Activist Profile: Twila Hoyle
January 19, 2011
Continuing our series of activist profiles, we turn today to our New Orleans activist, Twila Hoyle (seen here with Angus Young). Since we started keeping track, Twila has reached well over 34,000 individuals with VO booklets!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Cat Square, North Carolina (good luck finding it on a map) and I have been calling New Orleans home since 1994. I am unequivocally and unconditionally in love with New Orleans!
What are your favorite things to do outside of leafleting?
My favorite way to pass the time when I’m not leafleting
is a good book and my puppy Angus Young. I also spend
time practicing Kundalini yoga and learning all about
raw food preparation. I am a big fan of horror movies!
And I love outdoor music festivals and am blessed
to live in a city where this happens on a pretty regular
basis. Jazz Fest is my favorite time of the year,
Voodoo Fest is pretty great as well (although I do
leaflet the fests, I find the time to enjoy them,
Who has been / is a major influence in your life and why?
I am continually influenced and humbled by the dedication and heart of each and every individual I have met in this movement who put themselves out there to be a voice for these animals.
How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?
I became involved in animal rights after stumbling upon Meet You Meat online on March 25 of 2005. I was shocked and appalled when I learned the truth about the animal agriculture industry. Before that, I, like most people, just never really gave a lot of thought to where my “food” was coming from. I was an on-and-off vegetarian for health reasons and I totally believed my milk carton when it told me that milk came from “happy cows.”
What made you decide to start leafleting? If you were nervous the first time, how did you get over it?
I was introduced to VO leafleting by Monica Ferroe, Miranda Robbins & Victor Tsou. I am a Vegan Outreach volunteer because I believe that leafleting is the most efficient and effective way of getting this information out there. I leaflet because I wish someone had leafleted me years ago.
What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?
It is hard to say. I feel like I have accomplished something every time I go out. I have had people tell me that they went veg after receiving a VO leaflet in the past at a concert or on campus and that’s always the best! And it rocks my world every time I see a leaflet going into a backpack or a purse, and especially when I see people reading them on the street! I leaflet colleges and concerts but really enjoy leafleting in the French Quarter with Angus Young. I have a unique opportunity here in New Orleans and that is that people come from all over the country – the world really – and gather in my backyard, the French Quarter. So, I enjoy walking around leafleting on the weekends with my puppy. Angus Young really has a way of warming people up.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
I understand being hesitant about leafleting. It’s hard sometimes to put yourself out there, as sometimes, some people can be rather hostile and defensive when you shake up their world. What I have learned to do is ask myself, “What is the worst thing that could possibly happen? What am I worrying about here?” Someone might make a rude comment, someone might rip up a leaflet. It’s OK – anger is better than apathy and I promise you, you will live through it. And, in time, you will get more comfortable with crowds and individuals and find your own leafleting style. And know that you are making a difference; most of the time, the person who reacts with the most negativity is the person you needed to reach that day. Have fun, believe in people, reward yourself when it’s over.