Here’s our first interview with a Twin Cities Veg Fest committee member! Andrew is planning our conference, Their Lives, Our Voices. The conference takes place the day before the festival, and is an opportunity to activists and aspiring activists to learn new skills and meet other people who are speaking out for animals.
How did you get interested in advocating for animals?
The majority of my friends, somewhat coincidentally, are vegan, so it’s a natural extension of being politicized by like-minded people.
What have you enjoyed most so far?
About advocating for animals? It’s certainly preferable to the alternative. It’s also nice to meet people who are interested in promoting the needs and rights of animals.
What are you most looking forward to at the Veg Fest?
Lots of food!
You’re planning our conference, Their Lives, Our Voices. Tell me about the conference.
TLOV offers vegans and non-vegans opportunities to enhance their abilities as animal advocates. We’ll have speakers presenting philosophical and ethical arguments related to animal advocacy as well as speakers offering practical information on general activism to develop the hard skills needed to be effective.
Why is it important for activists to attend Their Lives, Our Voices? What will they learn?
TLOV is an excellent opportunity for those interested in advocating on behalf of animals to invest in themselves. TLOV will help activists build new skills, expand their networks, and be reinvigorated in animal activism. Whether it’s learning new strategies for communicating with non-vegans, or developing better time management skills, or learning how to build an effective campaign, TLOV offers new information for even the most experienced advocates.
What makes you optimistic about the animal advocacy movement?
Here in Minnesota, at least, tons of young people are interested in becoming effective advocates, taking that next step beyond becoming vegetarian or vegan. It’s great to see young people working hard to build the community that sustains and supports advocacy efforts.
Imagine you’re talking to somebody who isn’t vegetarian and is, um, a little afraid of you. What would you say to them to convince them to come to the festival?
What hobbies do you enjoy (besides devouring tasty vegan food)?
I like to read (lots of things), ride my bike, and now that it’s summer, sit on my front stoop.
What’s a fun experience that you’ve had with a non-human animal?
[Editor: Silence. A goofy guy like Andrew hasn’t had a fun experience with animals? I guess he is goofy and mysterious.]
What’s your favorite vegetable?
Is pizza a vegetable? No? Possibly rainbow chard (it’s so pretty!) or red onions.