Greetings beautiful people,

My name is Saraphym Wright and I am one of the interns here at 350 Mass. As a refresher from my previous introduction in a past newsletter, I am a rising senior at Suffolk University, majoring in environmental studies with a minor in arts administration. Today I am going to tell you all the story of how I became an environmentalist.

I was born into a beautiful, loving, and very spiritual family, and my parents raised me and my brother vegetarian. Following this lifestyle at such a young age led me to become very conscious and aware of the things that went into my body and how they would affect me. When I was six years old I met a girl who was vegan and she soon became my best friend. Her lifestyle inspired me so much, and when I was about ten years old, I decided I wanted to become vegan too. But unfortunately, with no real concrete reason for why I wanted to be vegan, it soon faded away.

Four years later, in my freshman year of high school, I was sitting on my bed watching youtube videos when all of a sudden an ad played called “Dairy is Scary”. This ad illustrated the horrors of the factory farming and animal agriculture industry and this became my concrete reason to be vegan – I could no longer contribute to the senseless torture of animals – so from that moment on, I became vegan, and slowly but surely so did the rest of my family too! #Animalrights

The following year, I watched a documentary called “Cowspiracy” which talks about the negative impact that the animal agriculture and factory farming industry have on the environment. With that new knowledge, I then became very passionate about the environment, the planet, and climate change.

This passion unfortunately did not include humans. I was so upset with humans that I just wanted them to feel bad for contributing so carelessly to a system that was treating animals so inhumanely and destroying our planet in the same breath. Because of this, I lost a lot of my compassion for human beings and I believed that using methods of guilt and fear were the best ways to get people to change their lifestyles and help the planet. I was wrong. #Climatechange

Things are different now. In my Environmental (Health) Science class two years ago, I heard the term environmental justice for the first time (as a nineteen-year-old who had been passionate about environmental issues for years). The following year, in my Environment and Society class, I heard the term “intersectional environmentalism” for the first time, and in another class, I learned that using positive messaging actually has a much more likely response for taking action than fear and guilt. Both of these terms and this new information changed my life. I became very passionate about environmental justice and the intersection of the environment AND people. I realized how interconnected everything is which really changed my perspective on the whole issue. #Environmentaljustice #Intersectionalenvironmentalism

I now approach environmentalism with compassion and from an environmental justice standpoint. The reality is that the planet will adapt to whatever happens, it always has, but the people need to be cared for and protected and provided with the resources they need in order to adapt to and survive climate change.

With love,

Saraphym Wright

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