In this, my second Voices From the North interview with Butterflies, we explore further her now more than 30 year adventure with veganism. She reads selected poems from her new book, Metamorphosis: Poems to Inspire Transformation.metamorphosis-book-cover The inspiring, thought-provoking rhyming poems reflect Butterflies’ deep reverence for nature, respect for animals and her perspective as a passionate vegan woman. There’s a beautiful photograph with every poem, many taken by Butterflies herself. There’s something here for everyone. For samples of poems and book ordering information visit her website at


She also speaks on a recent 25 question online vegan survey she conducted. After receiving 750 enthusiastic responses she shut the door, seeing she already had a daunting task to collate, interpret and report on the findings—by hand. Why by hand, you ask? Butterflies’ home in New Zealand is a refurbished and funky old caravan she calls Tranquillity. The trailer is just big enough to hold her bed, a small desk and a bit of storage space. There is no power or toilet, so she’s printed the survey results out. That way she can work at her desk or from her bed-sized rainbow-painted deck—when she’s not writing poetry.


Tranquillity is part of a several hundred acre property owned by Gentle World, the vegan community to which Butterflies belongs. The property, tucked in a river-bisected meadow surrounded by national forest, is aptly named Shangri La. Where else in the world can one still drink pure water straight from the stream?


A few preliminary findings from the survey indicate there are thriving groups of vegans nestled in pockets around the world. Some of these pockets are predictable—no one would be surprised to hear that California is home to many vegans, or London, the home of Donald Wilson, who first coined the term ‘vegan’ in 1944 (for more on the history of vegetarianism click here). But it seems Portland, Oregon, may come out on top today and there’s a strong group led by Dr. Gabriel Cousins in Arizona. New Zealand has significant clusters in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.


Becoming a vegan is a personal and ethical decision. Survey results indicate a vast range of diets, from junk food vegans to raw foodies. Almost all respondents indicated they were healthier than ever on their vegan diets; and it was virtually unanimous amongst raw food vegans that they had vibrant health and bundles of energy.


For the complete one hour interview with plenty of poems read by Butterflies click below:


Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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Our earlier interview and blog:


Recent interview with Gentle World co-founders Sun and Light: