Opening Hearts and Changing Minds at Woofstock
Posted in: Activism
On an unseasonably warm day in September, I set out to do something for which I was excited, yet apprehensive. Having not volunteered or voluntarily signed up to meet new people in years, I was a bit out of my comfort zone. I have struggled with depression and social anxiety for the last two years, and this was a very personal challenge for me.
As I walked across the bridge spanning a very brown and mucky Susquehanna, I counted my breaths and whispered a mantra of “it’s for the animals“. Woofstock is a festival for dogs and dog lovers alike, and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of stands and kiosks dedicated to our canine compatriots.
After locating the AASCPA booth, with its lovely aqua tent, I met two very friendly gentleman, Juan and Seth, who greeted me as if we were old friends. Donning my equally lovely aqua t-shirt, I started to feel more and more comfortable, and a part of something bigger than my previous anxiety and fears. We were soon joined by the vivacious and friendly Ella, who had so many fun and helpful suggestions on drawing in perspective vegans and educating as many people about the benefits of plant-based diets.
Another wonderful surprise was the addition of the darling Charlotte, who brought her porcine charms much to the delight of young, old and doggo. Ryan, Charlotte’s person, offered an informative and refreshing perspective to those who were drawn into our booth by Charlotte’s piggy cuteness, showing that pigs are as smart and loving as dogs. Driving home the message of : “Why eat one and love the other?” We met some wonderful people, all who were open to discussions regarding veganism, lifestyle changes, helpful hints and recipe ideas, and willing to help themselves to our literature.
Our wheel of chance was a big hit with the kiddos, and many yummy vegan treats were awarded. My anxiety and fears disappeared and almost instantly I felt as if I was a part of something bigger, something so very meaningful and impacting change in the hearts and minds of the Harrisburg dog loving community.
I am so grateful to have been a part of this awesome organization and look forward to growing with them in my vegan journey. Three months and counting since I switched from being a pescatarian to a full vegan and I am truly loving every minute of saving souls and being a voice for the voiceless .