Lynda Turner is a vegan biologist and the founder of Fauxmagerie Zengarry all natural vegan cheese company.
Growing up, like most girls my age, I dreamed of living happily ever after. I thought life was a straight line, that hard work and perseverance would inevitably lead to the proverbial pot of gold. But that’s not how life works, does it? You can have the best plan, put in the extra hours, and make all the right moves, but sometimes life throws you a curve, and you have to re-evaluate your goals.
After studying biology and ecotoxicology, I landed a dream job at Health Canada, where I worked for almost twenty years. I expected to be happy working there until retirement, until I read a ground-breaking research report: The China Study. A comprehensive study on the incredible benefits of a plant-based diet. After doing my own research, I decided to put my learnings into practice and adopt a plant-based lifestyle.
In 2010, vegan options and restaurants were rare. Out of necessity, I developed a keen interest in cooking and became rather good at it. But the one thing I missed most was cheese. Back then, vegan cheese wasn’t great, so I experimented with making my own. The feedback from friends and family was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, so I decided to rent a booth at the Ottawa Veg Fest to see what other people thought of my cheese.
This decision set in motion a chain of events that altered the course of my career, and my life.
I started producing vegan cheese in my kitchen on nights and weekends until it was clear that my passion project could be a viable business. Eventually, I left my government job and embraced the busy life of an entrepreneur.
Today, my business creates ethical products that are good for people and the planet, creates employment in my rural community, and gives my life purpose. I could never have predicted the direction my life would take and all the lessons I would learn along the way. One thing that has guided every major decision I’ve made is to trust my instincts. You never really know where life will take you, but if you listen to your heart, the journey is so much more satisfying.
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