Hey folks,

I hope all of you were able to check out Part I of The Story of Dallas yesterday! If not, get it here!
Now, it's time to check out the rest of her vegan journey!



I don't blame my mom. I didn't then, either. I was just angry that so many people were in the same position as my mom and me; they didn't like what companies were doing, but they didn't feel like they had a choice to say no.

I wrote to PETA and they sent back a bunch of information and I started learning about all kinds of animal issues. I kept learning and finding new ways to help animals, or at least not do things that hurt them, for the next several years. And when I saw a notice about an animal rights film being shown after school one day when I was a sophomore in high school, I went.

I don't remember the name of the film, but I do remember seeing footage showing how eggs and dairy were produced and feeling sick. I didn't know eggs and dairy hurt animals. After all, the animals didn't die when they laid eggs and were milked. But after seeing the film I was amazed I didn't question how the animals were kept, or what happened to them when they got older, or even where the barns were that held them. It was like a veil had been lifted and I suddenly understood what made perfect sense: Of course they want people to think the animals are happy. But now I knew that the ads were lies. These companies lie so they can make money.

I went vegan that day.
I got a lot of flack for it. And the only other vegan I knew was the girl who showed the film, but she was pro-life and I am pro-choice. And she spent as much energy on anti-abortion stuff as animal rights stuff, and my fifteen year old self didn't want to go there. So, I was the only vegan I knew for four years. Then I found a community animal rights group called the Animal Rights Coalition and started volunteering with them. I was soon approached about joining the first open rescue team in the United States. I was amazed and honored, and scared half to death when we would go in the middle of the night to film inside of factory egg farms. The night we rescued eleven hens, I remember the heartbreak of leaving the ones behind we couldn't take. I volunteered with that group for several years, even quitting my day job to volunteer full time while my amazing and supportive husband supported us on his earnings alone. I was then approached about working for the Animal Rights Coalition, to which I said yes, and currently serve as their Program Director. I have assisted for shot times with a number of groups over the years, helped to found Support Vegans in the Prison System (Support VIPS), ran Small Dog rescue of Minnesota for four years, and started a podcast called Midwest Vegan Radio with some friends.
I joke that if I were hit on the head hard enough to forget my own name, I would still know I'm vegan. It means that much to me, and is at the core of who I consider myself to be. And I believe in my heart that helping animals is what I was born to do. It's my purpose. And I think I may have always known it, from that first little bug in the water.

Thank you again Dallas for sharing your wonderful journey!
Dallas Rising lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Brandon, and their four boys: Max, Warren, Taz, and Milo, all of whom have tails. She is the Program Director for the Animal Rights Coalition, and abolitionist animal rights group, and co-host of Midwest Vegan Radio, a rockin' podcast about all things vegan ( to which you should listen - even if you're not into podcasts). She also trains in Muay Thai. Animal abusers beware!