Activist Profile: Eric Paul
September 3, 2008
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Chico, CA, but hopped around to different towns in California. I also spent a few years in Reno. The place I would consider my hometown would be Grass Valley, CA, as I did the majority of my growing up there. I now reside in Sacramento.
What are your favorite things to do besides leafleting?
My favorite things to do include playing my drums, hiking, bouldering / rock climbing, rafting. Basically being an adrenaline junky! I also enjoy chillin’ with the homies and going to shows.
Who has been / is a major influence in your life and why?
The people who have always been a big influence in my life are my close friends. They have always been there for me through the worst and best times. Without them, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. Another person who has been a great source of inspiration is Brian Grupe. He has shown me so so much in such a short time! I love him like a brother and hope he never leaves my life. Thank you Brian! Also my Mom, who has continuously supported me in everything. You rock, Mom!
|Eric and Brian speak out for animals at a Harvard Square veg rally.|
How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?
I went veg when I was 13, originally to annoy my Dad. But as I learned more and more about speciesism and factory farming, it became more of a passion – this overwhelming feeling that I needed to do something took me over. At first, I had no idea what I could do! Then I was given an Even If You Like Meat by our Mr. Grupe, and here I am.
What made you decide to start leafleting?
What really made me want to get involved with Vegan Outreach was when I went on their web page and read their history. I really like how they stress education over fanaticism. The word “counterproductive” always pops up in my head when I see other groups making vegans / veggies look like crazy people!
What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?
I can’t really say I have a favorite moment, but I can say this: when someone comes up to me at a school I have already leafleted and tells me about how they went veggie / vegan because of our booklets, it just makes my day.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
Don’t be. There will be times when it will feel like it’s all for nothing, but take comfort in the fact that there are thousands of people just like you working for a better world every day. Yes, we will be met with opposition by those who feel our views are extreme. They have been raised to believe that the meal in front of them was never a creature with her own life, her own feelings and family. You must help them see otherwise. I believe the day will come when the suffering of our fellow creatures of this planet will end. But that day will come sooner with your help!