Deanna Dylan Scott
Activist, filmmaker and model.
"Deanna and I could have talked for hours! She is a powerful voice for the animals and has so many great stories and experiences to share. We had a conversation about her breakthrough moment - she had been observing a truck with cows on their way to slaughter. She caught the eyeline of one cow in particular and she all the the sudden felt what the cow was feeling: fear, anxiety, sadness. I told her that I think she has more mirror neurons than most (perhaps like me? I have also had those experiences with both animals and ppl). Mirror Neurons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron have been studied for some time (but still the subject of much speculation) and some believe they are linked to ones ability to feel empathy and compassion. Deanna also made an impression on me when she told me that she 'is a girls girl' and I told her I am too ;) cheers to all the girls that don't hate on other girls and recognize the beauty and goodness in all their female friends." -Melissa Schwartz
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
DDS: I started moving towards veganism shortly after my dog Georgia came into my life in 2003. She is just such an amazing friend. Her sweetness and how in tune she was to me blew me away. Her presence in my life has had a huge effect on me.
I was already vegetarian but I felt badly about eating any animal products at all. I would look at Georgia and feel like a jerk. I was not impressed with my halfway approach at all so I started doing some research and the more I learned the easier it was to change.
I went vegetarian many years ago when I lived in Iowa after I had an experience with an animal as well, I used to refer to it for years as my religious experience with a cow. I was at a stoplight behind a semi full of cows when I looked into this cow’s eyes and I could feel all this fear and anxiety. I couldn’t look away and it seemed like the longest light ever. I got shaky and felt sick. That was it, I could never see things the same way. It was amazing to have that experience and it changed me forever. I still think of that cow, that one particular animal that was able to reach me in such an intense way. Still I wish I could have done something.
So my answer is I became vegan because I value animals and know they are special.
SS: Has it been difficult? What was difficult and did it get easier?
DDS: No, Not really because I had phased most things out by the time I decided to go vegan. I was a big cheese consumer and thought it would be difficult but it wasn’t because I love vegan cheese and soy, almond and coconut milk. Cheese from cow or goat’s milk smells spoiled to me now. I know what dairy cows experience and it sickens me. To have their babies taken from them at birth and then to be hooked to machines to supply humans with the milk intended for their calves is immoral in my opinion. I’m a new mom of a gorgeous little vegan baby so it hits me even harder now because babies belong with their mothers and being allowed to feed your own baby should be a right for all.
SS: What are your favorite AR organizations?
DDS: So many, I’ll mention a few:
Cok Compassion over Killing
Last Chance for Animals
I admire the work of Animal Acres and Farm Sanctuary.
I love when people do films or any type of art on behalf of animals.
I think people who save hundreds of animals from confinement and certain death and end up spending time in jail for it are beyond awesome. Any person who shows respect and compassion for animals is cool in my book.
I love seeing people incorporate their love of animals into whatever they do. I have a website Vegidea.com and I write so I have done articles on animal rights and I am currently working on a screenplay with the main character being vegan and her effect on people. In all of my work whether it’s acting, writing, doing a photography project or some other business endeavor veganism and love of animals is always there with me and something I consider. I have found that just living my life and being one example of someone living vegan happily and loving it has the biggest effect on the people around me.
SS: What would you say to encourage someone who is considering going vegan?
DDS: I would say it’s the best thing you could do for yourself, innocent animals and the environment. I did it for the animals and I benefited so incredibly as a result and so has my husband, my baby and my three dogs. There is no denying the health benefits. I have been sick only once in 7 years.
Not to mention how much better I feel about not eating suffering, anxiety, depression and fear because I believe when you eat the flesh of an animal experiencing those things you are ingesting all of that as well. I’ll say this, I am much happier on a consistent basis than I was before going vegan.
SS: Do you have any memories that stand out in your mind about someone saving an animal or relating to an animal in a unique way?
DDS: I have lots of amazing memories saving or helping animals. Once your eyes are open you will see animals that need your help. This happened to me and I’ve seen it with so many of my friends and others after they went veg or vegan. The world looks different and your connection to all animals grows daily. It’s really cool and beautiful. I’ll take it!! Choose it every time over apathy and disconnection. It goes without saying but I will still say it, I certainly think it is a dark path to choose to objectify, harm, control and murder animals. Animals are so grateful when rescued from a terrible situation just like people. They feel fear of harm as we do and desperately want to survive. They want and need food, comfort and love. They are not so unlike us in these very significant ways.
Fortunately at this point in my life I know so many true animal lovers and vegans that I could tell endless stories of incredible people saving and helping animals.
What really stands out to me now is when the light goes on for a new person. I love when a friend or acquaintance comes to me and says something clicked and they don’t want to eat animals anymore. It’s music to my ears. Keep it coming people.