Action For Animals (AFA) is a grassroots outreach and educational organization in southeast Michigan. We offer educational information on college campuses regarding animal agriculture and plant-based solutions, in addition to hosting animal rights street activism events, and providing support for our local animal protection communities.
Having been raised on a farm and professionally training horses for the first 26 years of my life, I know animal emotions very well. I understand the complexity of their experiences, wants and desires. After all, I made a career out of manipulating it. Ironically, one of the traits that I’ve always despised in humanity is selfishness. Yet, it wasn’t until I embraced veganism that I could recognize that selfishness in me. Was my pleasure really worth more than the life and desires of another? Could I justify causing an animal pain or suffering for a quick meal or cheap entertainment? No, I could not. So, I embarked on a journey towards a more compassionate lifestyle. I stopped riding horses, consuming animal products, wearing leather and more. I started calling myself a vegan (albeit with great reluctance at first.) The more I learned, though, the stronger my conviction grew. It felt absolutely amazing! I could feel myself beginning to live in alignment with the person I wanted to be. I didn’t just talk of kindness, respect and fairness towards animals, I was living it. While I regret having caused animals pain in the past, it is also this knowing how animals suffer that burns a hole in my chest. I know how they fight for their lives and fight for freedom. Thus, I’ve made it my life's mission to advocate on their behalf. I hope my story will help others to see that anyone can change their life around for the right reasons and a cause they believe in.
In my early years, I always had a compassion for animals, as I would often talk about my dream of running an "Animal Care Camp" where I would rehabilitate wild animals and set them free back to the wild. I would champion the title of an "animal lover" and would find a great enjoyment in seeing animals happy. Growing into a photographer, some of my favorite subjects were animals, wild and domesticated. It wasn't until I was 23 that I realized my lifestyle habits were causing more animals pain and suffering than I ever could have imagined. After being shown what truly happens to the animals that we look at as "food", I couldn't bring myself to pay for such atrocities to happen to beings I claimed to love. I had to start aligning my morals to my actions. If I didn't want the animals I photographed to go through such a horrid system, I shouldn't pay for different animals to experience it. After doing this, my appreciation for all life grew, and my will to start becoming an activist grew with it. Speaking up for those who do not have the ability to say something for themselves, and I wish it happened 23 years earlier.