6 Word Memoir

Discussion
Jul 7, 2014
by: nfelix

I'm a student at Bronx Leadership Academy II in the Bronx, NY, and I'm a participant in the 2014 Youth Voices Summer Program. My name is Nashaly Felix and I am an animal and nature enthusiast. I was born in the sun-drenched island chain of Puerto Rico, Humacao and lived in Puerto Rico for three years before my family decided to move to New York. My life in Puerto Rico was phenomenal, specifically because my grandfather owned a miniature farm behind our home. I had an immense number of animals, from chickens, turkeys and rabbits to kitties and puppies. When my family moved to New York, I was heartbroken, as I have left my beloved friends, which of course includes all the animals I had. I remember I would call my aunt and ask her about the conditions of the animals, and I would always delight in joy when I hear about the silly quirks they would do. However, when I was in ninth grade I received a call from my aunt and I was told all the animals had been poisoned by unknown trespasser. I was truly crestfallen and to this day I still maintain the belief that I would travel the world to help all kinds of animals in need and prevent as many beautiful creatures from being harmed.

Be that as it may, I was still under the allusion that I was to be a sort of savior to animals when I still consuming these poor creatures. As I would declare to my mother that I would open animal sanctuaries and aid all homeless animals, I continuously still indulgenced on meat products, drown myself in dairy, serve myself scrambled eggs and munched on goodies with honey poured in. Unquestionably, I wished to not inflict any pain on any animal. To my dismay, I was contributing to the largest factor of animal slaughter in the world, which was simply eating them. As I researched ways to minimize animal cruelty, I found the wondrous path to veganism. Such lifestyle meant all types of animal exploitation was prohibited, from eating to wearing animals. I educated myself on animal factoring and the horrendous abuse that animals have to endure in order to make their way to our plates.

Surely, when one is at a supermarket, you are presented with logos that depict cows in beautiful grass fields as well as animal illustrations of bees and pigs with a smile on their faces. In addition, when one is watching television you get commercials on grass-fed chickens who are roaming freely around the fields. What happens to these animals as they are forced in factories, to be shipped to supermarkets is absolutely grotesque and blood-curdling. Apart from my beliefs in veganism, I make my own beauty product. For instance, products such as shampoos, soaps, toothpastes and such I do not purchase. There are many products that contain animals, such as the glycerin in many toothpastes come from the fat of animal bones. Also, the keratin in countless shampoos and conditioner are actually protein from hooves and animal hair. As you can see, people exploit animals everyday. Additionally, I am creative in the kitchen when vegan cooking is involved and I refuse to purchase any from companies that induce animal testing. My upcoming plans is to begin making natural, homemade makeup products, particularly, lipsticks.

Comments

Dear Nashaly- I am impressed

Submitted by groberts on Wed, 2014-07-09 10:37.

Dear Nashaly-
I am impressed with your bio because your story of how you became a vegan is very detailed and thoughtful. You do a nice job of combining a story from your life with an explanation of your beliefs and choices. This is not an easy thing to do!

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is "My life in Puerto Rico was phenomenal, specifically because my grandfather owned a miniature farm behind our home. I had an immense number of animals, from chickens, turkeys and rabbits to kitties and puppies." Your feelings about what was special to you about your home really comes through in this sentence. It makes me want to visit your family's farm! Also, I love the vocabulary you use, as it really brings your ideas to life.

Another part of your bio that I thought was powerful was when you said, "Unquestionably, I wished to not inflict any pain on any animal. To my dismay, I was contributing to the largest factor of animal slaughter in the world, which was simply eating them." I think these two sentences very clearly lay out the conflict that you felt at this moment in your life when you realized the hypocrisy in your actions. As someone who does still eat meat, I think that this is the hardest thing to deal with. Just like so many other terrible things that you know are happening in the world, it feels like you have to purposefully put the knowledge of reality out of your mind in order to go on. I think it's great that, like you say in your 6 word memoir, you are really putting your ideas and beliefs into action, and not just ignoring things that make you uncomfortable, like so many of us do.

Your bio reminds me of my sister-in-law, who is also a vegan. She never explained her reasons to me in such detail, so I think hearing it from you also helps me to understand her. However, last year she became pregnant and she decided to eat dairy again (though not meat) because of health considerations for her baby. Also, my brother eats meat, and she will cook it for him, which I think is an interesting compromise. I also have a vegan friend, though, who will not date people who are not also vegans. Do you think there are any reasons you might choose to change the way you eat in the future? Are you OK with other members of your family or your friends eating differently than you do?

Thanks for your writing! I look forward to seeing what you write next both because there are so many interesting questions in just this one aspect of your identity, and because you write so well that it is genuinely fun and engaging to read stories about what has happened in your life.

Sincerely,
Cora

Nashaly, Have you ever seen

Submitted by gutting on Wed, 2014-07-09 11:15.

Nashaly,

Have you ever seen the documentary Food Inc.? Below is the link to the IMDb page on the film:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/

I watched it for free on Netflix, and this could be a cool resource for you!