Lemons and a Canvas Story
About me: Hi! My name is Janki Patel and I am an animal lover, science nerd, self-proclaimed chef/artist, and a fellow tree hugger. So, where do I start?! Let me give you a little background. My parents immigrated from India to the United States, where I was born and raised. Growing up, my ba (the term for "grandma" in Gujarati), was my hero. She took care of me and my sisters while my parents were hard at work creating a living and she taught us everything we know. She also fed us to the point of numerous food comas and was the first person who I showed anything that I created to. She was our biggest cheerleader and after her passing, she became my source of motivation to reach more people and do more good. So, I began to paint and sell my pieces for non-profits that were near and dear to my heart. Her illness inspired me to go into healthcare and it was during this journey that I realized just how important a role nutrition plays in dictating our health. I grew up vegetarian, as majority of Indians were prior to western influence. By eating this way, I thought I was doing my part in protecting animals. However, it was after I stepped outside of the mindset I grew up in, that I discovered the truth behind the dairy industry and immediately made the switch from vegetarian to vegan. This, of course, came with resistance and having to defend my choices, as the concept of veganism was not as commonly tossed around 10 years ago as it is today. Nevertheless, I hope to be a source of light in this world and it is through art, food, and activism for the environment and the animals that I feel as if I am able to do so.
Credentials: I received my Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2019 and became double board-certified with the licensures to practice in two states. After graduating, I also became certified in plant-based nutrition through the infamous T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies via eCornell University. My journey was not an easy one, as I made the decision to pursue pharmacy as a young, naive teenager with no knowledge of the medical field. It was during my graduate program that I realized just how much the curriculum in this program did not always align with how I wanted to contribute to patient care. I would argue that I took an unconventional approach with my career, as many of my colleagues went on to pursue clinical, retail, administrative, and numerous other fields. I simply knew from the start that I wanted to pave my own path because the rather typical methods did not satisfy my beliefs in helping to reach optimal health for my patients. Pharmacotherapy is a term used to describe medication use in order to manage numerous illnesses/pathologies. Notice I said manage, not treat. There are no drugs on the market that can completely cure a chronic preventable disease. But there is something much less costly that can---plants! There most definitely is a place in therapy for medications; however, I more importantly believe that fueling your body with proper nutrition can be much more rewarding. The science is there and the research is ever growing and my hopes are to present just that.
Art: Ever since I can remember, I have loved art. I think it is an incredible way to not only express yourself, but also a way of forgetting about life's insanity and just being in the present and focusing on what is in front of you. Or, at least, that's how I feel when I am working on a piece. It's almost like running. When you are doing it, your mind is clear and on a high, without a thought of anything else. It's just you and the canvas in front of you. I began painting and drawing for fun, when I had the time. Slowly but surely, my family and friends would ask me to "paint something for them" and over time this progressed into the idea of selling art that would support causes that I think are making the world a better place. That makes me get up in the morning. Since you're here, take a look at some of the work I've created! Who knows, maybe you'll feel inspired or ..maybe ..just maybe..you would like for me to make you an original piece? (In the meantime, I'll be working on my marketing skills.)
Environment and Animal Activism through Food: I want to start by saying that I do not believe in attacking others or judgement of others for their choices. Nobody is perfect and there is always room to learn, grow, and improve. Personally, the more I became aware of how my choices impacted the planet, the more I opened my mind to change. I truly believe that what you put into your body is a reflection of what you are choosing to do to the planet, to the animals, and to yourself. That is such a powerful concept! We have the ability to take control of our health, our home, and our surroundings. It just blows my mind. :) By now, there are so many resources available to become knowledgeable on the impact that animal agriculture has on the planet. There are countless studies on how certain foods that we consume can either fuel our bodies or lead to disease. Lastly, the idea of speciesism doesn't need any studies in my opinion. All living beings serve a purpose and my hopes are that we are able to walk the Earth with a little more kindness to each other and to all the creatures that encompass this beautiful planet.