Hello everyone, I hope that you had a wonderful weekend.
I spent my Saturday night volunteering with Anonymous for the Voiceless, showing the truth behind factory farming and having peaceful conversations with onlookers (for more information on this, please read my blog post on volunteering).
This was an interesting evening, because we encountered a group of around 300 high school students who were in the area for a convention. For the most part, the boys turned away or had some nasty comments to make, while the girls completely absorbed themselves in the footage and felt the animals’ suffering (this is not a judgment statement against boys and girls, but I do think that at this age, they are completely different with their emotions. That is a subject for another time…).
During the night, there was one, young girl who totally touched my heart. She was mainly watching the footage of how dairy cows are treated, how baby cows are taken away from their moms and are killed (footage that I cannot seem to get out of head even today!). She couldn’t stop crying and you could see the pain in her eyes. She completely got it and was asking questions about how to become vegan. And then she said something that really startled me, “If I become vegan, what does it matter? I am only one person! What difference will it make?”
I think this may be the reason why many people don’t change what they are doing, whether it is recycling, going vegan, not using straws, composting, etc. Can one person really make a difference?!
First of all, imagine if everyone thought like this! Imagine the people who have made a huge impact (like Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Oprah!) thinking that there was no point to trying because they were only ONE person.
Second of all, even ONE person who goes vegan can make an impact on this world. In just one year of being vegan a person can save 365 animals, 10,957 square feet of forest, 16,436 pounds of grain, and 401,766 gallons of water!!! That is huge! In addition, if that one vegan encourages 100 other people to go vegan, think of the impact that will have on the planet, their health and the animals who get to live.
ONE person can and WILL absolutely make a difference. Do not ever sell yourself short because you don’t think that what you do matters. Every action we take has an effect on this planet (good or bad) and we have to choose wisely.
I actually think it’s pretty cool that what we choose to feed our bodies can affect so much of this world. I find it empowering ❤
Do you want to see how much of an impact you have made on this planet by being vegan? Head over to vegan calculator to check your statistics!
When I first became vegan, I knew that I wanted to do more than just change the food on my plate. I started researching about the animal agriculture industry and was horrified by the practices that were referred to as “humane”, “organic”, “free range” and felt the grief and suffering deep in my body. Honestly, I was completely lost knowing that I wanted to do more. But what more could I do from my couch then just post on social media about all of the facts that I had found and to scream at people to go vegan?! Most days, I sat there in tears, feeling completely alone and useless.
Then one day I stumbled upon a Youtube video with James Aspey and he was participating in a peaceful demonstration with a group called Anonymous for the Voiceless. I knew immediately that I had to find a local chapter and to be a public voice for the animals. Unfortunately, there weren’t any chapters that were less than two hours away.
So, I thought that maybe I could start my own. I jumped on it but before I could finish the process, a wonderful team started a local chapter here in San Diego. I was so incredibly excited and there was nothing that would stop me from attending. Seven months later, the San Diego chapter is still in action and I have teamed up to start an additional chapter in North County San Diego. I have been organizing that one since June, and it truly has been a dream come true!
What is Anonymous for the Voiceless and what do we do?
“ESTABLISHED APRIL, 2016.
ANONYMOUS FOR THE VOICELESS IS AN ANIMAL RIGHTS ORGANISATION THAT SPECIALIZES IN STREET ACTIVISM.
OVER 4,026 DEMONSTRATIONS IN 805 CITIES WORLDWIDE, WE’VE CONVINCED AT LEAST 271,747 BYSTANDERS TO TAKE VEGANISM SERIOUSLY.
THROUGH THE USE OF LOCAL STANDARD-PRACTICE FOOTAGE, WE EXPOSE TO THE PUBLIC WHAT IS INTENTIONALLY HIDDEN FROM THEM WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMAL EXPLOITATION. COMBINING THIS WITH A VALUE-BASED SALES APPROACH AND RESOURCE LITERATURE, WE FULLY EQUIP THE PUBLIC WITH EVERYTHING THEY NEED IN SWITCHING TO A VEGAN LIFESTYLE. WE HOLD AN ABOLITIONIST STANCE ON ANIMAL EXPLOITATION.” (www.anonymousforthevoiceless.org)
Basically, in a peaceful demonstration (almost like an art exhibition) we show the truth of the animal agriculture industry. We show real footage of factory farms and we have thought provoking conversations with the public. We do not yell and we do not leaflet.
Honestly, there are many forms of activism out there, but for me, this has proved to be the most effective. I have amazing conversations with people every week who truly had no idea that their “food” was produced this way. They are angry, feel like they have been lied to, are animal lovers and are ready to make the change.
When leaving what is referred to as the Cube of Truth, the individual will receive a card from us that is full of resources to help them make the transition.
Being part of Anonymous for the Voiceless has truly changed my life. I absolutely feel that I am making a difference, have met some of my best friends, am surrounded by people who truly get me and am no longer sitting on my couch feeling hopeless.
If you are vegan, and are looking for a way to help the animals, I truly suggest volunteering with your local chapter. And if you are not vegan, I hope that you will one day be able to experience a Cube of Truth in person. Maybe we can have a conversation….
On October 29, 2015, I got one of the worst calls that I have ever received. It was from my doctor and he said that my “Lyme disease diagnosis was positive”. He went on to explain that although I had “acute Lyme”, I would most likely have ongoing symptoms for the rest of my life.
At this period of my life, I was in horrible pain. I had extreme fatigue, severe muscle cramping (imagine teaching fitness classes when you can barely feel your legs!), tingling in my extremities, brain fog, depression and crippling digestive issues. I would lay in bed every night and cry. I had no idea why this was happening to me and couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life in this immense pain. I was incredibly scared, frustrated and felt completely alone.
Luckily, in this day of age there is the Internet. I was able to find a Lyme community and friends who helped me through the misery and also found solace in those who had recovered. There was hope! Fortunately, three years later I am mostly symptom free and am extremely grateful for my recovery.
So, how did someone with a debilitating illness go from being stuck in bed to becoming an animal activist???
The answer is so simple: when you have experienced suffering, pain, fear and loneliness, you do not wish that on any other sentient being! You can watch a graphic video of an animal at a slaughterhouse and completely empathize with them and the feeling of not wanting to lose your life. I can feel it in my bones and can feel the fire in my heart, trying to come up with strategies to make it stop! You see, animals know exactly what is going to happen to them. Most are sick, starving and have been tortured up until their death. They are scared and cannot make it stop…and they cannot turn to the Internet like I did to get support.
Today, I am a Lyme warrior and an animal rights activist. I spend my weekends volunteering for our local chapter of Anonymous for the Voiceless (that I am a proud organizer of). I spend time at local sanctuaries and try to educate the public daily about the horrors of the animal agriculture industry.
And today, I am grateful for my Lyme disease diagnosis. Who knows? If I hadn’t suffered the way I did, would I still have the desire to fight for the animals? I will never know but I truly think that everything happens for a reason. Maybe my reason for Lyme was to find my true passion in life as an animal activist.
For more information about my Lyme disease journey, please click here.