We got engaged in St. Louis on the fourth of July 2007.
I asked Amber to marry me under the Gateway Arch
We got married in Las Vegas on April 30 2008.
How I Became An Animal Advocate
by Amber Moore
As a kid, I grew up very sensitive to pain. Every time I fell down, got a scratch or a cut, it was a HUGE deal. Of course, even if it wasn’t bleeding, I needed a bandage to make it “feel better”. I was a typical kid that just loved to run around outside in the summer, and have fun.
Each year in the fall, my family would go to the cider mill where they also had a small petting farm. I think I enjoyed the animals more than anyone else did. One day we were driving back from the petting farm, and my mom asked if I wanted to help her prepare dinner. When we got home, she grabbed the ground hamburger out of the fridge, and put it into the frying pan. I asked what all of the red liquid in with the food was, and she told me it was blood. At that moment, it clicked with me. You only see blood when you get hurt. I asked whose blood it was, and that’s when she explained to me that it was from a cow. I couldn’t believe that we were eating the same animal I just bonded with at the farm. I told my mom I didn’t want to help anymore, and decided I didn’t want dinner either. I tried for a couple years to be vegetarian, but when you are only 6 years old, parents have control over the food and budget. My parents weren’t open to the idea either. They thought it was a phase I would grow out of. However, every time I ate it, I felt bad.
I remember going on a camping trip many years later, and we stopped at McDonald’s. My dad went inside to grab food, while the rest of the family waited in the car. Our car was facing a parking lot full of livestock trucks. I could see the cows looking out in fear. When my dad came back with the food, I bit into my hamburger, but it tasted different to me. I couldn’t get the image of the sad cows out of my head. At that moment, I decided I couldn’t eat it anymore. I was 15 years old, and I was going to be vegetarian, and nobody was going to stop me.
I realized that it was going to be harder to convince my parents if I was doing this alone, so I sat down with my 12-year-old sister, and explained why it was sad that we were eating meat. She decided to jump on the bandwagon with me, and became vegetarian. Eventually, my Mom got tired of making a vegetarian dish and a meat dish for each meal, so she started just making the vegetarian dishes because everyone could eat them.
Rosemary & Bear March 2008
Years later, I moved away, and met Ryan. Ryan ate meat, and had leather car seats. He also was huge on buying expensive leather shoes. I always expressed to him how it bothered me, and referred to his shoes, and seats as “dead cow” instead of calling it leather. Ryan would eat vegetarian meals when I cooked dinner, and he realized how easy it is. I still had my rescued rabbits at the time (Rosemary and Bear), and one day Ryan was browsing online and ran into an article about great rabbit recipes. I think that’s when it clicked for him. Eating rabbits is the same as eating cows, pigs, and chickens. He decided to go vegetarian on Earth Day 2008 which was a week before our wedding.
April 2008 on our way to Las Vegas to get married – a few days after Ryan went vegetarian
A year and a half later, Ryan was doing research and decided that we should just go all the way with it, and become vegan. We were already drinking soy milk, and getting rid of a lot of dairy in our diets. The big thing that made us realize that we needed to go vegan, was MFA’s video about the way baby male chickens are ground up alive.
Since being vegan, Ryan has lost weight, his blood pressure was high, and now it is normal, and I have more energy. Looking back on my journey, I don’t know what I would have done without the support of non-profits like PETA and Mercy for Animals. Having these resources is what people need to help them live a better lifestyle.
Amber always cooked veggie tacos and veggie burgers for me and they were good. She kept talking to me about vegetarianism and of course she always had the better answers and points. We had been together for nearly a year when I surprised her and announced I was going to try to go vegetarian. I felt like I no longer had a reason not to. After I had been vegetarian for about a month, and realized how easy it was, I thought that everyone should be living this way. I began to do research and I became an animal rights activist.
In 2009 we moved to Virginia to intern at PETA. Amber got a job with PETA and I worked for two SPCA’s and went on to work for In Defense of Animals and V-dog.
Today is our 4th wedding anniversary … but … Amber left our marriage in March 2011. Our divorce will be final on May 08 2012.
Amber got me to go vegetarian and a year and a half later I got her to go vegan. She challenged me and made me a better man. Hopefully I was able to do the same for her.