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Cheyanne Holliday is an MIU alumna and founder of PEACE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting compassion towards animals. She is also owner of Plant, a vegan restaurant in Fairfield that supports her nonprofit.
Cheyanne grew up in Washington state eating the standard American diet until one day she had a health crisis. She became vegetarian and a few months later gave up all animal products. She began improving her diet and connecting with other vegans. She joined the Animal Save Movement, attended slaughterhouse vigils, and soon started her own animal rights group while still in high school.
At the same time, ads for MIU started popping up on her Facebook feed. When she learned about MIU’s vegetarian cafeteria, the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and the one-course-at-a-time block system, she came to a Visitors Weekend and enrolled within a month.
When she came up with her plan to create a vegan restaurant, she took classes in the creative entrepreneurship major to help her get started. She began fundraising and opened the restaurant in December, 2019. Cheyanne received a lot of help from student volunteers and appreciates the support of the MIU community.
“Going to a university where meditation is standard practice twice a day, and everyone is going quiet and sinks into themselves, really forms a connection with people and a connection with yourself,” she said. “Transcendental Meditation brought me peace and stability at a time when things were unstable and I was trying to create something new.”
“The goal of the restaurant is to serve as an educational and community center for people wanting to create a transformation,” said Cheyanne. Her long-term mission is to create a program to assist large animal farms in abandoning animal agriculture and transitioning into greenhouses, vertical farms, and other sustainable alternatives. Her vision also includes purchasing a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), turning it into an animal sanctuary, and building an ecovillage around it.