Name: Matthew Traugh
Location: San Diego, CA
Fav. Sport: Running and Swimming
Music: Bad Religion, Blackbird Raum, Punch, Ghost Mice, 7 Seconds, Foot Ox, Defiance Ohio, Arroyo Deathmatch, Modest Mouse, Cake, Hail Seizures, Maladjusted, Minor Threat, Bikini Kill, Hella
Reading: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, A Case for Animal Rights by Tom Regan, Animals and Society by Margo DeMello, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol Adams, Animals and the Moral Community by Gary Steiner, Green is the New Red by Will Potter, The Dreaded Comparison by Marjorie Spiegel, Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation by Anthony J Nocella II, Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl
Watching: Horror movies.... A lot of horror movies.
Fav. Quote: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” - Desmond Tutu
“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world” – Paul Farmer
Athletic Accomplishments: Lost 35 pounds, triathlon, 5ks
Athletic Goals: Complete my first marathon, cycle a century, tough mudder, interested in krav maga
Vegan Story: I was first introduced to veganism in late 2009 after I met and became friends with Ted Trendy, the founder of Team Green. I had been an on and off vegetarian before then, but did not understand the point of veganism because I was unaware of the true nature of the egg and dairy industry. Once I got a better understanding of animal industry, veganism became the only logical choice, and in early 2010 I became vegan. Soon after I got a job working as an instructor for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, and I began to see the parallels of discrimination between humans and non-human animals. I saw that both speciesism and the ableism the people I was working with faced were both attitudes that judged the value of a being based on their cognitive ability. Once I had this understanding I started to see similarities in everything. I read Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, Carol Adams' work on animal rights and feminism, and Marjorie Spiegel's work on human and animal slavery, and I started to see that the oppression of all beings is deeply intertwined. I realized we cannot end the suffering of one unless we end the suffering of all. I then discovered the academic fields of anthrozoology and critical animal studies and started educating myself. What I have learned, and still continue to learn, I believe to be vitally important, and I believe should be readily available in a mainstream and easily accessible format, and so in 2015 I started the web series Vegan Talk, which focuses on the environmental and social issues surrounding human and animal interaction. I am currently going to school to pursue a degree in anthrozoology in hopes of becoming a college professor. I hope to inspire others the same way I was.