Tell us about yourself.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I found out where hot dogs came from when I was 8 years old. I cried and that was the moment that I lost my disassociation between ‘meat’ and animals.
Why are you still vegan today?
I am vegan for the planet, the animals and the human animal. Animal agriculture is one of the key components of the destruction of our planet. As we know, extinction is a current reality for many species. We need to start taking better care of the earth for the animals and the human animals that we are.
The battle we are fighting right now to save the voiceless animals is important because their lives are important. There is also a direct correlation to the future of humanity and longevity of the planet within this battle.
But, never present a problem without a solution, right? Anyone can start helping at any moment…by going vegan and creating less waste by recycling and reusing daily household items. Plant trees, bring your own grocery bags… every little thing makes a difference.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Absolutely! Being an activist for what you believe in is important. As humans on this planet, we are constantly evolving, learning and activism brings about necessary social change.
Vegan activism and support of animal rights is crucial for change. All vegans should be proud of their choice to live a cruelty-free lifestyle and should share that information. I encourage vegans to post, share, and educate others about their choice to be vegan and admire everyone that does.
What did you parents think because you stopped eating meat so young? What did you eat?
My parents adhered to a standard American diet so I would just eat the side items for most meals and ask for more veggies and potatoes. I remember a lot of arguments with my parents about my eating habits and they thought it was a phase.
Is your family vegan?
I am trying my best to encourage my parents to go vegan. My parents are from a small town and rarely use the internet. Once I realized that my mom and dad didn’t have access to the information that I do, it helped me understand that they were literally programmed to think that milk and meat are needed to be healthy. Along with all of the cooking that they have been taught includes meat and dairy. Reprogramming that thought pattern isn’t easy. I mailed them a few vegan cookbooks and try to encourage new habits.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Children should be educated on the entire process of our food system. It is real life. Or real death in this case.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
Every non-vegan is a vegan in the making. Once you can capture their attention in a way that they will listen. Everyone processes and learns differently. Many people are unaware of the environmental impacts. Some don’t know the real cruelty behind the process of the meat and dairy industry. A few don’t know the health benefits of eating a vegan diet. Reprogramming someone to truly lose the disassociation that our culture has developed is a complicated process for some.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Living cruelty-free means making sure all the products that you consume or use do not harm animals in any part of the process. Yes, I believe that being cruelty-free also means being kind to your other kind fellow humans.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Go to all of the festivals and meet-ups that you can. Enjoy amazing food together. Start helping the cause by getting involved and posting information to educate others. Communicate and follow other vegans online.
What do you want to say to new Vegans?
You are now an important part of a big shift that is happening in the world. Thank you for being a compassionate soul and I am personally thankful for you.