Activist Profile: December 3, 2014
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in the beautiful state of New Hampshire, home of the greatest license plate slogan ever: “Live Free or Die,” though my young adult years were spent in Boston. I currently live in Montreal and, no, I don’t speak French, and, yes, it IS the coldest place on Earth. (It’s also full of art, weird people, and amazing vegan food.)
What got you interested in veganism and animal advocacy?
I give credit to a couple of high school friends who first made me aware that it was possible to question the status quo. I went vegetarian after they made a tiny crack in my mind, letting in the knowledge that I didn’t have to simply accept what I was offered as food, and that it might be possible to live a gentler and more conscious life. I owe my graduation to veganism to my partner, Gabriel, and Humane Society International/Canada. After Gabriel began working with HSI, we were simply made too aware of the atrocities inherent in the egg and dairy industries to continue supporting them. In short, it was plain and simple knowledge that made going vegan the easiest and most rewarding decision I’ve ever made.
Who has been a major influence in your life?
Every single person I’ve ever met who’s relied on their own brain and their own heart to question norms and all those who lead their lives guided by compassion and the drive to leave the earth a little bit better than when they arrived.
What do you do for fun?
I could spend days making silly watercolor drawings and covering things in glitter. I also love running, beer tasting, games, mysteries, political novels, eating tacos, and hunkering down on rainy days.
You leaflet in Canada. What’s the response to your leafleting up there?
Canada is a wonderfully progressive country, and I’ve seen that embodied in many students up here. Even in parts where the term “vegan” is rarely heard, students have reacted strongly to seeing images of suffering animals and want to know what they can do to stop contributing. I’ve also found that young Canadians have a deep respect for nature and the environment and, when they learn about the devastating impact that animal agriculture is having in those areas, they are especially motivated to act.
Do you have any advice for those hesitant about leafleting?
It can be hard to face what feels like frequent rejection and apathy for hours a day, but what keeps me getting out each day is remembering that if I’m not asking students to start questioning what they’ve been raised to believe is “normal,” “healthy,” and “natural,” then who will? Remember that what you’re doing is a truly positive thing in a world full of sad realities, and hopefully that will give you the courage to keep speaking up for those who can’t speak up for themselves.