How long have you been vegan?
I was born vegan, so 15 and a half years now!
What made you go vegan? If your parents, did they educated you? Give you options? If something else, tell us.
I grew up eating a plant-based whole foods diet. I learned from my mom about nutrition and checking labels. My mom is a great cook and every meal is delicious -I just thought it was normal. It made sense- why would anyone want to eat an animal? It was hard with family though as they would always offer me “chicken” and “icecream” at meals, even though they knew I didn’t eat animals.
Why is being vegan important to you?
I believe being vegan is the only way to save our planet. I believe animals are sentient beings and they don’t want to be hurt, exploited and killed. They are just like my companion animal Paisley. I couldn’t imagine her facing the horrors that other animals experience.
Being vegan is more than just eating a plant-based diet it means standing up and taking action for all animals that are being exploited until they are all free. Farmed animals, animals in zoos and aquariums animals used for clothing, animals that are used for experiments
Do you have a vegan role model?
No, not really.
How do you educate yourself about veganism and animal rights?
I have learned the most by actively working on animal rights issues. I keep informed by being part of the animal liberation movement; reading, campaigning, attending conferences and speaking to others in the movement.
What is your favorite animal?
I love all animals but I especially connect with dogs and zebras.
Do you take part in any activism?
Yes, I have been actively working on animal rights issues since I was about seven. I started out by selling lemonade to raise money to donate to charity. I campaigned with others to ban the captivity of whales and dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium by protesting outside the aquarium, leafleting, holding signs and speaking at park board meetings. It was so exciting when the Parks board voted yes to the ban. I also campaigned with others to pass Bill S-203 by writing letters, emailing and making videos to send to senators. The historic Bill to ban the capture and captivity of cetaceans in Canada was passed this year!
I have experienced many types of activism from bearing witness, to documenting animal cruelty, disruptions, and protests.
My favorite form of activism is speaking up against animal cruelty.
Last year I did a solo disruption at a local grocery store. I held up photos of my friends; Lucy the Pig, Mo the Turkey, Desi the Cow and Penny the chicken. I asked that people make a compassionate choice this holiday season and to please do not eat my friends.
I have spoken at a local Rotary club, to ask that they stop funding Rib Fest. And recently spoke at a City Hall meeting asking that the city to not let the new hospital have an animal testing lab.
I feel a real connection to dogs and after I learned about the horror that is the fur industry I knew I had to do something. I attended a few protests and disruptions and learned that other cities were banning fur. I felt that this is something we could do here in Vancouver. So last year I started a petition to ban the sale of fur in Vancouver, it has reached over 13,000 signatures. In 2020 I am looking forward to meeting with city hall and seeing how we can make fur history! I am also approaching vegan businesses this year to ask if they would make their restaurants a fur-free zone.
I have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year by volunteering my time to help other humans. For two years now I have organized an event where I ask people to bake vegan treats and write affirmations. We hand them out to the people who live on the downtown eastside of Vancouver.
I have a YouTube channel and share my activism and recipes on social media. I hope to inspire others to take action.
What is your favorite vegan food?
What is your favorite vegan restaurant?
I love vegan food! This is hard, I would have to say Meet on Main, or Paradise Noodle.
What types of peer pressure do you feel at school for being vegan?
I have been home learning since grade four-so I don’t feel any pressure from my peers. But I did when I was in school. I remember people laughing at me when I said I was vegan. It was difficult when I was younger because my family would always ask me to eat animals even though they knew I was vegan.
Why type of advocating do you do at school.
I have been able to pursue my social justice work through my home learning curriculum. This year my you tube series “Monday Munchies” is a school project. For my second term, I am working with the librarian to add vegan and activism information to the section on Vegan!
What is the toughest thing about being a vegan?
The toughest thing is when I did outreach at a ban fur event and people didn’t listen or they walked past or said mean things.
What has been your best vegan moment so far?
This year I will attend my third Animal liberation Conference in Berkeley CA. I love meeting all of the other activists and eating, joining them in marches and open rescues.
This year I was invited to speak in Florida at the Animal Hero Kids Conference. This was really exciting and I was really surprised when I received the“Kind to All” award.
Do you believe children are the key to creating a vegan world? How can we make this happen?
I really do! I just hope more people join the movement. I hope more people come together as one movement. I want people to know that being vegan means more than adopting a plant-based diet. In 2019 I spoke at a climate save the event as part of the Animal Rebellion group and stated that we cannot declare a climate change emergency without first acknowledging the animal emergency.