Julie Watkins is a plant-based powerhouse. While locals may initially recognize her from her on-screen days as a meteorologist with the CBS and FOX affiliate in Jacksonville, the list of her current projects makes it easy to see where she’s funneling her passion these days: Girls Gone Green, No Meat March, Northeast Florida Veg Fest, and VegJax.com all exist thanks to Watkins. Girls Gone Green is the umbrella under which the other three function; this non-profit organization’s mission is to draw attention and action to critical issues through outreach and education in an effort to protect the planet’s resources, animal welfare and human health. Watkins emcees and hosts various ‘green’ events around town, including the successful Veg Fest which saw some 7,000 attendees in 2015, and spearheads the local No Meat March campaign that has led lots of locals to eat a vegetarian diet for one month each year in an effort to raise awareness of our food chain and our bodies. We talked with Watkins about her life as a vegan and her boundless green energy ….
So, do you think your aura is green? It had better be green! I worked hard for that color, but not the wicked witch kind.
Where does your passion for the health of animals, humans, and our environment stem from? As a meteorologist, I learned how we are all connected through weather patterns and how our environmental impacts can shape its effects. For instance, the reason the northeast suffers from poor air quality on various days is because of the fossil fuel plants in Texas. I also noticed a lot of misinformation about animals and our food so I wanted to help people understand how to live a more compassionate and healthier lifestyle. Mainstream media isn’t talking about factory farming practices or the ramifications of using nonrenewable resources. We need a strong voice to heighten the awareness on these issues.