Feb 3, 2008
Woman turns her beliefs into a business
Woman turns her beliefs into a business Morganton's Townsend ships vegetarian meals around the country When Amy Townsend's pet dog died in 1985, she started thinking about things a little differently. She began to consider how much she loved animals of all kinds -- even the animals that people often think of as food.
After doing some research on the realities of factory farming, the meat industry and human dietary needs, she decided to stop eating meat. Two years later, prompted by her father's battle with diabetes and studies that showed a vegan diet -- or a diet completely free of animal products -- could reverse the disease, she became a vegan. Originally from Maryland, Townsend moved to Western North Carolina five years ago and to Morganton last year. She immediately encountered difficulty finding vegan and ethnic foods in local restaurants and supermarkets.
"I found there weren't that many healthy vegetarian food options in this area," said Townsend. "I was buying all my groceries in Asheville."
Townsend, a writer and consultant in the fields of green building and green business, decided she could fill the vegetarian void in the community herself. In October she opened The Hungry Vegan, an all-vegan, organic meal delivery service.
Townsend will soon give her business a new logo featuring a rabbit in celebration of her other passionate undertaking: In addition to The Hungry Vegan, Townsend also runs a domesticated rabbit rescue. "I just adore rabbits," said Townsend. She said she started the rescue service as a hobby because there was nothing like it in the area. According to Townsend, rabbits are often discarded as pets because they are bought for children but do not especially like to be held, especially after they mature. Townsend has the rabbits spayed and neutered and tries to find new homes for them. Although she is not taking any new rabbits right now, she can still help people find homes for discarded rabbits through a partnership with Critter Magazine.