From watching TV to creating TV, learn how and why Gabe Quash helps the animals.
Name: Gabe Quash
Profession: video production for In Defense of Animals
City: San Francisco, CA
Are you vegetarian or vegan, and for how long?
I have been vegetarian for 7 years and vegan for 4.5 years
What motivated you to make this change?
Seeing factory farming footage really affected me. It was shocking to see animals living in confinement and misery on meat, dairy and egg farms. I watched a lot of TV and movies growing up and had never seen footage of factory farms – I hadn’t even seen a single picture of a modern farm in school. I felt that I had been manipulated into supporting a cruel industry. Not only is it obviously unfair to the animals who are abused, but it is also unfair to the people who are deceived into supporting this cruelty. On the internet, I found hours and hours of behind the scenes footage and decided to do activism to get this reality out to the public. I began producing a TV show called Vegan TV which included undercover footage along with skits about being vegan. Although the show was entertaining to me, it was an awkward mix and after several format changes Undercover TV was born in 2005. Undercover is a straight-forward, behind the scenes look at the way animals are treated in society. The show is hosted by vegan bodybuilder Kenneth Williams.
What are you working on?
- Undercover TV – community access TV program airing in over 80 cities – www.undercovertv.org
- World Vegetarian Day – this year it will be a two-day event featuring vegan food, food demos, entertainment and speakers John Robbins, Howard Lyman and more to be announced. September 30th & October 1st, 2006.
How can others get involved?
- Watch Undercover TV – it airs in San Francisco, Berkeley, Marin, Palo Alto & Pacifica. The full schedule can be found here – www.undercovertv.org/TVSchedule.php. Contact me if you would like a DVD of the program.
- Volunteer at World Vegetarian Day or just come and enjoy the festivities. Interested volunteers can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who/what inspires you to keep going?
Receiving feedback from viewers of Undercover TV who are awakened to the mistreatment of animals is a big motivator. We receive many emails from people who have had a change in perception after seeing the show.
Watching just a few minutes of factory farm footage can have a profound effect on people. When seeing the video, it becomes obvious that pigs, cows and chickens are similar to companion animals (cats and dogs) and that they are suffering terribly on factory farms.
Many of these viewers decide to go vegetarian or vegan and want to work to change the conditions for animals.
Hearing from so many caring people gives me hope that things will change when our society becomes more aware of the situation.
What advice would you give to an aspiring vegan?
Going vegan can be a difficult task depending on the environment that you are in. For me, it was difficult going vegan because I was spending a lot of time with meat-eating friends and coworkers and going to non-vegan friendly events. It can be an isolating experience trying to be vegan when surrounded by friends who eat meat. Luckily, we have a large vegan community in this city. I recommend going to the many BAVEG events – dinner outings and potlucks.
Surrounding yourself with good vegan food and people makes being vegan the fun experience that it deserves to be. We have a lot of vegan restaurants in the Bay Area. There are at least 5 new ones are opening this summer!
Favorite saying: It’s peanut butter jelly time.
Favorite recipe: The Daily Smoothie – bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, young coconut, soy milk, hemp protein powder, flax seed oil and ice.
Favorite websites: www.vegan.com, www.animalrighter.org