Activist Profile: May 20, 2015
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from Los Angeles, CA and it’s still my base, but home is currently wherever I’m leafleting. Today it’s Rochester, NY!
What got you interested in veganism and animal advocacy?
My first exposure to animal cruelty was from watching the movie Earthlings – it’s the most horrific and potent film I’ve ever seen. I hadn’t changed my food choices until a few years later after finally being repulsed with what I was eating, both mentally and physically. I went vegan overnight after trying vegetarian for a year and familiarized myself with all the animal-derived ingredients to look out for and spent hours reading labels at the grocery store during my first shopping trip. I became interested in animal advocacy because I wanted to do more to help animals and engage other people to do the same – I had watched a ton of videos of other people leafleting and finally decided to try it myself about a year and a half ago in Santa Monica, CA; then interned with Mercy For Animals for the spring semester shortly after and an activist was born!
Who has been a major influence in your life?
I learned many of my most valued principles from Audrey Hepburn (empathy, gracefulness, modesty, kindness) and it was reading quotes by Natalie Portman that ultimately gave me the final push into veganism. Aside from them, my friends have been the greatest influence. To name a few, my friend Miguel was the most influential in igniting social and political consciousness in me and is ultimately to thank for my birth as a social justice activist; Victor Sjodin taught me how to leaflet, and I channel him every single day I’m out there; and Heather Bolint from The Humane League and Sarah Von Alt from Mercy For Animals have influenced me to shoot for the stars and seize the great opportunities that come my way.
Do you have a favorite leafleting moment that you wish to share?
My favorite moment has been leafleting at Brock University in St. Catharines, ON this past semester. I had a ton of volunteers, they were all beyond awesome, many were from the animal rights group on campus, a few were leafleting for the first time, we had a huge lunch prepared by the vegan food program on campus, we had the place completely covered, and we set a huge record. We had also set a new record every day that week. It was the best!
What do you do for fun when you’re not leafleting?
I would always rather be leafleting, but when it’s not an option I’ll resort to spending time with friends, crocheting, reading, biking, cooking, using and repairing computers, and volunteering at my local sanctuary or for other causes, like food justice.
Do you have any advice for those hesitant about leafleting?
Watch some leafleting videos on YouTube, as they are often helpful and encouraging, find a local leafleting opportunity in your area, and spend that time leafleting with someone who is experienced!