Activist and internet personality.
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
CF: My connection to suffering was the strongest reason in changing my lifestyle to a cruelty-free one. I know how it is to Not have a voice, to feel trapped and to want to scream and fight until I found freedom due to experiencing violence in my abusive marriage. I finally found strength and dedication in ending that marriage because I saw how it was tearing my daughter apart. I will Never forget how my daughter woke up countless of nights screaming for us to stop fighting. I will also Never forget how long it took for me to finally help her gain her voice as a proud female because of all the violence she experienced. This is what I envision when thinking about every animal mother and father who is raised and slaughtered in the consumption world, the fur factories, the animal experimentation labs, and other horrific places that use animals for profit and greed.
I not only came to this conclusion because of my suffering but I have personally seen the similar signs of trauma and recovery of violence because of my interactions with animals and humans. To help me heal, I got trained as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate which gave me the experience of holding the hands and wiping the tears of so many women and children. I have also volunteered and worked for several animal organizations where I held animals until they felt safe while some took their last breath in my arms. I ALWAYS saw the same physical reactions from both the human and animals that I was helping. If fear was present…the body would tense, the breath and heart would speed out of control and the eyes…the eyes always did it for me because there is NO way an animal or human can hide fear in their eyes.
I also am obsessed with knowledge so ALL the Vegan, Animal Rights, Human Rights and Environmental books and articles have taught me that living a cruelty-free life is saving lives…animals and humans lives that is. And that has made it possible for me to sleep better at night knowing that I am not supporting suffering. Xo
SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes, what was difficult and did it get easier?
CF: Yes…it was very hard in the beginning because of my Cuban roots which unfortunately means I was raised eating a lot of pork and other forms of meat. My family was confused and upset at first because their knowledge of health has always been connected to consuming meat/dairy so the transition was difficult because I love my family and found myself torn.
I did not have the skills to discuss veganism in an intelligent and calm manner at first so I kept my distance from attending family gatherings, especially Thanksgiving.
But …my story gets better …because over the 9 years of growing into my compassionate skin…my family has become very supportive. Our Thanksgiving is filled with Vegan/Vegetarian dishes and NO Turkey has been served at our family celebration for over 2 years. My parents and sister eat LESS meat/dairy because of our open conversations about these issues. Also…I just recently found out that my uncle and his wife are becoming Vegan because their daughter, Deena Kamm, has taught them so much. Thank you Deena…I am proud to be your cousin.
Also my sister has volunteered at several animal organizations and is teaching her sons how to make kinder choices in life that will help the animals.
So in other words…my whole Cuban-American family has opened their hearts and minds because I kept trying to connect and teach them. I even have family members in other states that are affected by my Vegan/Animal Rights lifestyle because I have stayed consistent with it. Every day being Vegan is getting easier and less lonely because I have so many family members that get it, I have so many friends that get it and I meet strangers ALL the time that get it.
I am Vegan for Life because it makes sense on so many levels. I would always advice anyone that is having difficulty in transitioning to Veganism (which to me means not ONLY about what you eat….it means who and what you are supporting when you buy things) to find a support system with friends who are also Vegan. They will help you be stronger and proud of your choices. That has helped me. Animal Acres became my Vegan Family and taught me so much so now I am able to be around anyone and feel strong in my compassionate ways. I have also learned to be kinder to those who are not vegan/vegetarian because I was once at their stage. I teach others how to consider a cruelty-free lifestyle because most people who know me will see that I will Never judge them plus….I never come off as being better than anyone else. I find it easier to approach someone with compassionate knowledge by coming from the heart so…every day for me is powerful when I can tell people my story of how I became an Animal/Humane Advocate that NO longer eats animals. Xo
SS: What are some animal rights related things you participate in?
CF: Ugh….wish I could clone myself so I could participate in all things trying to help the animals. But….due to the fact that I have to work so I can make $$ to pay bills…well my time sometimes is limited in being involved. I make sure to attend a protest, fundraiser, adoption, humane education, or outreach event 4 times a month.
In-between supporting progressive-compassionate organizations, I make sure to work on my own projects in helping animals. I have created/produced videos with the help of my creative friend, Gabriel Sabloff, to help the animals. I have all the videos posted on my YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/profoundvegan. I am also working on two website/blog/video project to further help lessen suffering with the animals and beyond. My newest project is Cruelty-Free Latina website that will help more Latins’ see how easy it is to live a cruelty-free life. My other project is Lady Uproar and that one is about an animal right Superhero. All these projects takes money, time and energy so I am always be working on them until they are finally complete and ready to share. Please keep following me to know more. I promise you will not be disappointed. Xo
SS: What are your favorite AR organizations?
CF: I embrace ALL Animal Rights Organizations because to me …they ALL matter. I know that some are more controversial than others but I also understand that NO organization is Perfect so that is why I like to physically connect to Local AR organizations so I can volunteer and possibly work with them.
I have been very committed to Animal Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary, http://animalacres.org/, because I NEED to be around the animals. The animals heal me as much I try and heal them. I have been connected to Animal Acres for over 6 years and every single rescued pig, cow, turkey and other animal is part of my family. Animals make us better people so being at Animal Acres has really made me into the person I am today.
I’m also a HUGE fan of Shannon Keith and all she does to help the animals so I try and commit to volunteering my time with her projects, http://www.beaglefreedomproject.org/about.php.
Honestly, my list of AR organizations that I support and love are Many….so many!! And that is the beauty about our compassionate world. The reality is more people are becoming the solution in ending animal suffering by creating tons of organizations. As I create my Cruelty-Free Latina website and Lady Roar…I will always make sure to have a resource page FULL of links of AR organizations because a lot of them taught me how to be the person I am today. Xo