[Huffington Post (blog)]
I suppose I am one: an activist -- for animals and a vegan lifestyle. I hear
that word, however, and look around to see if someone is indeed referring to me.
I don't have the activist temperament. I like listening to divergent points of
view and hearing people out. I like getting along. I even like being liked,
although activists of any stripe should get rid of that handicap at the outset.
As a sophomore in high school, I had another wham-o. Biology class. We dissected
worms. It didn't feel right. I knew frogs were coming, then cats. I asked to be
transferred to lab-free human science. "It's not college-prep," the teacher
"I don't care. I don't want an animal to die for me to go to college."
The teacher pushed his glasses down his middle-aged nose so he could get a
close look at my sincere, acne-pocked face. "But you eat meat, don't you?"
Accepting that I live in a culture in which my convictions in this area are
outside the accepted norms, my aim -- my activism -- is not to argue with those
who think I'm nuts. Instead, I attempt to be an example for the interested, a
resource for the curious and a guide for those new to this way of life -- like
the woman I met today, an Israeli-born grandmother who told me that she hadn't
eaten an animal product since March. "My eyes were opened," she said. "And I
tell other people because you can never be sure who is ready to wake up."