Model, DJ and activist.
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
AK: I have been sensitive and very bonded to animals ever since i was in 7th grade and our science teacher taught us about the horrors of animal testing. We watched the footage from a lab where a pink eyed bunny had mascara burnt into it's eyes while strapped down writhing in pain with no way of escaping the pointless human induced torture. This struck such a core in me I knew in my heart this had to stop. Over the years my awareness of animal cruelty grew and I started hearing the words "factory farm." "fur farms", "Vivisection", When I discovered that 98% of the meat we eat comes from these factories where animals are injected with antibiotics and steroids, de-beaked, have their tails cut off, horns burned off, wings cut off and can barely move or turn around I knew i had to align my love for companion animals with these other animals. I couldn't choose a dog over cow or a cat over a pig, It was time for me to make a choice and that was towards compassion and truth.
I was seeking education and found it at a Vegan Education day at Animal Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary in Acton Ca.
At this place i was able to see a genetically modified pig 1500 lbs that could barely walk due to his modified size, I played with Goats that reminded me of my dog Charley and chased after chickens with no beaks or feet because they had been sawed off at the free range and factory farms they were rescued from. I was educated by various people speaking throughout the day a year and a half ago and learned the whole and real truth with regards to Meat, Poultry and Dairy. I was horrified by the lies I had believed and eaten for so many years. I had no idea Cows had to be kept pregnant to make milk.. And that Veal Calv's were the babies born from this sick industry taken at two days old and shoved into tiny crates, chained down so they can never move to maintain tender meat before slaughtering. I was sickened to my core and since that day have been Vegan. The China Study by TC Campbell is the 40 year comprehensive nutritional study ever done with varying human and animal studies and this book greatly contributed to my transformation. We are so sick in this country dying of Cancer, Hearth Disease and Diabetes. We must look at what we are eating and why our American diet is killing us. We are destroying ourselves and planet and keep getting sicker and fatter every year. This way of life is unsustainable. A Vegan way of life IS sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes, what was difficult and did it get easier?
AK: With The China Study in my right hand and Earthlings DVD in my left it was not difficult at all. It truly has been an amazing exploration and blossoming of taste and food. I replaced everything i loved that had animal meat or cows breast milk with a Vegan replacement. Chocolate, Chicken, Burgers, Cheese, Ice Cream, Brownies, Yogurt etc etc. There are so many non animal sources of protein and so many vegan options everywhere from most grocery stores Von's,Ralph's ,Gelsons, Bristol Farms, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.. Prior to becoming Vegan i hadn't eaten cow for many years but was still on chicken, fish and a lot of dairy. Like I said I've always worked out and been very health conscious. I had a blood panel done in 2009 and to my surprise my cholesterol was 189 my liver had congestion and my triglycerides were higher than my Dr. would have liked. He told me to stop eating dairy immediately and never eat red meat. All this happening made my Vegan transition much easier. I immediately started feeling better and friends and family started noticing how great my skin looked and how easy it was to maintain my weight and figure. I recently had my blood panel redone. My cholesterol is 145, my triglycerides are 36 and my good cholesterol is 80!!! My Dr. was blown away. He told me how proud of me he was for having a plant based diet and to keep it up. That was an amazing moment!!
SS: What are some animal rights related things you participate in?
AK: I educate and talk to everyone I can with the help of PETA literature or just in person and through online media from my own journey and how positive it's been. I donate to MFA, PETA, ASPCA, HSUS, SAEN,Certified Humane, IDA, IFAW, WSPCA, Adopt A Pet and donate to localrescue organizations like Mutt Scouts, Labs N Buddies and so many more. I also give my time which is my most valuable asset. Taking action is the most rewarding for me. The horrors and atrocities of animal abuse can be overwhelming and taking action like volunteering, protesting,educating friends and family and connecting with other Animal Rights Activists can really help relieve some of the helplessness I often feel. I'm also beyond thrilled that for the first time in history we now have the Humane Party alongside Democrats and Republicans. I'll be changing my affiliation to the Humane Party ASAP.
SS: What are your favorite AR organizations?
AK: PETA, www.adoptapet.org ,Grey2k, www.600million.org, Mutt Scouts, Labs N Buddies, MFA, ASPCA,HSUS, WSPCA,SAEN,SHAC, N.I.O, A.L.F. -Any group helping to expose and end animal suffering abuse and VIVISECTION.
I truly believe we are at a tipping point with regards to animals rights and education of what is really going on behind closed doors. 98% of the American People are against animal cruelty and most are looking for a better more sustainable way to live on the planet we share. Earthlings should be shown in every classroom to every person who eats non human animals. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the Son of the co-founder of the Mayo Clinic.
Asra Kristen Ⓥ
"I abhor vivisection'. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty."
-- Charles W. Mayo, MD (1961), son of the co-founder of the Mayo Clinic.