Activist Profile: November 11, 2015
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in a small farming town in Northern Colorado called Eaton. And for the past three years, I have lived in Boulder, Colorado.
What led you to go vegan?
Ironically enough, I spent my first two years of college at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY. It is a university with a big agriculture school. But in the public speaking course I took my first semester of freshman year, a brave young woman stood up and gave a speech about the horrors of factory farming. That is when my journey to veganism and working for animals began. I really hope I cross paths someday with the kind soul who gave that speech; she literally changed my life.
How did you get involved with Vegan Outreach?
I met Jon Camp on multiple occasions when I was interning for PETA during the summer of 2014. VO and PETA both tabled at the Richmond Veg Fest, and Jon made a trip to Norfolk, VA (where one of the PETA offices is located), to leaflet the Warped Tour at Virginia Beach.
You’ve been on the road for over two months now. What’s that been like?
It has been such an incredible experience so far. I don’t think I could rightfully describe just how amazing it has been. Each day is different from the next! No two college campuses are the same, and each body of students are diverse and unique in their own way! I have met so many incredible people who genuinely care about the work Vegan Outreach is doing. And I end each day filled with so much hope and optimism about the future! I consider myself extremely lucky! Not many people can say that about their jobs.
What’s been your favorite leafleting moment so far?
This is a hard question! I have had multiple interactions with students that I could easily call my favorite. If I had to choose just one, though, I’d say that it was the time a very large (muscular) athletic-looking student returned to me after being handed a booklet just a few minutes earlier. He came up to me and told me that he planned to completely stop eating meat and to start cutting back on dairy. This surprised me because when he took the booklet he did not even make eye contact. He expressed so much appreciation for my presence on campus, as he didn’t know how badly chickens and cows are treated in our modern-day production of meat and dairy.
I found this interaction to be particularly inspiring because athletes typically fall within the category of people who think a vegan diet doesn’t provide enough protein. And I feel that the more athletes the vegan community has to represent just how beneficial a vegan diet can be for one’s athletic performance and overall health, the more likely other people – athletes and non-athletes – will begin to reconsider the protein myth and think about the innocent beings they’re consuming.
What do you do for fun when you’re not doing VO work?
I like to read, write, run, swim, and hike. I also really enjoy cooking for other people, although, I haven’t been able to do much of that since being on the road. I don’t watch movies very frequently, nor do I watch much TV, but the one show I will always set aside time to watch is Whose Line Is It Anyway? That show never fails to make me laugh!
Do you have any advice for those new to leafleting?
Smile, smile, smile! Leafleting can be intimidating; it certainly was for me when I first started doing it! However, I found that smiling not only engages you with your audience, but it helps increase confidence overall! And the more confident you feel leafleting, the more effective you’ll be!