Convenience. Cost. Social barriers (like friends and family). Beliefs about getting enough nutrition. Accustomed taste. These are a few of the barriers keeping folks from going vegan and joining the fight against speciesism. However, we must knock down these barriers. Did you know:
445 People
would have access to water if just one person went vegan for a year.
30 Animals
can be spared when one person goes vegan for a month.
80% of Deforestation
is attributed to animal agriculture.
1.4 Billion People
would be fed if everyone in the USA switched to a vegan lifestyle.
“A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel shortages and the worst impacts of climate change.”
– A United Nations report
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead
If you’re a friend of a vegetarian or vegan, chances are good they have shared their reasons with you. If you felt a bit of guilt or fear, you are not alone. Eating animals is so deeply ingrained in our culture, that most people don’t question it. When someone says something to make you question it, it can be really difficult to hear! Take heart: Your friend confided in you because you’re an awesome listener and a good person and not because they wanted you to feel bad! Vegan advocates, just like other social justice advocates, aim to create a shift in social consciousness and they want you to be a part of that big shift! The best part?! Simply by being supportive, empathetic and interested, you already knocked out step one! You awesome social change-maker, you.
Why Allies?
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. ”
-Desmond Tutu
As vegans, we often experience “activist burnout” or “compassion fatigue”. Isolation, anger and irritability are common symptoms. Talk about a catch 22! We don’t know many other vegans, so we dedicate ourselves to inspiring others to go vegan. In doing this, however, we sometimes burn out; losing the optimism and enthusiasm that gets folks on-board with us in the first place! But, before we give up on humanity and move to a deserted island, let’s seek out allies! And just as we urge current and future vegans and allies to listen, empathize, and do better, so must we for them. They might ALSO be experiencing burnout or compassion fatigue from battling racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism… Let’s foster trusting and nurturing environments for each other so we don’t burn-out while we rid the world of all this INTER-CONNECTED systemic oppression that hurts us ALL. When we put together our little bits of good, we can and will overwhelm the world!
Tyisha Shaia was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and continues to have an affinity for warm weather and beaches. She relocated to NYC to work for animal rights after going vegan in February 2012 and has been living there ever since. She now works for a popular tech company and resides in Brooklyn with her three adopted cats, Ginger, Piper, and Brooklyn. Her favorite Disney movies are The Lion King and Aladdin.

Aaron Eisenberg serves as the group’s assistant director. He was born and raised in Allentown, PA and studied political science before going on to get his JD at Northwestern University. He has been a vegan ally since his wife, Nico, went vegan in May 2009 and vegan since the end of 2012. After living in D.C., Chicago and NYC he now resides in Denver with Nico and their adopted dogs, Ezra and Ziggy Starfish. His favorite summer camp game is kick the can.

Nico Eisenberg is the founder of VOAA and serves as the group’s director. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and has a degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University. She has been a vegan ally since college and vegan since May 2009. After living in D.C., Chicago and NYC, she now lives in Denver with Aaron and their adopted dogs, Ezra and Ziggy Starfish. Her favorite emojis are sax, alien face, and flame.

We are proud to share our real-life veganism and welcome you to our party-centric, supportive, honest community for change.