My current personal life mission is to cultivate capacity for social change, in particular for nonhuman animals. I bring together communities to heal emotionally, spiritually, physically, and socially to help us be more loving, compassionate, and sustainable social change activists. My work includes fundraising, activist development, and spiritual facilitation. See my resume for some of my history.

As of May of 2020, here are some of the things I’m doing with my life 

I have been training for a triathlon, now canceled because of the COVID 19 pandemic, and that’s been great. I am going to continue to train since I appreciate how it feels to move my body and feel healthy. I am ahead of schedule with my running. I have been biking less (there aren’t many places to go because of the pandemic), but I have enjoyed riding my new road bike. I have spent more time during the pandemic away from screens, meditating, and walking. I am grateful for the privilege I have.

I continue to host monthly Our Wellness and Liberation gatherings which are now online. I had been considering planning another retreat, and now I’m glad it wasn’t going forward since we would have canceled it because of the pandemic.

I have been engaged in a variety of equity and animal advocacy projects, like leading the Equity Advisory Committee for the Animal Rights National Conference. The conference will be online this year, and the committee will not have a lot to do this year. I will also lead the committee for the 2021 conference. I attended and very much appreciated the Encompass Foundational Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit in March and participate in their Global Majority Caucus.

For work, I am coaching and training small organizations on individual donor fundraising with GiveMN. I left BiteSquad and Seed Cafe a few months ago.

More about me

When I was about eleven years old, I was visiting India. My second cousin, Narayanan, would watch over my brother, Krishnan and I. He would show and explain many things to us such as the nearby allspice tree that had not yet provided seeds. Narayanan enjoyed playing chess and named and friended a semi-feral cat ‘Bobby’ after the legendary American chess player Bobby Fischer. Krishnan and I learned about cats’ ability to land on their feet by throwing Bobby higher and higher. Eventually, Narayanan said to us, in a very neutral tone: if you keep doing that, Bobby will die. Krishnan and I didn’t realize it, but we were being cruel to Bobby! I felt ashamed (despite Narayanan’s nonjudgmental tone) immediately stopped. Of course, I didn’t think of my self as somebody who would be cruel to cats or any animals.

Ten years later, I would come to learn how nonhuman animals including pigs and chickens — every bit as sensitive as Bobby — would be mutilated, confined, and otherwise mistreated in modern American farms. As I learned about this, and reflected on the kind of person I thought of myself, I started to speak out about nonhuman animal cruelty. Within a year, I decided I would devote my life to advocating for nonhuman animals.

My advocacy has taken many twists and turns. I’ve screamed angrily at protests against circues, gotten arrested at the Mall of America protesting the sale of animal fur, broken into factory farms to investigate animal cruelty, distributed 10’s of thousands of leaflets to expose animal cruelty, started an organization and much, much more. Some of the questions I’ve asked have been:

  • How can I have the biggest impact on the greatest number of nonhuman animals?
  • How can I advocate in a way that draws people in and encourages them to advocate alongside of me?
  • How do I keep advocating for animals as I move through my life and have different needs from my career, family, health, education, and more?
  • How do I build capacity for the movement?
  • How do I work well with other animal advocates, so we can work in solidarity?

Some of the answers to these questions seemed pretty easy. I have not yet had difficulty advocating for animals through the different phases of my life. Some have been very hard. Advocating in a way that draws people in is a challenge for me.