing and solopreneurship and making a splash in the world of business. She’s been one of my mentors since I founded my business, Main Street Vegan, in 2011, and once when I went for a week of in-person coaching with her in Central Florida, we rescued a cat together.
I’m here with foodie gurus Dianne Wenz and Chef Fran Costigan. Both are on the faculty of Main Street Vegan Academy (as is Stpehanie, previous picture). Dianne is the author of The Big Book of Vegan Cooking and The Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook, and Chef Fran wrote Vegan Chocolate, which even got translated into French.
Ruby Warrington, left, was already famous for her magazine The Numinous, and her books Material Girl, Mystical World, and Sober Curious, when she wrote online she had read my book, The Good Karma Diet, and gone Vegan. So…we became friends and she gave me an exquisite necklace denoting my Aries birth sign and designed by Satya Scainetti—her jewelry company is Satya—so we connected too.
Chef Alan Roettinger let me snoop at his culinary class when he came to NYC. He’s the author of Speed Vegan, The Almond Milk Cookbook and, with Udo Erasmus, Omega 3 Cuisine.
I used to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell on her HLN show, Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell, before I realized that we share a passion for animal rights. Jane left network and cable TV to start her own Internet channel, Unchained TV, where she is making huge difference for animals every single day.
Ingrid Newkirk is my idol. I know you’re supposed to stop having those after middle school, but I admire the founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to the moon and back. PETA’s slogan says it all: “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.” Check out her books Free the Animals, AnimalKind, and One Can Make a Difference.
Christian Sebastian McJetters is a brilliant orator and activist whose area of expertise is intersectionality, those points at which oppression in different contexts connect with one another. He lives in Prague but comes to New York—thank goodness.
Danielle Legg is like another daughter to me. We met when she was assigned as my author escort for a speaking gig in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, a decade ago and it was as if we’d known each other in past lives (maybe we did). In this picture, we’re about to see NYC from above, thanks to our friend Avi Weiss who’s a heli-pilot.
You know the phrase “We go way back”? Well, we do: Carol Shiflett, who helped a great deal in my early days of overcoming my binge-eating disorder; Necia Gamby, massage therapist with healing in her hands and wisdom that just keeps coming, and Dolores Sehorn, who devoted her career to helping the deaf and her life to being one of the world’s best friends.
Coauthor of The China Study and a living legend in the world of nutrition, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, was behind the largest human nutrition study ever conducted (the NY Times called it “the grand prix of epidemiology”) and he is responsible for coining the term “Whole Food Plant-Based Diet.”
Way back in 1997 when my book Shelter for the Spirit was published, Suzanne Taylor hosted me in her beautiful home in the hills overlooking Los Angeles. She’s done that with nearly every book since. And she made the critically acclaimed documentary What on Earth? (about crop circles), launched the Sue Speaks podcast, and established herself among the most gifted people-connectors in Southern California.
Just a coffee shop selfie, but the conversation with Rev. Sarah Bowen, was all about Spirit and Truth and other divine words that can get capital letters. Sarah is the author of Spiritual Rebel and Sacred Sendoffs (about grieving animal loss), and she’s a cofounder with my husband and me of the Compassion Consortium, a spiritual center for animal advocates (click on Compassion Consortium to learn more).
Talk about a Renaissance man: Tirlok Malik produces movies about the Indian diaspora (On Golden Years, From Today!, Lonely in America), is an expert on ayurveda and a longtime restaurateaur, and founder of Happy Life Yoga.
If you look up “classy,” you just might see a picture of Maya Lahr Gottfried. I have such admiration for this amazing writer of Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal, and the children’s book Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary. Maya is a dedicated supporter of the rights of all beings, and a genuine spiritual seeker. A bit of trivia: her grandfather was Bert Lahr the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz
I caught up with Sangita Iyer when she was in New York for World Elephant Day, 2022. Sangita made the documentary Gods in Shackles, about the mistreatment of elephants in religious rituals in her native Kerala and other parts of India. We’re shown here at P.S. Kitchen, the Vegan restaurant in the Theater District that donates all profits to charity and hires many workers who were formerly homeless or incarcerated.
Oh what a night! I’m at the 2019 premiere of A Prayer for Compassion (click A Prayer for Compassion for more on the film) with (now) Mayor Eric Adams and business author and Today show contributor Suzy Welch, who appears in the documentary. My amazing dress is a loan from designer Anna Tagliabue of Pelush, the forward-fashion collection specializing in faux furs to further the ReFAUXlution..
I caught up with Shannon Blair and her firstborn, VeganEvan, at the Southwest Florida VegFest in Feb. 2023. There’s a new baby in the family, Saige, and they’re all out speaking up for animals.
This is totally my brother from another mother: Milton Mills, M.D. He’s brilliant and spiritual and funny and we just get along in that way that says “inner circle.” You’ve got friends like this, right? It’s such a blessing.
William with Randy Weinstein, an incredible harmonica player and coauthor with William of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing the Harmonica. We knew Randy and his wife, write Ellen Waltershied, back in KC—they moved to NYC about the same time we did.
This is my most recent picture of Stella Cherfas, my first yoga teacher, May 2023, her 98th birthday!
I don’t have any bio-brothers but I’m here with two brothers, just the same. Milton Mills, MD, is a critical care doc in Washington, DC, and an expert in racial disparities in the food system. Martin Rowe is the director of the Culture and Animals Foundation and the cofounder and former publisher of Lantern Book, which published the 2009 edition of my book, The Love-Powered Diet. We’re shown in August 2023 at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, 5 extraordinary days of peace and understanding.
Danielle Legg is a great friend and soul-daughter in my life. She was my assistant for probably the four most productive years of life and she still motivates to do things. This picture is a case in point: she’s shown at Lily Dale Assembly, a Spiritualist summer retreat in Upstate New York. She knew that going there had been on my bucket list for years and she called in spring of 2023 and said, “We’re going: just say when,” so we did. We loved it, and on August 2nd, 2024, we’ll be back at Lily Dale and I’ll be giving a day-long workshop “Spiritual Self-Care With Ayurveda.”
Irene Rizzo is a beautiful soul (the beautiful body is because she’s a longtime Pilates instructor and author of The Mountain of Youth). She and her husband, jewelry designer Ron Rizzo, are dedicated Vegans and supporters of animal causes.
Last spring, Rev. Sarah and I were tabling for the Compassion Consortium at the Awaken Fair in Tarrytown, NY. The table across from us was for the Share International organization, and I totally hit it off with one of the women there, Judy Kretmar. We’ve had tea a few times in the city. When I’m with her, I feel seventeen.
Generations of activism! It was thrilling to attend the 74th birthday celebration of Peta founder Ingrid Newkirk here in NYC. Left to right are Jamie Logan, kickass animal advocate known for friendly and funny person-on-the-street interviews, me, Ingrid, patron saint of animals, in my opinion, and Violetta Landek, former ballerina and longtime Peta supporter.
Dr. Michael Greger and me at Vegan Summerfest, July 2023. 2024 will be the 50th anniversary of Summerfest (I was at the first one–Oreno, Maine, 1975), and we’ll have all read Dr. Greger’s next book, How Not to Age.
Everybody loves Gene Baur–one of my friends said she wanted to name her Roomba vacuum after him. I’m here with him at the Whole Planet Spirituality Retreat at Unity Village near Kansas City. This was the October 2022 edition, but it’s annual now so you can check it out at https://thespiritualforum.com/retreat.
La, la, how the life goes on”
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— from Living a Charmed Life