Convenience. Cost. Social barriers (like friends and family). Beliefs about getting enough nutrition. Accustomed taste. These are a few of the barriers to making veg eating mainstream. However, we must work to knock down these barriers. Did you know:

445 People

would have access to water if just one person gave up meat for a year.

30 Animals

can be saved when one person goes meatless for a month.

80% of Deforestation

is attributed to meat production.

1.4 Billion People

would be fed if everyone in the US switched to a veg diet.

“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 with a kind soul and not because they wanted you to feel bad! Veg 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 are already a part of it! You fabulous, thoughtful earth citizen, 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

If you’re a veg advocate or vegan, you might experience “activist burnout” or “compassion fatigue”. Isolation, anger and irritability are common symptoms. Talk about a catch 22! You don’t know many other vegans or advocates, so you dedicate your life to inspiring others to join you. In doing this, however, you burn out and lose some of the energy, charm and sparkle that got people on-board with your mission in the first place! But, before you give up on humanity and move to a deserted island, we urge you to seek out allies! Just as we urge potential veg allies to listen and empathize, so must you for them. If fact, they might also be experiencing burnout or fatigue from battling other forms of oppression. Aim to create a “safe space” of comfort and encouragement for all involved. When we meet each other halfway and put together our little bits of good, we can and will overwhelm the world!


Tyisha Shaia serves on VOAA’s board and is the voice of the group on Snapchat. Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, she has an affinity for warm weather and beaches. She relocated to NYC to intern for a popular animal rights organization right after she went vegan in February 2012. She’s been in NYC ever since, using her free time to campaign for a variety of social justice issues. Her other hobbies include dancing with friends, reading, and swimming. She lives in Chelsea with her boyfriend, Alejandro, and their three 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 veg ally since his wife, Nicole, 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 Nicole and their adopted dogs, Ezra and Ziggy Stardust. His favorite summer camp game is kick the can.

Nicole Moore 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 veg 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 Stardust. Her favorite emojis are sun, squirrel and flame.

With VOAA working hard to knock down barriers and welcome you to a new community, you got nothing to lose. Come on in and join us.