Meet former intern superstar Megan! Megan spent 4 amazing months at the sanctuary, first as an animal care intern and finally in our outreach and advocacy department. We are sad to see her go but know she will go on to do amazing things for animals! See what she has to say about her time spent at Animal Place!
How did you develop your interest in vegan lifestyle?
I became a vegetarian when I was about 10 years old because of a PETA Meet your Meat video. I was the only vegetarian in my family, and I had an interest in being vegan but an overall lack of knowledge about a vegan diet. So when I moved out on my own, I finally took the leap and became vegan!
Is there a particular animal on the farm that you connect with?
After working in animal care for a little over 3 months, I’d like to say I connected with a lot of animals. But the group that I connected with most were the turkeys. It really surprised me, because turkeys aren’t always known for being the nicest all the time, and to be honest, I was a little afraid of them when I first started. They are inspiring because even with health problems caused by human greed they are still so bright and full of life regardless.
Besides animals, what else are you passionate about?
I’ve definitely formed my life around my passion for animals and a vegan diet, but I’m also very passionate about my family. My grandmother, Beth, has always instilled a respect of all living things and a sense of compassion since I was a young child, and I’ve never met someone with a kinder heart or spirit.
What advice would you give people interested in transitioning to a vegan diet?
Just do it! I like to tell people that if I can do it in south Texas, then you can do it anywhere in the United States! Animal Place has a lot of recommendations to help make it an easy transition, and vegan products are more available. The only regret I have about my vegan diet is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Have you learned anything in your internship at Animal Place that you can apply to a future career or your home life?
Absolutely! My major at Texas A&M is wildlife ecology and conservation, and spending 3 months caring for animals and 1 month in the office learning the advocacy and education side of a sanctuary has definitely taught me a lot. Mostly, however, I have learned how to be confident and responsible by pushing myself to work harder than I ever have before.
What has been your most memorable experience in the Animal Place internship program?
I was lucky enough to be here for the Operation Love a Hen rescue in February, where I helped rescue 1500 hens from battery cages, and I went with the animal care director, Ciara, to rescue Verna the pygmy goat. I also got to experience teamwork in time of crisis and death, which unfortunately happens at a sanctuary. It’s hard to pick just one experience, because all of them together have helped me grow as a person and as a vegan activist.
Do you have any advice to anyone interested in applying to the Animal Place internship program?
The animal care internship is a LOT of work. It’s definitely something to be considered before applying. It might rain or snow, it might be cold or hot but the animals still need to be fed and cared for and that’s what you’re signing up for. The animals rely on you, so you’re not just volunteering. An internship means you are committing to help the duration you sign up for, so be conscious of that when applying. And the education and advocacy internship program is definitely not as easy as it sounds, either. Unless you already have office experience, be prepared to learn how an office works and work in many different departments!
Interested in interning? Apply for a life-changing residential internship with Animal Place!