Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Trey Morrow. I live in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA and I am a filmmaker and broadcast professional.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
It started when I was sixteen and saw a video of a cow being slaughtered. I didn’t stop eating meat right away because I wasn’t even sure how, but the footage really affected me. Four or five years later I went vegetarian for the animals. Around seven years after that, I made the connection with what happens in the dairy and egg industries and realized that animals should not be commodified in any way, shape, or form so going vegan was the best way to align my actions with the way I already felt in my heart.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
When I decided to go vegan, I stopped eating animal products right away. It was a little scary because I really didn’t even know what I would eat, but I soon discovered that vegans can eat burgers, pizzas, ice cream, etc and it tastes even better than the animal versions do. I also discovered a lot of healthy foods that had not been in my diet before.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism? For example, how strict are you with your children’s veganism at school or at family gatherings?
Thankfully my partner is vegan. We don’t have any human kids, but both of our dogs (Onion and Bean) are vegan. I don’t think one can call themselves a vegan while making exceptions for animal abuse at family gatherings. That would not be acceptable for any other injustice. For example, if someone only makes racist remarks at family gatherings, they’re still racist. If someone contributes to animal abuse by eating their bodies or secretions, but only at family gatherings, they’re still an animal abuser (and not a vegan).
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
It depends on the context of the situation, but I think a lot of kids would rather know what happens behind closed doors so that they can stop contributing to animal suffering rather than staying in the dark about it only to wake up one day years later and realize how many lives they have taken without realizing it. Even if the context is not right for showing them, I do believe that we should tell them so that they can be informed. A lot of kids would never want to be a part of such violence toward innocent animals. It’s not fair to children or animals when children are unknowingly contributing to animal abuse. A lot of kids don’t even realize that they are eating the body parts of an animal that they would rather be cuddling with.
Most adults in my country would be horrified if they ate a meal that they thought was delicious only to find out afterwards that they ate a dog. It would be a cruel trick, but it’s really no different morally than what many parents do to kids every day by feeding them pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows, and other animals.
What does being vegan mean to you? For example, does it extend to not killing bugs and bees?
Being vegan means not contributing to the harm of animals as far as realistically possible. This absolutely includes bugs. Is it vegan to go out of your way to stomp on a caterpillar? No. Does accidentally killing a bug while you’re walking or driving mean you’re not vegan? No. The intent matters. In the same context, accidentally running over a dog with a car would not be viewed the same as intentionally running over a dog with a car.
Does it include not patronizing vegan companies owned by non-vegan parent companies?
Only buying from 100% vegan companies at all times is not practicable or possible. I love to support vegan companies, but even an all-vegan restaurant may order ingredients from companies who also sell products of animal abuse. If one followed this logic to its full extent, all vegans that wanted to drive would have to have an expensive Tesla and we would have to shop at purely vegan grocery stores. Not only would the grocery store have to be 100% vegan, but all of their suppliers would have to be 100% vegan. Living this way in today’s world would be next to impossible. A better approach is to buy vegan products from both vegan companies and non-vegan companies to show that there is a demand for vegan products.
Does it affect the way you treat other humans?
I personally try my best to treat others the way I would want to be treated, this includes non-human animals. Now that my circle of compassion includes all animals, I speak up for non-human animals the way I would want to be spoken for to humans that pay to have them abused. That’s the only difference in the way I treat humans now that I’m vegan.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
On some level, yes. Silence is violence. If anyone sees any kind of injustice or abuse of any kind, it’s our duty to speak up.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I try to be equally compassionate to everyone, but I try not to dilute what animals go through to make anyone feel better. I wish more people had held me accountable when I was contributing to animal abuse.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
If you are looking to become an activist for animals or step up your activism, AnimalActivismMentorship.com is a great resource.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos of your own media that you want to share?
This is a speech I gave in eastern North Carolina. It’s special to me because it was my first speak-out. I almost didn’t do it because I was nervous but received some encouragement from a fellow activist and did it. A fellow activist filmed it and it got over 70,000 views on Facebook which is more attention than any activism-related content I’ve ever posted has gotten, exposing many to the message of veganism and showing them what animals go through for their food, entertainment, etc. I use this as an example when I try to encourage others. It’s proof of the good that can come from stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking up.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
It’s a tie between We Got the Beets in Greenville SC, Inconceivable Café in Hendersonville NC, and Bean Vegan Cuisine in Charlotte NC.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
My me maw’s vegan mac is the absolute best. She probably wouldn’t want me to post it publicly, but if anyone wants to contact me personally I’ll give it to them.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
You’ve made an incredible decision to align your actions with your morals. Please take the next step and become an activist for animals in some way. They need us so desperately.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
I live in an extremely small city with no vegan scene at all, but luckily there are surrounding cities that I can visit.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Get involved with activism!
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Tines for Change. They take antique silverware that used to be for eating animals and turn them into vegan jewelry that start conversations about helping animals.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I feel like I have everything I need.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I struggle all the time because becoming privy to the violence that animal abusing industries try to hide is like waking up in a nightmare. Everyone’s walking around eating dead bodies and you’re trying to stop them and many of them don’t understand. It can be hard to deal with at times, but I try to stay focused on what the animals go through and how I would want to be advocated for if I were in their place.