Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in New Jersey. My parents taught us to respect and admire nature, so we spent much time outdoors, hiking and camping. I moved to Washington 7 years ago and I am in love with the beauty and majesty of these mountains!
When I was 19 I saw a flyer promoting veganism, with a photo of a chicken on a factory farm. My brain made the connections and I stopped eating animals immediately because no one should have to suffer or die for me to sustain myself. I called the number on the flyer and got involved with this local animal rights organization. I shared what I was learning with my friends and family – hoping they would change their eating and buying habits as well. They didn’t but I persevered because I do not want to be a part of anyone else’s suffering.
After college I moved to Maine in 1994, and being in my own place helped me be consistently and fully vegan, and I have been ever since – including raising 2 now grown children as vegans. My decision to live as a vegan began with compassion, and soon grew into a health decision (I don’t want dead animals in my or my children’s bodies, that’s just gross) and an environmental decision (factory farms are destroying the earth).
Why animal rights activism & why NARN?
The exploitation of animals is incredibly pervasive with rampant abuse and cruelty. So much is unseen by the general public, which perpetuates the industries that profit off of their imprisonment and their bodies (zoos, labs, etc). Animals are vulnerable and need our help if they are to be liberated.
Since I moved to WA 7 years ago, I have been an armchair activist and have attended protests for animal rights’ issues. With my children now grown, I have more time to commit to a larger investment in the fight for animal rights. NARN’s mission is aligned with mine: advocating for the right of all sentient beings to be free from oppression and exploitation. I hope to contribute to NARN’s efforts and successes in the fight to liberate animals.
What inspires you?
Kindness. More than anything, simple kindness is the most heartwarming thing to witness. This inspires me to believe that humans do have the capacity to expand their mindset and their circle of understanding and compassion.
I am inspired with every victory the movement has attained, from rescued animals to closure of labs to witnessing the produce and health foods’ sections grow in size to people I know changing their diets and shopping habits and moving toward a more cruelty-free lifestyle. I have been involved since 1989, this is a long and awfully difficult struggle so it’s important to recognize when we have made a difference.