FEBRUARY IS ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST MONTH WITH NA'SHA ROBERTSON
At SUVERIA, animal activism and bringing awareness to animal rights are just as important to us as vegan luxury. As vegans, we stand with the ethos that animals aren’t here for us, but with us. Were we all stand as one on the same level in a synergy of harmonies.
It’s very fitting that during the month of love - February - we also celebrate animal rights activists worldwide. Animal rights activist and their invaluable work, help shine light to many causes that may be unknown to the general population. Many of us who are against fur owe it to many great activists who helped bring awareness about the fur farming industries and their cruelty.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Na'sha Robertson a.k.a, The Black Vegan Queen, founder of Veganized Living and recipient of the Star Student Activist Award who proudly and effectively uses activism to better the world. With the ethos that “veganism is not about perfect but rather about doing as much good in the world as possible. I believe that a true vegan fights for the rights of every one because everyone deserves peace, love, and compassion.”
Robertson kindly took the time to sit with us and answer a few questions.
Is there a particular animal rights advocacy that you’re interested in now?
Right now I am focusing a lot on shutting down pet stores that sell breeder dogs here in Jacksonville. BFF Puppies is one of the ones that I am focused on as they have puppies in cramped, unclean conditions and have neglected to provide proper medical care for puppies resulting in their deaths. I am also working on the Jacksonville Vegan Chef Challenge which is a month-long event in April where restaurants agree to add new vegan options to their menu in April.
Do you remember your first animal rights activist event? How was it?
My first animal rights event was on Old Dominion University campus while I was a student with VegODU and the event was sponsors through PETA. The president of VegODU at the time was hosting a tabling which is basically when you set up a table real nice with different literature to educate people about veganism/animal rights. Being black and vegan tends to be difficult. I received a lot of push back from the black community hearing things such as "you think you're white" or "vegan is a white thing" but at that event everyone at the tabling was black. For me it meant that I wasn't alone on an island but there was a community of people that looked like me who were wanting the same things. We also had some amazing conversations with other interested students and were able to plant several seeds. This event was the start of me being known as "that vegan chick" on campus and I loved it.
Any words of encouragement to someone who’s interested but afraid to get started?There are several different kinds of activism from leafleting, tabling, protesting, vigils and more. Figure out what it is that you're comfortable with now and start there. And don't believe the hype, activism is not yelling at people, breaking into buildings, or getting arrested. It truly is peaceful, we get a lot of meaningful conversation, and we make new like minded friends.
Where you vegan before you became interested in animal rights advocacy? Do you think that it helps?
I was vegan before I became an activist but only by around a month. I went vegan in July of 2017 and became an activist in August 2017. I at the time did not know much about activism but I learned that PETA headquarters was in my city so I sent an email to someone in PETA explaining that I am vegan and I want to work for them. I understand that I am only 17 but I am starting college at Old Dominion University and I want to make a difference.something to that effect. That person messaged me back suggesting I join VegODU. I do not know if being vegan necessarily helped as I think I was always on this path. As a kid, I cried when I saw an injured butterfly and tried to stop the other kids from killing the butterfly. I wouldn't let my mom kill flies because I wanted them to live free outside. In middle school, a health teacher told us that we were eating animals and of course my middle school brain was like "no were not" At the time I did not make the connection but I did go home and google it like he said and sure enough I found out we were eating animals. I called my mom that moment and said "im not eating animals anymore" I went vegetarian that night but middle school me failed epicly. I was eating cheese pizza every day because it was the only thing I knew that didn't hurt animals. I lasted a few months before going back to the typical American diet. But I truly think I would have always ended up an animal rights activist because animals have always held a special place in my heart.
Are you interested in participating or getting involved in the legal aspect of animal rights activism?
That is something I would love to get involved with but as we know politicians listen to their voters and their pockets. Cities that have a very large vegan population such as New york and California have a lot of success in terms of creating animal friendly laws. I think that before we can have laws passed we need to get more people on board but I would absolutely love to work on effecting laws in this country.
Black Vegan Queen