NARN
Board of Directors

Rachel

Rachel Bjork

Where did you grow up?

Seattle! I am a rare Seattle native. I am lucky to have grown up on Capitol Hill in the heart of Seattle. I am grateful that my parents sent me to schools with a diverse student population, and that I learned to enjoy and learn from people that are different from me.

Why vegan?

I become vegan in 2000. I had previously been a slow convert to vegetarianism because I thought it was healthier. After coming back home from attending college out of state, I started going to EarthSave potlucks in Seattle and watched a few videos about what happens to dairy cows and layer hens. I learned that not only were eggs and dairy unhealthy, but what happened to animals raised or food was just horrible. I just knew I couldn’t be a part of something so awful. Simply not contributing to such injustice seemed like the least I could do.

Why animal rights activism & why NARN?

Since I was in High School, I knew that I wanted my life to matter and to me, that meant working on making the world a better place. I wanted to do what I could to change the world for the better.  I am not happy sitting back and allowing injustice to happen. I love being involved with NARN because we believe in community, inclusion, that animal activism is a social justice movement and that a variety of tactics are necessary in order to achieve Animal Liberation. I love being a part of a wonderful community that is always striving to do better.

What inspires you? 

Other activists! Not the superstars of the movement, but the everyday “average” folks that spend their free time fighting for the animals.

Adam

Adam Farmer

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland has a great vegan community and is more vegan-friendly than people might think. But I was ready for a change, and things fell into place for a move to Seattle in 2015, so I went for it and am so glad I did!

Why vegan?

I initially went vegan for the health benefits, but as an animal lover, that issue had been in the back of my mind for a long time. Once I made the choice to go vegan I started reading as much as I could, not just on the health issue, but also the animals and environment. Once I learned of the extreme cruelty we unnecessarily inflict on animals, I knew I would be vegan for life and that became my primary motivation.

Why animal rights activism & why NARN?

Non-human animals can’t speak or fight for themselves, so we need to be their voice. I believe most people are compassionate and do not want to harm animals, they just don’t fully make the connection between their choices and the harm caused by those choices. I love NARN’s welcoming approach to informing and educating. NARN is extremely inclusive and strives to show the connection between the oppression of animals and other social justice issues. In the end, veganism is an issue of social justice.

What inspires you?

People making changes! Whether it’s the excitement and enthusiasm of a new vegan ready to get out there and change the world, or someone newly curious and wondering how they can start making small positive changes in their life, people everywhere are making a difference.

cina

Cina Ebrahimi

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington.

Why vegan?

I became vegan because it didn’t make sense to me that I was protesting against animal labs and whale hunts while still eating and wearing the bodies of other animals. My interest in animal advocacy came from my belief in equality for all. As a Middle-Eastern person of color who grew up in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks., I knew what it felt to be treated as being inferior. And I still do. Keeping that in mind, I saw no reason for why other people should be treated as inferior based on their species membership

Why animal rights activism & why NARN?

I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for other animals simply by being vegan. Especially since a lot of vegans I’ve met seemed to think that their consumer decisions already counted as activism or didn’t give anti-speciesism the attention it deserves. So I decided I had to do more than just buy certain items when I went shopping.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who break from the trend and value doing the right thing over their own personal gain or popularity. Having “radical” or “revolutionary” ideas when it’s popular isn’t the same thing as doing so when it causes you to lose friends or be labeled as some pariah.

lorrin

Lorrin Maughan

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Zimbabwe and finished high school in South Africa. Then I moved to Australia, where I got a couple of degrees and eventually joined Microsoft. And that’s how I came to Seattle! After leaving Microsoft in 2011, I moved to New Mexico, then did a stint in Kansas before coming back to the Pacific Northwest, with my animal companions.

Why vegan?

Because I love animals, I believe in the power of compassion, and I want to live in alignment with my values.

I grew up carnist, but one day realized the hypocrisy in saying I loved animals if I was eating them. So I went vegetarian but told myself a story that I couldn’t live without milk chocolate and leather shoes. Then I watched “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” and the dairy footage shattered me. I went vegan because I realized then, that nothing tastes, looks, or feels good enough to justify what is done to animals in the name of food, fashion, and “fun.”

Why animal rights activism & why NARN?

Why animal rights? Because non humans need allies. They don’t have rights in our society, and humans have been so indoctrinated as a society to look past the oppression and exploitation of non-humans that their suffering is largely invisible or discounted. Because I believe the only path to peace and equity for humans is to embrace compassion for ALL beings and for the planet.

Why NARN?

In a nutshell: The organization’s values, longevity and breadth of programs. I appreciate the constructive and inclusive approach NARN takes to animal rights activism.

What inspires you?

Potential. I think we all have the potential to change and make positive change in the world. I want to help everyone live into that potential.

prof_hike

Mike Hines

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Frankfort, Kentucky, spending summers at my grandfather’s farm in south central Kentucky. I went to college in Murray, Kentucky and then moved throughout the US over the years, living in North Carolina, Colorado, Washington and California. I’ve been in Seattle since 2008, but lived in Malta for a short stint in 2012.

Why vegan?

There are so many reasons. I grew up an omnivore. I always loved animals, but had the same cognitive dissonance that abounds in our society. Around 2002 I decided I couldn’t support the torturous nature of industrial animal farms and switched to being a ‘free range’ vegetarian. Two years later I learned that a number of the companies claiming they were raising animals free range were doing horrible things. I also came to the conclusion around the same time that the consumption and use of animals was entirely about convenience and pleasure. I could no longer ethically justify any choice other than veganism.

Since then, I’ve come to understand many more reasons for being vegan, including general ecological impact, human costs in animal agriculture, antibiotic resistant bacteria and general impact of ignoring animal welfare on our society’s mentality.

Why animal rights activism & why NARN?

I’ve done a lot of volunteering and organizing in other areas over the years, primarily focused on race & social justice equity work. I’ve volunteered with NARN several times, but it hasn’t been my key focus. I appreciate NARN’s intersectional and inclusive approach to animal rights activism, and I believe as a society we desperately need both veganism and compassion that isn’t drawn across arbitrary lines.

What inspires you? 

I am inspired by the lengths to which so many passionate volunteers, activists and organizers have gone throughout history to make change where they saw injustice or need. I am inspired by the beauty, complexity and diversity of nature and believe that we have a responsibility to protect it and preserve it for all sentient beings.

Chloe Cuda

Chloe Cudaback

Where did you grow up?
I grew up north of Seattle in Everett, Washington. I currently live in Seattle, but grew up along the Puget Sound on Harstene Island and in Bellingham, as well. I spent many summers finding starfish in tide pools, spotting deer and their fawns, and looking for seals on the horizon.
Why vegan?
I started my veg journey at a primate sanctuary when I was in college, pursuing a dream of working with chimpanzees. While there, I had amazing mentors that helped me develop my animal ethics and I still carry that foundation with me today. My journey probably started even earlier as a child with Charlotte’s Web and Babe. 
Why animal rights activism & why NARN?
I have a vested interest in helping animals, but I also care deeply about the Pacific Northwest community and bolstering leaders in the movement. By working with NARN, I am able to accomplish all of these things. NARN is also an organization that values inclusivity and accessibility to our cause, which I greatly admire.
What inspires you?
Animal advocates inspire me, those that are able to step outside of themselves to take action that is best for the welfare of animals. Other icons that inspire me every day with their stories are John Lennon, Jane Goodall, Elvis Presley, and Michelle Obama.
corbin

Corbin Charpentier

Where did you grow up?
Kansas City, Kansas

Why vegan?
I’d been a vegetarian since I was a wee lad in Kansas (for ethical reasons: I didn’t want to eat my cats), and after finally engaging in some activism in my late 20s and learning about the major problems associated with dairy and laying hens, I decided I needed to walk to talk, so to speak.

Why animal rights activism & why NARN?

It’s always been clear to me that like humans, our non-human animals kin do not want to suffer or die, yet, from animal agriculture to habitat loss and animal testing, the scale at which humanity inflicts that suffering and death is absolutely staggering. NARN sits at the intersection of all of these issues.

What inspires you? 

Seeing happy beings! It reminds me what is possible. Seeing not so happy beings. It reminds me that there is still work to do.