How long have you been vegan?
My name is Josephine. I have been vegan for 2.5 wonderful years, but vegetarian 3 years before that. You can follow me and my pet pig Franny on Instagram @thatteenpigmom
What made you go vegan?
I went vegan because I love animals, and seeing how they are treated, knowing how sentient they are, is heartbreaking. I remember the first time I saw factory farming footage. The nightmares underneath the industrial fluorescent lights, the abuse, how they are treated like commodities.
Why is being vegan important to you?
Veganism/animal rights is my passion. It is so important because I know I need to stick up for the most abused members of our society.
Do you have a vegan role model?
I have several vegan role models, Gene Baur, Leah Doellinger, and Nathan (Milo) Runkle.
How do you educate yourself about veganism and animal rights?
I educated myself about veganism with the internet. It was an important tool in exposing me to the cruelties farmed animals endure.
What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is a tie between cows and pigs. I have a rescue pig named Franny who I love with my whole heart. I adore the sweetness and motherly aspects of cows and pigs.
Do you take part in any activism?
I am an extremely passionate and dedicated vegan, animal rights advocate. I am a part of the Farm Sanctuary Youth Leadership Council, a co-president of Animal Hero Kids, and have been featured on World Animal News for my petition to ban veal crates in Virginia. I have also attended pig vigils, Cube of Truth protests, Circle of Silence Protests, United Poultry Concerns protests, and volunteered with Farm Sanctuary at the National Animal Rights Conference. Along with that I do tons of animal advocacy at my school with my club, poster hanging, and leafleting.
What is your favorite vegan food?
My favorite vegan food is probably vegan chicken and waffles, or vegan mac and cheese. I love making the vegan chicken and waffles myself but my favorite is from The Afro Vegan Society brunches.
What is your favorite vegan restaurant?
What types of peer pressure do you feel at school for being vegan?
At school some kids are defensive of eating animal products so they take it out on me, but because they don’t have any justifiable arguments about veganism, and if they really have a conversation with me, they are more open to the idea.
Why type of advocating do you do at school.
I do tons of animal advocacy at my school with my club, poster hanging, and leafleting.
Are a lot of kids curious about veganism?
A decent amount of kids are curious about veganism, but only a small number has made the switch. It’s a really proud experience though when I mentor a kid and help them switch to veganism.
What is the toughest thing about being a vegan?
I actually don’t think there is anything tough about being vegan in today’s world. Probably just knowing what’s happening to animals in those dark sheds, and not being able to free them all right now.
What has been your best vegan moment so far?
I have 2 best vegan moments. The first of which was connecting with all these amazing people and becoming an Animal Hero Kids Co-President at the National Animal Rights Conference. I also met a few friends like Genesis Butler, Hannah Testa, and VeganEvan. The second best moment would be holding Franny in my arms, knowing I was taking her out of a bad situation, and telling her I was fighting to free her and every animal.
Do you believe children are the key to creating a vegan world? How can we make this happen?
Children are 100% the key to creating a vegan world. To make this happen we need to future understand the problem. I am applying to be a speaker at the National Animal Rights Conference and one of my presentations is about a survey I did asking kids why they aren’t vegan yet. I think we have to expose them to factory farming, but in a gentle non-aggressive approach. A lot of the points kids made was just showing them a presentation about how to read labels, sources of vegan nutrition, factory farming, etc.