Activist Profile: December 2, 2015
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Northern Virginia, then later moved to Las Vegas, Richmond, and recently have been back in Northern VA.
What led you to going vegan?
My mom was a devoted animal rights activist, and she raised me vegetarian since birth. So the transition to veganism was seamless. Ultimately, with more knowledge of the egg and dairy industry practices, veganism presented itself as the essential way of creating a kinder world for animals, the environment, and our health.
How did you get involved with Vegan Outreach?
I have been a fan and a follower of Vegan Outreach’s activism and social media for quite some time. I feel like the luckiest person on the planet to have conducted outreach for the Canadian/Upstate NY tour, as these experiences have created memories that I will take with me for as long as I live.
You’ve been on the road for close to two months. How do you continue to stay motivated week after week?
Time is of the essence with thousands of farmed animals sent to slaughter each minute. Depending on my location, I will sometimes witness multiple transport trucks in one afternoon, and that continues to fuel my devotion to activism – to ensure that fewer such animals will have to endure this gruesome fate.
What’s been your favorite leafleting moment so far?
While leafleting at Syracuse University, a gentleman relayed that a Your Choice booklet from the previous tour changed his life in many aspects. He stated that he no longer eats meat and is now encouraging his friends and family to reduce their meat consumption. Clearly, he was visibly moved by the booklet and wanted me to continue this work because it had that much of an impact on his own life.
When not doing Vegan Outreach work, you do some great volunteer work. Would you tell us about this?
I am devoted to spending my time focused on animal activism with phone banking, canvassing, gathering signatures, and giving presentations on factory farming. This work is exhilarating and necessary, and I encourage anyone and everyone to follow their path in activism for a cause that resonates deeply from within.
Also, I am very proud to work with students with ADHD and other distinct backgrounds. Working with young adults in improving both academic and social life goals in one-on-one meetings is a big part of my life. Also, I work with young adults, instructing tennis lessons and soccer clinics. I believe sports can play an invaluable role in developing a strong work ethic, sportsmanship, and a team-oriented mentality.
Do you have any advice for those new to leafleting?
If you take rejection personally or are a bit hesitant in handing literature to individuals, or you feel a bit unsure of standing in a high foot traffic location, then it may take a little longer to get comfortable out there. The truth of the matter is, leafleting is downright fun. In the process, we inevitably become more comfortable in speaking about a topic that means something dear to our hearts. You have the rare opportunity to create a world that fits in alignment with your beliefs. And the statistics have shown leafleting to be an effective form of grassroots activism. Hope to see you out on the pavement soon!