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Exclusive EVEN Interview with Robert Grillo.
By Robert Grillo

Robert and Sweet Pea, Photo by Joe Branske.

Robert Grillo is the founder and director of Free from Harm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes farmed animal rescue, education and advocacy. Free from Harm strives to be a leader in online activism by building a strong online community and publishing content that empowers and informs activists as well as institutions and the general public. Grillo has a professional background in marketing and communications and leverages his 20 years of experience to strengthen his animal advocacy work. A typical day involves organizing events, coordinating rescues, writing articles or a letter to the editor, brainstorming ways to enhance the Free from Harm website and looking for the next viral video idea. He enjoys the outdoors, hiking, biking, gardening, cooking and the company of good friends.

EVEN: How did veganism become part of your life?

Robert: For me the turning point was identifying with the victim. Or, should I say, recognizing that a victim even exists, since we are conditioned all our lives to believe that animals can’t be our victims.It took time for me to see how our animal-eating culture teaches us to block our awareness of the suffering of the animals we consume, to deny the existence of any problem, and,worse, to stifle any critical thinking on the subject. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | Animal Activism
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Trans Veganism
By Calvin Neufeld

“Without an emotional, heartfelt grappling with the source of our own oppression, without naming the enemy within ourselves and outside of us, no authentic, non-hierarchical connection among oppressed groups can take place. . . . I am a woman with a foot in both worlds, and I refuse the split.” – Cherrie Moraga, 1979

As a vegan transsexual, I have found myself suspended between two worlds, two spheres of activism, two separate communities committed to justice and equality. I believe that the time has come to break down the barriers between these intrinsically connected anti-oppression movements. Naming suffering as our common enemy, I am proposing a trans-vegan alliance.

Trans people know what it is to be perceived as different, judged as inferior, and denied rights (or worse) on the basis of that difference. Yet we ourselves use this same corrupt equation to oppress animals. How can one form of oppression end without the other? Read more

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COMMENT (0) | Animal Activism, trans people
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Loving Swimmer, Our First Dog
By Nicola Sark

Since going vegan in 2013, my view of animals has changed so much.  I used to be that person who thought of animals as “just animals” and that eating cows, pigs, and chickens were “just the way things are”, never giving them any thought beyond that.

In June of this year, Julian and I adopted our first dog, something I know I would never have done had I not been vegan.  Even the animals we are conditioned to love and care for and not eat, I viewed as more of a nuisance or obligation; I didn’t really “get” the love that people had for their pets and I certainly didn’t see those pets as individuals or companions, mainly because I’d never experienced it before.  We had a dog when I was about 4 or 5 who was returned to the shelter when she tore the kitchen curtains up.  We had a cat when I was in grade school who was given away when we moved cities.  This attitude of animals being disposable if they inconvenienced us continued when my brother was old enough to get a dog (I don’t know what happened to his dog because I had moved out of the house by then. All I know is the dog did not stay long).  By the time I was on my own, I knew I never wanted pets, which, on one hand was good because I still viewed animals as expendable but it was also–to use an expression I’ve learned from therapy–a missed experience.  Had I developed a better understanding of animals and a proper empathy toward them, I could have provided a loving home to one for many years.
Read more

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COMMENT (0) | Animal Activism, animal consiousness
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