Shane and Paige, founders, pictured Left to Right (photography by Allen Nguyen)

Shane and Paige, founders, pictured Left to Right (photography by Allen Nguyen)

What is Modern Merfolk?

Have you ever thought about a plant-based diet but don’t know where to start?

Are you looking for a place to shop where your dollar matches your values?

Modern Merfolk is a space where vegans, travelers, and ocean-loving beings can gain free knowledge, shop for a cause, find community, and stay inspired.

Shop and support for ocean life and sustainable living by purchasing items from the online store. I’ve picked out only the softest materials and the most ethical items, and support local artists through logo and product design. We donate 50% of the profits from each sale to organizations that fight for the ocean.

 
vegan crop top modern merfolk
 

Read the blog for information and inspiration on topics such as cooking tips, tiny living, budgeting, travel, plant-based food, minimalism, the lives of Paige and Shane (pictured above), and our friends/ambassadors who write beautiful guest posts sharing their adventures.

Get started on a plant-based diet the right way. Whether you’ve dabbled in vegetarianism or are a seasoned vegan with veg-curious friends, this site can help and support all of the above! Order our favorite vegan cookbooks, browse the items we have in our own plant-based kitchen, and learn how to grab dozens of free recipes from the internet from our favorite blogs.

vegan cookbook airstream modern merfolk
 
for love and lemons the cookbook
minimalist baker cookbook

When I started out as a vegan I had no idea where to begin. This page breaks down the few essential tools we use in our own small kitchen that will make cooking so much easier. We both work full time and have little space for frivolous purchases. Find out what we’ve tested and get back to cooking in your own home.

cutting up tempeh paige modern merfolk airstream cooking

Who is behind Modern Merfolk?

Hey y'all!

(That's what you say when you're from Texas).

My name is Paige, and I love all things ocean + salty + sunny. I love this world, and I want to make a difference. I’m thrilled that you’re visiting! I created Modern Merfolk as a place to share thoughts and tips on how I’m bringing mindfulness and a vegan way of living into my real, everyday life. It’s become a means of forging community; a way to walk someone through making the kind of changes I made. 

I am certified registered nurse anesthetist, which means that I put people to sleep in the operating room for surgery. My husband has a background in forensics and supervises autopsies for a large teaching hospital's pathology department.

My journey began with healthy eating, but has blossomed into a full-fledged lifestyle that I now share with my husband, family, coworkers, and friends.

I love art in all forms, and I hope that you see this as a safe space for exploring the plant-based movement through the lenses of food, ethical fashion finds, minimalism, inspirational interviews, and purposeful living. 

Why Vegan?

I made a personal connection to veganism while sitting in one of my first anesthesia classes in 2013. It was like a lightbulb went off one day: my professor, a vegetarian with a PhD in physiology, made a comment about a local news headline before lecture. Apparently, a man in Florida sparked outrage after cooking and eating one of his dog's puppies. Everyone in the class squealed in disgust (including myself) until she interrupted with an exclamation of her own:

What the hell is the difference between a puppy and a baby pig? Why would you love one and eat the other?

I went home that night and opened Netflix to begin watching documentaries about U.S. food production. I stopped after the fifth film, sat alone my living room with the lights off, and asked myself what I was going to do about what I had just seen.

We had no money, I had just quit my job for graduate school, I had no idea how to cook, and my kitchen was filled with animal products. I thought the idea would never sit well with my family or friends, and we live[d] in a not-so-vegan-friendly part of the country. 

Despite all of this, I couldn't shake the feeling that a plant-based diet just made sense. 

The Facts

My husband and I are both animal lovers, but we both grew up eating meat without remorse. As was the case for so many of us [it was normal] we never questioned the decisions made by our parents or culture. But after watching these films and doing research on my own, I began to realize that our core values actually didn't align with our food choices at all. Here are some of the facts that made such a lasting impact on my decision.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of:

ocean dead zones

Species Extinction

Water Pollution

Habitat Destruction

51% of Global Greenhouse gas emissions

Est. 9 billion land animals are slaughtered in the US for food every year

The choice between what was ethical and what was easy, comforting, and familiar ripped me apart. I knew I would be starting this journey mostly alone, yet I could never un-see or un-hear the facts about my food choices.

What happened next included years of experimenting with my husband to piece together HOW to make a plant-based diet possible for my busy and stressful lifestyle. While not always easy or fun, these years have brought us closer to a beautiful community of people that feel amazing, look amazing, and are generally some of the happiest and fulfilled humans we've ever met. What started as a journey to take control of our food has turned into quite an amazing litmus test for evaluating major decisions in every other aspect of our lives. 

If we help our animals and our fellow man, the world can only grow stronger.

I started Modern Merfolk so that people who made the first step, making the choice to live a healthier life, would find a site that explained what to do next. My goal is to make sure that you have everything you need to make a smooth transition into healthier living, whatever that looks like for you. 

The blog posts below are a great place to start:

Because I believe business can be used for good, all of the products in the Modern Merfolk store are 100% vegan, ethical, and crafted by real-life entrepreneurs who are out there making a difference. Put your dollars to work where they matter most, and give them a voice to stand up for what you believe in. Start a conversation with one of the Modern Merfolk tees, crops, or mermaid leggings designed by local Austin creator Corey Carbo. 

Wear one of our handmade jewelry items crafted by local maker Paige Brooks, who donates 10% of her sales to animal rescue.

Drink from the World's most Eco-Friendly Water Bottle, made my small business owner Alexandra at Yuhme Water Bottles out of sugar cane. 

50% of sales from the shop are donated evenly between Sea Shepherd and The Oceanic Preservation Society

 

I welcome you to our community and look forward to making the world a more peaceful place, together.

-Paige