Mercy For Animals Internship Update

As you know I’ve been interning at Mercy For Animals in Chicago for the last 2 ½ weeks now. I love it! I’ve already finished my hours for the third week. I have one more week to go. After the one month commitment, I do not know what will happen after that. I’m eager to talk to my boss to see what will happen after that.

This past weekend I volunteered at an event with Pete called Riot Fest. It’s a huge rock band party in a park. It wasn’t my kind of music but it was really neat to volunteer. MFA interns teamed up with FarmUSA to help them out at their paid per view event. They have a giant truck with 10 screens and multiple headphones so we were able to connect with multiple at once. Some people just want the dollar and their eating choices aren’t affected by the video they see. Some will try and scam you by not listening with the headphones on their head and will be texting, in which case they do not receive a dollar. And others are completely moved and one lady even ran away from the video crying.

I love doing paid per view events, an event where you get paid a certain amount of money to watch a video, because I love watching people’s reactions. If you like people-watching, then you’d definitely enjoy paid per view events and even leafleting. People’s responses always get me there as well.

I’m still signed up for google alerts where I receive an alert about a pertinent article regarding veganism, animal cruelty, factory farming, etc. and I read and respond to it. I’m still scanning the papers for articles for letters to the editor. That is probably the thing I have the hardest time with. Lastly I’m helping Phil on his Walmart Cruelty Campaign against gestational crates for mother pigs. Phil Letten is on a nationwide tour and I look for veggie groups and animal advocacy groups to send letters to let them know when and where Phil will be campaigning in their area.

The internship so far has taught me to be a better vegan….a kinder and more joyful vegan. I’m no longer the vegan that’s ready to ram carrots down your throat like I was when I wrote the Would Eat Your Dog and Drink Your Wife’s Breast Milk post. Although, to date, that’s still my favorite post, I understand why it’s so hard. Being on the other side I experience people that literally have no idea where their food comes from and it’s part of my job to educate them. If I’m successful at that job then I’m grateful for that. It’s not a victory but a joyfulness inside that I feel. This isn’t a game. It’s a journey for others to change and I’m glad I’m changing too!

Sara Sawochka