Vegan Travel Association

Vegan Travel
Q & A with VTA Founder and Board Member - Donna Zeigfinger

Q & A with VTA Founder and Board Member – Donna Zeigfinger

What’s your travel experience?

There are three things in this world that I absolutely adore: animals, travel, and music. To me, these are
not just hobbies, but great passions that have shaped my life in incredible ways.
From a young age, I always believed in the transformative power of vacations. They have the ability to
rejuvenate both our bodies and minds. As a child, my dreams were as simple as experiencing the beauty
of California and going on an exhilarating safari. Little did I know that these dreams would shape my
future trajectory.

After years of working as a dog groomer and immersing myself in the world of animal care, I realized I craved more human interaction. That’s when I made the decision to attend Cal Simmons, a renowned
travel agency school. And boy, did that ignite a fire within me! The year was 1985, and I instantly caught
the travel bug. My first taste of the industry came through an internship at a Virginia-based agency.
Interestingly, my journey as a vegan began two years prior to my foray into the travel industry. Back
then, I had friends who were also vegans and sought my assistance in planning their trips. It was a vastly
different landscape compared to what we see today.

In 1994, I embarked on a life-changing honeymoon to South Africa. Prior to my departure, a client from
the humane society told me that witnessing an elephant in the wild would leave an indelible mark on my
soul. They couldn’t have been more correct. It was in the eyes of those magnificent creatures that I saw
an undeniable sense of life and vitality.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of exploring other awe-inspiring destinations, particularly in Africa.
Sending my clients on once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the continent has become a genuine passion of

Now, let me address a misconception I once held. I used to believe that traveling to the same place
more than once was unnecessary. Oh, how wrong I was! There’s something genuinely special about
revisiting destinations that holds a special place in your heart. Take Ireland, for example. As an Ireland
specialist for over 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this enchanting country more than a dozen
times. In fact, during my last trip, I stumbled upon a little-known gem – the Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of
Fame. You can only imagine the bliss I experienced! Hence the music love aspect with travel.

Tell us a little about your company

In 1997, I turned my passions into a reality by founding Green Earth Travel. With a deep-rooted belief in
vegan and cruelty free travel, Green Earth Travel aims to provide exceptional travel experiences while
making a positive impact on the planet.
Our story began with a mission to curate itineraries that not only showcase the beauty and diversity of
destinations but also prioritize the well-being of local communities and ecosystems. We have partnered
with eco-conscious and vegan friendly accommodations, local guides, and community-based initiatives
to create meaningful connections and contribute to the preservation of our planet’s natural and cultural
What sets Green Earth Travel apart is our commitment to providing personalized service and attention
to detail. We understand that every traveler is unique, and we take the time to understand your
interests, preferences, and travel goals. Whether you’re seeking a wildlife safari in Africa, a spiritual
journey in Asia, or an eco-friendly beach retreat, we strive to create tailor-made experiences that
exceed your expectations.
With over 30 years of experience in vegan travel, Green Earth Travel has earned a reputation for
delivering exceptional customer service and unforgettable adventures. We are proud to have a roster of
satisfied clients who have embarked on transformative journeys while making a positive impact on the
So, there you have it – a brief glimpse into my life, my deep love for animals, travel, and music, and the

birth of Green Earth Travel. I can’t wait to share more stories and help you create your own
unforgettable adventures through Green Earth Travel.

What do you do at The Vegan Travel Association?

I am a board member. Most of my work is with social media.

Carryon or check-in?

Both. It depends on the trip. Sometimes I will carryon on the way over and check in on the way back (normally because I bought too much!)

Do you use packing cubes?


Rolling or folding clothes?

Rolling mostly

Describe your perfect vacation in one sentence

My perfect vacation would be a humane and healthy retreat, surrounded by breathtaking nature,
engaging in wellness activities, immersing in local culture, and savoring delicious, vegan cuisine.

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