Welcome! I'm Tracye McQuirter, MPH.
At 52 years old, I’m a 32-year vegan, best-selling author, public health nutritionist, activist, speaker, and vegan trailblazer.
And I’m celebrating three decades of showing people just like you how to become healthy vegans for life and love it!
This is my passion and my life’s work. I truly believe that being vegan is all about practicing love, freedom, and joy---not deprivation.
But the funny thing is, I never thought I’d be vegan. Growing up, I hated any food that looked healthy, especially vegetables. (If it wasn't greasy, creamy or sugary, I didn't want it.)
So what changed for me?
During my sophomore year at Amherst College in 1986, our Black Student Union brought Dick Gregory to campus to talk about the state of black America. Instead, he decided to talk about the plate of black America. About the health, politics, economics, and culture of what we ate, and why we should become vegetarians.
In his speech, he also traced the path of a hamburger from a cow on a factory farm, through the slaughterhouse process, to a fast food restaurant, to a clogged artery, to a heart attack.
His talk rocked my world.
I was already going through a paradigm shift at the time, as a result of the courses I was taking on racism, sexism, classism, and more. So I was open to questioning the way society dictated I should eat, as well.
After Gregory's lecture, I immediately gave up meat--but that only lasted about a week. But I couldn't get what he said out of my mind. When I went home for the summer, a few months later, I got all the books from the library about vegetarianism I could find (this was, of course, years before the Internet). My mother and one of my sisters, Marya, read them too. We all decided to go vegetarian, then we all went vegan about a year or so later.
It's been a miraculous 32 years since then. I've gone on to become a vegan trailblazer (see my bio below) and spend the past 30 years teaching folks how to go vegan.
So if you’d like to learn how to confidently transition to vegan foods to get healthy and feel great, I'd love to work with you.
Check out my Work With Me page and let's get started!
Tracye with Dick Gregory, who inspired her to become vegan 32 years ago
Tracye McQuirter, MPH, is an award-winning vegan trailblazer, activist, public health nutritionist, author, and speaker. She's the author of the new book Ageless Vegan, as well as the national best-seller By Any Greens Necessary, which established her as one of the most influential vegans in the country. A 32-year vegan activist, Tracye has been teaching people how and why to live a healthy vegan lifestyle for the past 30 years.
Vegan Soul Superstar Award from Vegan Soulfest
Compassionate Vegan Living Award from Farm Sanctuary
U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame Award from Animal Rights National Conference
Distinguished Alumni Award from Sidwell Friends School
Cited by The New York Times as a key influencer in the rise of veganism among African Americans
Named a national food hero changing the way America eats for the better by Vegetarian Times
Wrote the first vegan diet book for African American women, By Any Greens Necessary, which became a national best-seller
Co-wrote Ageless Vegan with 80-year-old vegan mother, which was starred by Library Journal as "raising the standard of plant-based cuisine"
Co-created the first-of-its-kind African American Vegan Starter Guide, with nearly 500,000 free copies ordered and many more downloaded
Helped increase the number of black vegans and vegetarians to nearly 1.5 million people
Directed the first federally funded vegan nutrition program in the U.S., the VSDC Eat Smart Program
By Any Greens Necessary book used as primary resource in NIH Nutritious Eating With Soul (NEW Soul) study to decrease the risk of heart disease among African Americans in the Stroke Belt
Helped win successful lawsuit against USDA over food industry bias in US Dietary Guidelines
Designed plant-based curricula for the Washington DC Public Schools System and the Black Women's Health Imperative to help prevent and reverse obesity
Co-created one of the earliest vegan websites in 1997, which was also the first vegan website by and for African Americans, BlackVegetarians.com
Co-founded an animal rights organization for people of color, Justice for All Species
Co-founded the Black Vegetarian Society of New York
Co-founded We Feed Our People, a 30-year nonprofit that organizes the largest Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Day of Service event in Washington, DC, providing food and services to residents experiencing homelessness
Tracye is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School, Amherst College, and New York University, where she received a master’s degree in public health nutrition, was mentored by renowned nutritionist Marion Nestle, and graduated in the top of her class.
Tracye has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Google, USA Today, Ebony, Essence, Women's Health, Vegan Italy, The Huffington Post, NPR, VegNews, CBS News, NBC News, and many more. She was also featured on the covers of Barefoot Vegan and Natural Awakenings magazines.
DIRECTED FIRST FEDERALLY FUNDED VEGAN NUTRITION PROGRAM
Tracye directed the nation's first federally funded and community-based vegan nutrition program, the Vegetarian Society of DC Eat Smart Program, launched with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this innovative, hands-on course targeting low-income DC residents, Tracye taught participants about the health benefits of plant-based foods, and how to shop for and prepare healthy vegan meals. The popularity of the program resulted in a waiting list of more than 250 people—a remarkable achievement for a community-based course about eating vegan—and became a national model.
HELPED WIN LAWSUIT OVER BIASED U.S. DIETARY GUIDELINES
Tracye also helped create the strategy for a groundbreaking lawsuit proving food industry bias in the formation of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, while serving as a policy advisor for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The lawsuit proved that 6 out of 10 members of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines committee represented the meat and dairy industries, and biased the committee toward promoting these unhealthy foods.
NATIONAL AUTHORITY ON IMPROVING AFRICAN AMERICAN HEALTH WITH PLANT-BASED NUTRITION
As a nutrition advisor for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Tracye designed the nutrition curriculum for the national African American Healthy Lifestyles initiative to help prevent and reverse obesity among the country's 19.5 million black women.
Tracye was asked by Spelman College president Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum to serve as a keynote speaker and advisor for the launch of the College’s Wellness Revolution Summit, the first initiative of its kind at a major U.S. college or university to dramatically improve the health of its incoming first-year students, the majority of whom were pre-hypertensive, overweight, or obese.
Tracye is also a subject in several dissertations, master's thesis, and documentaries on African American health, veganism, and food justice.
CO-FOUNDED FIRST VEGAN WEBSITE BY AND FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS
Tracye co-founded the first vegan website by and for African Americans in 1997 with her sister, historian Marya McQuirter, PhD, and has been credited in part with increasing the number of black vegans and vegetarians to nearly 1.5 million people.
CO-FOUNDED EARLY ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR
Tracye co-founded Justice for All Species, an early animal rights group for people of color, with activists Tashee Meadows and Kristin Candour, and her sister, historian Marya McQuirter, PhD.
CO-CREATED FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND, FREE AFRICAN AMERICAN VEGAN STARTER GUIDE
Tracye co-created the first-of-its-kind, free African American Vegan Starter Guide in partnership with Farm Sanctuary, featuring 40 pages of information and inspiration from African American vegan experts on how to transition to a plant-based diet. To date, nearly 500,000 printed copies are in distribution, and tens of thousands of PDF downloads have been made.
ENDING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
As an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia, Tracye designed and taught a plant-based nutrition curriculum for the District of Columbia Public Schools System to help prevent and reverse childhood obesity in Washington, DC, in funding partnership with the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign.
Tracye has spoken at hundreds of health conferences, colleges and universities, churches, corporations, and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, and in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, about the health benefits of plant-based foods for people, animals, and the planet; food as a social justice issue; African American health; the empowerment of women and girls, and more.
EDUCATING PHYSICIANS ABOUT PLANT-BASED NUTRITION
Tracye provides continuing education to physicians and other healthcare professionals about plant-based nutrition and strategies to help empower patients to change their food choices to improve their health.
CREATED FIRST VEGAN LECTURE SERIES AT WHOLE FOODS STORES IN DC AREA
In her hometown of Washington, DC, Tracye partnered with Whole Foods to create its first plant-based nutrition cooking and lecture series, “From Soul Food to Whole Food,” in stores throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan region, beginning 15 years ago.
AWARD-WINNING EDITOR AND WRITER
Tracye has been a professional editor and writer for more than 20 years. She received the prestigious Council of Foundations award for excellence in communications as a member of a three-person communications team for the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, one of the largest grant-making foundations in Washington, DC, established by the founders of The Washington Post.
She also served as senior editor and writer for Maryland University of Integrative Health, the leading academic institution for integrative health in the nation. Tracye was also a columnist and contributor for Heart and Soul, the country's largest health magazine for African American women, and Healthy You Now, an online women's health magazine.
Before changing careers to public health nutrition, Tracye directed the Mary McLeod Bethune Museum and National Archives for Black Women's History, National Historic Site, where she also served as an honorary delegate to the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in recognition of Mary McLeod Bethune's role as a co-founder of the United Nations.
Tracye is a co-founder of We Feed Our People, the Black Vegetarian Society of New York, and the Community Support Network, and an advisory board member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, PlantPure Nation Foundation, Black Vegans Rock, and Hip Hop is Green.
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Tracye's 83-year-old vegan mom, who went vegan with Tracye 32 years ago