People To See

Jose Caraballo

He and his son produce tempeh, a fermented culture of soybeans that produce a richer taste and heartier texture than tofu. Caraballo's friends and family praised his creation and coaxed him into producing it for them too, which eventually led to a local business called The Tempeh Shop. Most of the tempeh found in Gainesville, at Ward's Supermarket, the farmer's market or in local restaurants, stems from Caraballo. It is either supplied directly by him or his old apprentice, Art Guy, who now runs his own tempeh business, Art's Tempeh. Caraballo's interest sprouted years ago when he and his family went first when veg. He wanted to eat something more substantial than tofu, so he learned to make tempeh and refined his process over the years. While there are a lot of meat alternatives, tempeh retains all the nutitional value of the soy bean without the overprocessing of commercial alternatives.

Dr. Heather Ray

Dr. Ray is a physics professor and researcher at the University of Florida. While she is newer to living the veg lifestyle here in Gainesville, due to a recent move from Chicago and the difficulties living vegan with a meat-eater fiance, she has considered animal rights an issue worth fighting for since high school. "I have always thought there was something very wrong about us higher lifeforms inflicting such pain and suffering on "lower" creatures," Ray said. "There is no excuse for that at all."

Meg Taylor

The Taylors, who live here in Gainesville, have been vegan for a little more than a year now. Both Meg and her husband Charles grew up in rural areas, so they knew where their food was coming from but didn't take a strong interest until a few years ago. "I believe there is a trend to be more aware of where stuff comes from and what the consequences are for both ourselves and others," said Meg Taylor. She did some research and realized it wasn't difficult to go veg, so her and her husband did it. "A lot of people are realizing that we don't have to exploit animals to live happy, healthy lives with nice things and yummy food." After celebratory bowls of ice "cream" at Karma Cream, the Taylors exchanged smiles and knew going veg wouldn't be difficult if all the alternatives tasted that good. Now they cite Karma Cream and other alternatives such as Gardein mock meats and Daiya "cheese" as favorites. "I actually started using Veganaise before becoming vegan simply because I preffered the taste," Meg laughed.