We are honored to have Anne as one of our dedicated volunteers! She is always looking for more ways to get involved and make a difference in the world. She is an incredible person who is passionate about animals, the planet, and social justice. Her commitment to these causes is inspirational. She and her husband Chuck attend many IARA events, so be sure to say hi when you spot them!
My journey to veganism is a long one. I stopped eating chicken when I was 12 because my neighbor raised chickens – I thought for the eggs – which seemed ok to me at the time. His chickens would find ways to get inside our yard to hang out with my horse. I would often come home to find one or two chickens in the pasture, and I would have to pick them up and take them home. Then one day, I came home from school to find my mom walking back into our yard from next door with a package. When I asked what it was, her reply was “dinner”. I could not believe that we had been eating the chickens who were friends with my horse. I did not eat chicken again, though I also did not make the connection to cows and pigs.
When I was 32 I had an interesting conversation with a friend on November 14, the evening before gun season starts for deer in Michigan. I was upset as I often had to drive to Traverse City for work and during gun season each year I would find headless deer on the side of the road when hunters just dump the body after taking the “trophy”. I was ranting about that when my friend said: “And how do you think they kill cows?” I was stunned silent. He then continued: “At least every individual deer has a chance at survival. EVERY COW will be slaughtered and turned into meat.” I finally made the connection. I should not be eating any animal. I became vegetarian the next day.
I was a comfortably unaware vegetarian for another 20 years. When l learned about the horrors in the dairy and egg industries, my awareness changed again and my husband and I became vegan in 2015.
The more I have learned about animal agriculture and its many devastating impacts on our world, the more active I have become. Both my husband and I volunteer for the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance and Indy VegFest by attending protests, working at pay per view events, volunteering at festivals, cooking demonstrations and fundraisers and attending movie screenings. I hosted a training about mindfulness practice for activists at the 2018 Indy VegFest. We have provided testimony at legislative hearings and sent many a letter to politicians. We have visited Uplands Peak Sanctuary in Indiana and Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. I attended the national Animal Rights Conference in 2017. I also do some support work for the organization Free From Harm, especially their website, email campaigns and occasionally staffing their table at festivals. And I’d like to do much more. I am deeply committed to the animals, our planet Earth, social justice issues and to promoting love, compassion, joy and peace for all living beings.