I was born in Rock Hill South Carolina on December second 1984. On the way home from the hospital, I was involved in my first car wreck. I survived it... like a boss.
A little baby boss.
Sometime after my arrival in Mauldin, South Carolina, I made a conscious effort to learn, how to walk, talk, and use a toilet in order to distance myself from all the lazy babies that still sat around all day pooping on themselves and making stupid noises.
Before long, I was spending my days, jumping over random objects, trying to balance on top of things that people should only try to stand on if they intend on breaking their neck, and climbing across the hallway walls of my grandparents house.
I took up soccer and football as a young kid, started getting pretty serious about skateboarding by age 12, and at 14, I started working out like a mad man.
I was pound for pound, easily one of the strongest kids in my high school as a freshman but I often wonder just how much of a freak I could have been if I had been eating right. After all, I chose my electives for my time in High School as P.E. and weight lifting, I did both every day. Then when school let out, I either trained with the football or wrestling team, ran with the running team, or practiced with the soccer team that I was named captain of before a certain principal dismissed me from the team for lackluster grades the semester before.
Needless to say, I was never a fan of government sanctioned academics so shortly after being kicked off the soccer team, I did something that resulted in expulsion. A few months later, I was in Florida getting my GED at the age of 15.
Since then, I can't say I've been involved in much schooling of any sort but what I do know is that I've soaked up more useful information under my own accord than I ever did in the prison system preparation day camp commonly referred to as American public school.
This path has of course lead me to Veganism which is the most important thing I stand for. I realized several years ago, there's always gonna be plenty of room for improvement but if I ever want to be anywhere close to the best version of me that I can be, the first thing I need to do is recognize that as a human being, not only have I never done anything to earn supremacy over others, the fact alone that I have the privilege to be here earns me nothing more than the responsibility to cause the least harm possible to my environment and the living, breathing, communicating, and loving, sentient beings that occupy it...
And the more docile the creature, the more responsibility I have to care for it.
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Rather than telling you a story of life events that resulted in a return to the empathetic mindset those of us who aren't psychotic killers are all born with, I'll just give you the short answer. When I was about 20, I decided to stop eating like a 12 year old with nothing but a debit card and a microwave. For the first couple years, my diet wasn't all that healthy but I thought that because I cut out fast food and made a meal out of veggies for lunch every day that I was on the healthiest diet known to man. A couple years later, my girlfriend at the time who was vegetarian, forced me to sit down and watch a video called Meet Your Meat and it was then, I decided to quit eating animals. At the time, there weren't a lot of meat replacements on the market and those that existed, were made with soy. Like most people new to a cruelty free diet, my animal product intake was completely replaced by soy products. I realized pretty quickly that whatever I was eating was not working for me. Turns out I was allergic to all those soy products I was consuming but just never noticed until then due to the fact that I had never eaten soy in such high volumes. So because of this allergy and the fact that Vegan options were nowhere near as widespread and readily available as they are now, I ate pescatarian for a few years all the while continuing to research animal issues via internet and watching documentaries like "Your Mommy Kills Animals". Luckily, when I tried again, there were many more options like coconut milk, soy free butter, sunflower burgers, etc. Now here it is, 2014, I've got plenty of options for protein shakes and stuff like that, plus, I can run to pretty much any local grocery store for almond milk and there are various Vegan cheezes, yogurts, and even Vegan seafood... and almond milk ice cream which is probably my favorite product yet. I'm still waiting for soy free Vegan cheesecake though.
It's been a lot more difficult for me than most. As mentioned, I'm allergic to soy along with several other legumes, corn, wheat, sesame, hemp, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, peppers, yeast, and several other things that are often found in seasoning. The list goes on. Luckily none of these allergies make me go into anaphylactic shock because they are mainly all 1s, 2s, and 3s on the RAST scale but none the less, I'm obviously not supposed to consume anything I'm allergic to because no matter how small of an amount I consume, I will still have a reaction and if I eat a decent amount of something I'm allergic to like I do occasionally with wheat, it makes me break out, tired, and just feel like crap in general... but hey, we've all got our vices, mine are grilled cheeze sandwiches and pizza... and until someone starts producing a readily available soy free, corn free, potato free, and gluten free bread that doesn't taste like cardboard, I'm gonna have to continue being a glutton for gluten.
I currently get out and do protests and other events with PALS based here in Phoenix and I sometimes do farm video footage showings with Vegan Arizona in association with FARM. Asides from that, I just wait for the occasional offer to stand around in public wearing nothing but my underwear in order to draw people's attention towards animal rights causes.
I admire a lot of AR organizations. Mercy For Animals, Sea Shepherd, SHAC... I love all of 'em. They've all got the same goal in mind. Big organizations, small organizations, I support them all as long as it isn't some half ass animal welfarist group that likes to do fund raisers for dogs and cats all the while serving chicken wings and cheese to attendees.
I have many memories about animals that effected me. One I can think of right now is, shortly before I decided I should stop eating animals, my roommate saw a squirrel on the stairs in front of our apartment, I decided to take this squirrel in and nurse him back to health and I think I may have been successful if only that same roommate didn't have a record low amount of consideration for me and everything I cared about. The guy shut the heat off every morning before he left for work at 6 am. One morning I woke up around 10 or so, South Carolina, middle of the winter and it's 50 degrees in our apartment. Up until this freezing cold morning, Bossanova had only seemed to be improving. He never had any parasites, he was moving around well, and the few bald patches he had when I first got him had all grown back in. Sadly the cold proved to be a bit too much for him though, he had obviously died shortly before I woke up that morning. Now I didn't have this squirrel for very long. Only about a week and a half but when he died, I was devastated. Because no matter what the animal, no matter how big or how small, when you care for them, they care for you and the appreciation and loyalty they have for you is limitless. Just as with my dogs, I could feel the love every time I touched him and once the life is gone, the love is gone, and nothing hurts more than losing love.
If I had the opportunity to talk to advise someone who is considering becoming vegan I would first I examine their jacket to see what the patches read, then I ask them how many Morrissey albums they have. Their answer dictates how much advice I give them, if any. Isn't that what we're all supposed to do when someone tells us they wanna go Vegan?