Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in Brazil and grew up in Calgary, Canada; where I still live. I am a certified personal fitness trainer and plant-based nutritionist, and am completing my master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.
What lead you to veganism?
A little over 6 years ago, I rescued a cat from the local animal shelter. Throughout the first few months of living with and caring for this cat, I quickly developed a deep appreciation for the uniqueness and genuineness of animals as individuals. I began to realize that I was living an incongruent lifestyle by caring for one animal and eating others that were equally as social, affectionate, and intelligent as my cat. This motivated me to do some research and learn more about the reality of how our society treats animals. I watched the documentary Earthlings, which was a huge eye-opener and propelled me to make some much-needed changes. I realized that I had to stop supporting the industries that exploit and abuse animals for profit.
Tell us about our journey to activism?
I’m an activist because I believe that knowledge is power. It is not enough to boycott the products that came from the pain and suffering of animals. It’s also important to educate others so that they too can begin to make informed choices and so that we as a society can evolve.
What type of activism are you involved in? Please feel free to share the groups you participate in.
I’m involved in several local and international animal rights groups. I take part in many forms of activism from peaceful protests to raising awareness via educating others in person and online.
What were your thoughts and feelings before your first activism event?
I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was a little nervous.
How did you feel once the event was over?
I felt empowered and fulfilled to have been representing truth and justice. I also felt a wonderful sense of connection and community to other like-minded fellow activists fighting for the same cause.
How do you feel you are most effective as an activist?
I feel that targeting the psychology of why we eat animals and animal products, and getting people to really think about their dietary and lifestyle choices on a deeper level is where I am most effective as an activist.
What’s been your most memorable moment as an activist? Toughest moment?
The most memorable moments have been the many times that people have reached out to me letting me know how much of an impact I’ve made in their lives. The toughest moments continue to be trying to wrap my head around how an industry based on the systematic torture and murder of innocents can continue to exist in the age of free and easily accessible information.
What is your favorite type of activist event? For example, Cubes of Truth, Marches, disruptions, writing letters, etc.
My favorite type of activism is any type of activism that is effective. I think marches that disrupt cities and make national and international news are fantastic for raising awareness on a big scale. Cubes of Truth are also extremely effective as they help pique the public’s curiosity so that people can witness the inherent cruelty of animal agriculture without having their defenses up. Connecting one-on-one with people who are genuinely curious and open to new information is also part of what make cubes incredibly effective.
Please recommend your favorite activism video/s, book/s or website/s to share?
I love documentaries for imparting in-depth knowledge about the health, environmental, and ethical aspects of veganism within a couple of hours. I’d recommend What The Health, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings respectively. The first two are available on Netflix, and Earthlings is available for free at.
Who are your activism role models? Why?
Gary Yourofsky is the man responsible for opening my eyes 6 years ago in a very big way. I came across his famous speech on YouTube the night I decided I needed to go vegan. I have been inspired to be an advocate for animal rights ever since.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I took a couple of months to fully transition to vegan. Cutting out meat was really easy and I did that overnight. Eliminating eggs and dairy took a bit more time as I was addicted to these products and craved them. Although I did decide to wear out my leather clothing products, I no longer purchased leather or any cleaning, toiletry, or cosmetic products that were tested on animals.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into products?
I believe that showing children the horrific things we do to animals is not necessary as those images can be traumatic. However, I do believe that teaching children the truth through open and honest communication, and in a manner in which they can understand, to be every parent’s responsibility. There are many resources for children, such as Vegan is Love that can help to provide children with the correct information without traumatizing them.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Being vegan means being an informed consumer and considering how my choices impact others and the planet. It means living a happy and healthy life without causing misery and death to another.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist? What form of activism do you take part in?
As Albert Einstein famously stated, “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” It is not enough to simply boycott animal products. We have to also educate those around us and directly disrupt the lies that have been purposely manufactured by the industries that profit from the animal holocaust.
Are you the activist you want to see in the world? Why?
I always believe that I can be doing more. However, I strive to be the person I wish everyone on this planet would be given the catastrophic environmental and ethical crises we are facing today.
How do you balance your well being and activism?
As a counselor, I know the risks involved with being exposed to ongoing stress and traumatic material. In order to continue being an effective activist and a healthy member of society, I prioritize self-care. I know that if my needs are not met, I’ll burnout and I won’t be the person I need or want to be in order to effectively help those who are being brutalized and oppressed.