When I think of my trajectory into the world of animal rights and activism beyond, a couple of key players come to mind – individuals who helped me along my path of veganism and advocacy to such an extent that without them, I can’t imagine where I would find myself today (certainly not in Brooklyn interning for Our Hen House, that’s for sure!). #PRIVATE#
First, of course, my parents. Welcoming me into a family of progressive thinkers living in a so-liberal-it’s-not-even-funny city where vegetarianism was the norm, my mother and father shared with me the values of questioning authority, refusing to conform to the status quo, and taking action toward a better world. With these ethics, I find it unsurprising (though still hugely inspiring) that my mother, back in her own activist days, launched a radical feminist newspaper in her local community. Thanks for these important foundations, Mom and Dad.
Then there’s my old friend Lisa, the first vegan I remember meeting, who in the summer of 2010 shoved a copy of Alica Silverstone’s The Kind Diet into my hands and told me, “I think you’ll find the ideas in here really compelling.” Compelling, indeed – so much so that my life goals transformed within hours of devouring the truth about animal agriculture. The night after I finished reading that book, I ate my last non-vegan meal and never looked back. Thanks, Lisa, for introducing me to the vegan lifestyle.
Fast-forward a couple of years and I find myself at an intensely progressive college with a student body that holds a collective passion for radical social change. Though a handful of professors and a plethora of classmates helped to mold me into the activist I am today and into whom I will continue to grow, my close friend and Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC) co-president Kaden is responsible for the words that most helped me to understand the necessity of the intersectional activism to which I’m committed today: “It’s not enough to appreciate social justice issues based on how they relate to the one in which we’re most involved. For real change to happen, we must understand the importance of such issues in and of themselves.” I recited these words in my last Flock Doc, as well, and reiterate them here to emphasize their integral role in forming my activist consciousness. Thank you, Kaden, for challenging me always to think in new ways.
Now, we at Our Hen House want to hear about your parents, Lisas, and Kadens – the Hen Friends who have most helped you along your path to veganism, activism, and the life you now lead and/or one day hope to lead. Simply leave a comment on this post telling us about your Hen Friends, and you’ll be entered to win two gorgeous necklaces — each with a handmade glass hen bead on a 16-inch sterling chain, courtesy of the talented Bonnie Goodman. That means you get one for you, and one for your hen friend! Does there exist a more adorable necklace? I think not. Leave your comment by midnight EST on Friday, August 8 and we’ll randomly choose a winner on August 9. This giveaway is only open to flock members, and you can only enter once.
We can’t wait to hear all about your Hen Friends!
Intern, Hen Press Coordinator, and Contributing Writer