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.
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.