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Intern Interview – Jeweliette Pearson

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October 9 2015 Jeweliette Magnolia (1 of 1)How did you develop your interest in a vegan lifestyle?

It began when I was sixteen. I just discovered what “vegan” meant and was curious to give it a try. I had no confidence in myself but I tried anyways. I remember being at school that week and eating lunch. I was halfway done with a slice of pepperoni pizza and realized that I was eating meat. I totally forgot that what I was eating came from a cow. I wasn’t making the connections between my food choices and the animals harmed by them, yet. Two years later, I began to reduce my meat consumption starting with beef, then pork, chicken and so on. I took the longest path to veganism anyone could take. I made the final transition and became vegan when I was eighteen. It wasn’t until I watched videos online about dairy farms that I understood the true price of dairy. The particular video I watched was on PreetiRang sanctuary’s website, where I soon visited after transitioning to a vegan. I’ll never forget that feeling I had once the video was over. I remember feeling scared because I didn’t think I could do it. I never thought the day would come when I made the conscious decision of becoming vegan. But I knew I had no other option but to adopt a plant based lifestyle and I knew that it was the only way I could live from that day forth

Aside from animal rights, what else are you passionate about?

Vegan food. All of it. But besides food, I’m passionate about furthering my education by going back to college. I’m currently beginning to study Japanese so that I can one day travel to Japan to meet my family members over there and learn more about my Japanese roots and culture.

What advice would you give people interested in transitioning to veganism?

Educate yourself. Raise awareness. Have confidence. Be open to change. Follow your heart.

Have you learned anything in your internship that you can apply to a future career or home life?

One of the coolest things I’ve learned was every cow’s favorite scratch spot: their ears (thanks Marji!). But that’s only one of many things I learned during my eight week internship. The greatest thing I believe I took home after being an intern was the lifestyle. Every day, everyone that worked, interned and volunteered at Animal Place put immense time and effort into the sanctuary and the animals. I can now tell the animals stories, the relationships I shared with them, and just how unique and precious each one was while I was there. For many people, living in a world where animals have rights and are respected as individuals is unimaginable and doesn’t exist. But after living at the sanctuary, I’m now capable of explaining to others how animals are supposed to live and be cared for and by doing so, I’m also showing them that look, there are such things as forever homes for these animals where they aren’t exploited or harmed, only loved and appreciated. By sharing my experiences from Animal Place, I’m also demonstrating how compassion for all animals goes a long way and that it is indeed possible for these animals to live happily and free. And that for me is one of the many valuable things I’ve learned while interning.

What has been your most memorable experience in the Animal Place internship program?

Everything. From getting a brain freeze from bobbing for apples at the Halloween potluck to helping rescue 508 hens from being killed at a “free-range” farm and waking up the next morning knowing that hundreds of individuals will finally live their lives in peace. From gathering the courage to help move all thirteen cows from their pasture to the paddock at the other end of the sanctuary for their health checks, to having the honor of witnessing the calves Shelby and Magnolia meet each other for the very first time and getting to be there to watch them instantly express their excitement and interest towards one another. From the many pizza parties with Jonathan’s mouth-watering homemade pizzas, to occasionally having the opportunity to help out with health checks and meds and feeling a bit nervous because it was something I’ve never experienced before and I didn’t want to mess up or accidently hurt the animals. I don’t think I can choose one single moment as an intern and call it the most memorable. I could list favorite experiences of mine endlessly and I can tell so many funny, heartwarming as well as heart breaking stories. Through the highs and the lows, all-in-all, my time at Animal Place was special to me because each day as an intern, I had the chance to help the wellbeing of many individuals who I cared about, but whose divinity and intelligence are so misunderstood and underestimated by the majority of the world. Being an intern at Animal Place is an uncommon lifestyle but an honorable one and it holds such a valuable opportunity you can’t find just anywhere. I can say that my experience as an Animal Place Intern was the greatest two months of my life and if I could experience it all again I would in a heartbeat.

Do you have any advice to anyone interested in applying to the Animal Place internship program?

I would say prepare to work hard. The work is physically demanding, but it’s ever so rewarding. Also, the days speed by so quickly. So enjoy every moment if you can! Go outside and do some exploring. But most of all, hangout with the animals! Yes, the intern house is cozy and all, but nothing can compare to being at the sanctuary and spending time with the animals and learning their stories and their unforgettable personalities.

One Response so far.

  1. Celeste says:

    Jeweilette, What an inspiration you are to the planet. Thanks for sharing your story and the road to consious consumption. Good for you and God Bless!