Our February volunteer of the month is Claire! Although she is relatively new to both veganism and activism, she’s an amazing example and her story is truly inspiring. She spends a LOT of time fostering kittens and volunteering for local animal shelters, which is what led her to veganism. So many self-proclaimed animal lovers have a knee-jerk reaction and get defensive when someone/something makes them question their eating habits. I think we can all agree that if more people were honest with themselves and open-minded like Claire, the world would be a much better place. Thanks so much for your devotion to helping ALL kinds of animals, Claire! We are very happy that you found us and are so involved in our group.
My name is Claire Gemmer and I’m a senior at IUPUI studying communication. I have been vegan for a little over a year now. All my life I loved animals but it wasn’t until I started fostering kittens and volunteering with local animal shelters that I started to make the connection–the connection that all animals deserve respect and value life. I realized how unfair it was for me to care so deeply for kittens while still putting meat on my plate every day. At that point I became vegetarian and dove into research about animal agriculture. I quickly became vegan after learning more about the horrors of the dairy industry.
I sought out activism groups because I truly wanted to do more than just eating vegan. I wanted to live the vegan lifestyle and help others make the connection I had made. I found Indiana Animal Rights Alliance and immediately felt at home with other like-minded and compassionate people. I have been a part of numerous events and protests with the IARA, I have made lifelong friends, I have learned how important it is to speak up for animals, and I believe I have really changed the way others think about eating animals. I love being vegan and I love standing up and using my voice for the innocent. It’s up to us to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
We love our volunteers and want to recognize them for all their efforts, so we’re starting a monthly volunteer spotlight! At the beginning of each month, we’ll give a shout out to one volunteer and share their story. We hope you will enjoy reading about some of our amazing activists.
Our very first volunteer of the month is: Leo Angulo! He is an incredible person, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and an invaluable voice for animals. We are honored to have him as part of our group. Thanks for all you do, Leo!
I started volunteering with IARA when the group was just a few people. My first event ever was outside Elan Furs on Black Friday like 6 years ago.
I have also done some leafleting, pay-per-views, marching on Pride and volunteer for MFA, Vegan Outreach and Indy VegFest. I’ve met wonderful people throughout the years, many of them dear friends.
I’ve been vegan for about 7 years. Used to love meat until I became interested in learning where food comes from. I just couldn’t do it anymore. Always loved animals and stop eating meat was the least I could do. Then the rest was easy. Not going back.
But can I do more?
Volunteering is really the least I can do to make this world a better place.
I now live with one dog and two cats that life has given the opportunity to care for. I love spending my free time with them. I also like cooking, baking and sharing food with my friends and family.