We’ve shared a few of Aysha Akhtar’s articles and this one is just as great.
"The choice here is not between testing on animals or humans—and it never was. The choice is to either keep putting people’s lives at risk based on inaccurate animal experiments or to ensure their safety by using much more accurate human-based tests before humans start taking the drugs."
"The truth is dairy cows lead horrible lives, filled with grief, pain and suffering. Not only does the dairy industry fuel the veal industry, but the dairy cow herself is ultimately slaughtered as well. With all this in mind, we have to ask ourselves, “Is there more cruelty in a glass of milk or a pound of beef?”
How did you develop your interest in the vegan lifestyle?
I became a vegetarian three years ago because I wanted to reduce the suffering of animals in the meat industry. When I learned about the cruelty involved in the production of dairy, eggs, and other animal products, however, I decided that going vegan was the best way for me to make the world a better place for non-humans. I adopted a plant-based diet upon my arrival at Animal Place, and after befriending the animals here at the sanctuary, I plan to maintain a vegan lifestyle indefinitely!
Is there a particular animal at the sanctuary you connect with?
I bonded with so many animals at the sanctuary, but I feel that I made the deepest connection with Hope, one of the female turkeys. Hope has a sweet personality and loves to gently peck at freckles and birthmarks. She enjoys being scratched around her legs and tail, and she makes the most endearing sounds! Hope is super sweet to people, and I’m happy to say that she lets me kiss the top of her head…It feels like a warm raspberry.
Besides animals, what else are you passionate about?
Sociology is currently the love of my life, and I will begin working toward a Ph.D. this fall! I am fascinated by social processes and why humans do the things we do, particularly when it comes to social movements and healthcare. This internship has inspired me to consider studying animal rights as a social movement and to examine different societal attitudes toward non-human animals.
What advice would you give people interested in transitioning to a vegan diet?
I would encourage those interested in a vegan diet to find a friend who is vegan or who is interested in trying a plant-based diet as well. I became vegan when I started interning at Animal Place, and the staff and other interns provided helpful tips and tricks for cooking, baking, and finding vegan options at restaurants. After spending two months working with and learning from other vegans, I am excited to continue my plant-based diet and teach others about it! Alternatively, reading vegan articles and blogs can be helpful for someone starting out…There are plenty of vegans out there who are passionate and willing to help!
Have you learned anything in your internship at Animal Place that you can apply to a future career or your home life?
Over the course of my internship, I have decided that I would like to adopt rescued chickens and turkeys when I eventually own a home. As an Animal Care Intern, I fed the chickens and turkeys; cleaned their stalls, nesting boxes, and perches; and assisted with health checks. I learned a great deal about these species’ diet and behavior, as well as health challenges they face as a result of selective breeding for meat and egg production. This knowledge and first-hand experience with chickens and turkeys has inspired me to open my home to them in the future.
What has been your most memorable experience in the Animal Place internship program?
Cuddling and bonding with the turkeys. The turkeys are incredibly curious about EVERYTHING—glasses, freckles, jewelry, cleaning brushes—and will investigate all of these items by pecking at them! I was also surprised to find that they love leg/tail/butt scratches and that you can tell they enjoy something when they start preening themselves—or your arm!
Do you have any advice to anyone interested in applying to the Animal Place internship program?
Go for it! Becoming an Animal Care Intern at Animal Place is one of the most amazing, life-changing experiences I have ever had. I think it is an excellent opportunity for anyone who loves animals and wants to learn how to care for them and advocate for them.
Like Carmen, wild sheep have hair or fine wool that sheds. Domestication of sheep led to continuously growing wool, uncomfortable and potentially deadly, to the sheep. Use cotton instead.
Too often, we are hearing about animal agriculture having a huge negative impact on our water supply. Here’s another example of a town water pollution: http://www.bdtonline.com/opinion/article_9802c08c-2ca6-11e4-afdc-0019bb2963f4.html
Protect your water supply by going vegan!
"Ballerina left depressed by chronic eczema cures ailments through vegan diet - and she’s created healthy brownies, banoffee pie and Nutella recipes to help others"
"In two landmark rulings earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court said that animals — whether they be horses, goats, dogs or cats — shall be afforded some of the same basic protections as human beings."