CAA Volunteer, Maya Ulrich, has contributed to a better world for humans and animals in so many ways. From writing features for our Twin Cities Veg Living magazine to helping coordinate social media for the Explore Veg program, Maya has frequently been an important part of moving our work forward. Read on to find out more about Maya’s interests and passions for creating a healthier environment and a more just society.
“I was inspired to get involved with CAA my second semester of freshman year when a friend invited me to join a weekly student meeting with them. I found the space to be full of like-minded people who were thoughtful, critical, and passionate about animal rights, supporting veganism as a method for reducing harm, and critiquing how our food systems have deep intersecting and interlocking connections to other socio-political issues.
In my time with CAA I have found the resources and support to step into a leadership position with the student group at the University of Minnesota. With my amazing peers and lengthy support of the parent organization we were able to put on many engagement events such as the Vegan Chili Cookoff, the vigil for animals who have lost their lives to systemic demands that commodifies and objectifies human and non-human lives, and farm many many more.
Along with animal liberation work I am passionate about many other justice issues, as they have intersecting struggles against white supremacy, capitalism, and settler-colonialism. As a white bodied person I try to show up as an accomplice on the front lines whenever possible to use the privileges of my skin color, ability, and other codified identities to be in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and brown human relatives. Recently, I have been with my fellow comrades and water protectors resisting Line 3 – a tar sands oil pipeline in northern Minnesota – to protect the land, water, and wild rice. I see this work as a part of stepping into our agency as relatives of one another, and as a fight against the active genocide occuring against the Indigenous people of this land, as well as a fight for the climate, the sacred, and each other.
My advice for people who want to create positive change in the world is to remember that no action is too small. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think about the problems we are facing collectively. Find and build community – love on each other, show compassion. Sometimes our greatest individual impacts are made by our smallest day-to-day interactions with those around us. Change is slow but inevitable, and we have the agency – no matter what our government.” – Maya Ulrich