Erika

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Erika

“I’ve always liked nature and getting my hands dirty outside — but I only became really invested in environmentalism in tenth grade. After watching several environmental documentaries and researching about veganism that year, I became vegetarian and then pescatarian and then finally vegan. It was around that time that I began to realise the impact of my existence upon the earth and decided to make changes to my lifestyle to accommodate for that truth.

There are some challenges that come along with being vegan. It limits the number of places you can go out to eat with your friends and family so it becomes slightly harder to socialise. Also, some people get weirded out by veganism and that can lead to some awkward situations. For example, my grandparents are very against the idea and when I’m with them, I often think it would be easier if I just wasn’t a vegan. Overall though, I don’t regret it: thanks to veganism, I’ve learned to become more conscious about myself and about what impact my actions can have.

I started the Meat Free Monday campaign here to show people that a meatless lifestyle is possible and a lot more accessible than they think. I just hope that from now on, the campaign continues at our school and maybe spreads to other schools: even a big task like saving the environment can begin with small changes like this campaign.

In the future, I hope to continue working with the environmentalism movement. I don’t know exactly what kind of job I’ll wind up doing, but I hope it involves going out into the field and surrounding myself with nature. Although it can be challenging at times, I’m glad to have environmentalism in my life; it’s given me something to work towards and also, in a way, a purpose in life.” — Erika

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