Donor Spotlight

Meet Miyoko Schinner

Miyoko Schinner is a cook, an author and entrepreneur, and the founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen. Dedicated to the culinary arts since childhood, Miyoko found her calling when she converted to veganism in her mid-twenties. Since then Miyoko has taught vegan cooking classes, published a vegan cookbook, owned a vegan restaurant, written articles for Vegetarian Times and VegNews, and even produced vegan cookies for United Airlines. In addition to being a generous donor to this year’s Hidden Heroes Gala, Miyoko will attend the event with a variety of her incomparable vegan cheeses for you to try!

Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what are you passionate about?

I'm originally from Japan but grew up mostly in California. After college I returned to live in Japan (Tokyo) for about 10 years. I've been passionate about vegan cuisine for decades, but what keeps me motivated more than anything is the power of food to change the future—for animals, the planet, and our own health—and the role I can play in contributing to the spread of veganism through my involvement with food.

How has your path led you to MFA?

MFA's undercover videos had a powerful effect on me because prior to seeing them, I could only imagine the horrors of factory farming in my mind's eye. I was also amazed by the young Nathan Runkle and what he was able to achieve at such a young age!

What part of MFA's work is closest to your heart?

MFA seems to cover it all: exposing the truth of the ugliness within factory farm walls, educating consumers and providing them with solutions in colorful booklets, and engaging in corporate outreach and legislative work. I love the comprehensiveness of the approach, one that not only points out the issues but offers solutions.

What change affecting farmed animals do you most want to see?

Total liberation, of course. But that is a process that will take time. Every step helps, whether it's improving conditions at a farm or reducing deforestation. With everyone working together, we can get there.

Which of MFA's successes do you feel happiest about?

That's a hard one, since I think it's a whole package. Simply pointing out the problems doesn't solve them. MFA has crafted different strategies to target the appropriate audiences, and it's working!