More Than a Project

Brooklyn Dilley, Story Editor

I have been called an idiot. An extremist. I have been teased, ridiculed. Why? Because I am vegan, and I am an animal activist.

Flashback to May, as I was quickly approaching the end of my sophomore year.  I sat in Advanced Integrated Language Arts (AILA, or as I always called it, ALIA, IALI, AIAL, IALA, and then I would eventually just give up and call it English). My teacher Mark Schillerstrom had just introduced our final project: a research project. At first, I had absolutely no clue what I would research. I toyed with different ideas for the rest of the class period, but nothing stuck. I was not passionate about anything, and I did not have any topics that I wanted to learn more about. I finally gave up, and accepted that I would end up researching some random subject that I did not care about. I finished the school day, not thinking much more about it. Later that evening, I was sitting in my room, just scrolling through Instagram. I came across a post by one of my favorite accounts, Goats of Anarchy, and it hit me.

Goats of Anarchy is a non-profit organization started by a woman named Leanne Lauricella. Lauricella takes in special needs goats, among other animals, and does what she can do improve their quality of life. Lauricella is a huge advocate for animals, and actively encourages going vegan. I had always read her posts about going vegan, though I had never thought much else about it. But as I lay in bed that afternoon, I realized exactly what I wanted my research project to be. I would research going vegan, and while doing so, I myself would eat a vegan diet.

I originally intended to just go vegan while I was completing my project, but my research changed my views completely. Our projects were done at the end of May, and while I have had a few slip-ups, I am proud to say that I am still vegan. And I intend on remaining that way for the rest of my life.

So that is why I am starting this column. To share my views and the reasoning behind them. I am not going to try to convince anyone to go vegan, nor am I going to shame those who are not. I am here to disprove the bad rep that vegans get, and while doing so I will gladly welcome any questions or criticism.