Perseverance with the uncertainty of living undocumented
I would want to speak about how being an immigrant and being undocumented gave me so much perseverance and appreciation for what I have. Although, among everything I was and am grateful for, the fear of being deported to a country I don’t know, or my parents being deported stays with me. There are moments I forget that getting deported is a possibility but, when I hear about ICE raids the fear comes back. I saw my parents persevere and work hard in a country they didn’t know and I want to do the same. I want to be known as someone who has seen others struggle but not give up, as someone who has struggled but continues to work hard. My experiences have made me a charismatic person, someone who can empathize and know how many immigrants feel and this will have a huge role in my leadership.
Being vegan in a non-vegan world
Being vegan usually comes with a negative connotation; the preachy vegan, judgmental, not vegan enough, and even though there are many people who are vegan there are even more who are not. It can be isolating being the only one in a friend group or your family who is vegan.So how do you feel less isolated? Should I be the super chill vegan who just minds her business and does not advocate for the animals but inside feels the pain? I’m not vegan enough because I don’t go to factories to save animals or show up to animal rights marches, but if I start posting about what happens to animals in factory farms then I am preachy and too vegan. How do you live in peace when you are in the constant struggle of loving those close to you but having so much empathy for the animals that suffered and being sad when you see them on a plate? It’s a valid struggle and others who feel stuck as well should know that they can feel peace and that there is a way to be in a community with people who are not vegan. Seeing both sides of a situation and being open-minded can help with my leadership and being vegan while your loved ones aren’t can be a peaceful situation— there can be beautiful moments with understanding, communication and education.
Veganism/Vegetarianism and social inequality
I was the person who just could not understand why animals had to suffer for small moments of pleasure. But what about the communities who live in food deserts and have no other options but to eat what’s at their disposal. Some communities don’t even have the resources to eat fresh fruits and veggies and a lot of the time those communities are the ones who get sick more often and who have a higher rate of health related issues. Because of someone’s economic status or because of where they live and the resources they have, being vegan/vegetarian is not always at their disposal and it’s not a priority. We have to figure out a way to change their situation and provide them with the resources that can better their health and know that not everyone has the privilege to eat plant-based/vegetarian.