My activism has definitely waned since I was younger. Being a staunch environmentalist, I had envisioned joining Greenpeace back when I was in high school and had planned on double-majoring in oceanography/marine biology and journalism. For me, activism started early.
When I was 10, I watched a documentary by Seattle’s Chicken Soup Brigade about the struggles of men living with and dying of AIDs. I was in tears. Afterward, I begged my mother to call and see how I could help. There wasn’t much I could do from the island, but I tried to help with early PFLAG, Act-Up, and other LGBTQ efforts. Many of my friends at the time were gay men so I was close to the issues they faced.
Although I do not use the label of or practice vegetarianism now, I have always been fairly plant-based or non-meat in my diet. When I was 15, a group of us were detained for holding a “meat is murder” silent campaign (postering over the meat section at a grocery store).
I also worked with PETA to check on a rhino at a game farm in Sequim, WA. when visited on a trip to see my grandparents in Port Angeles. While there, I saw a rhino that could barely lift its head due to the weight of it’s horn. In the wild, these horns are naturally rubbed down, but this one was so large, that it was starting to branch off. PETA stepped in and received assistance from the Woodland Park Zoo to have the horn trimmed.
Later, I helped pass out leaflets at the Vancouver Aquarium to protest the keeping of whales, wrote op-ed pieces for the Island Independent against clear-cutting forests, and founded the Inter-Island chapter of Earth First.
Most recently, I have joined the Executive Committee for a local chapter of Surfrider.