Maizie is a student at Dickinson College who first came to my attention when my campus’s sandwich shop featured a vegan sub suggested by her. The sub was delicious, and I’m really happy to know there’s people out there like Maizie, who produced a short documentary film her senior year of high school called Living the Solution (you can find it here on YouTube). I am personally so excited to see what this woman accomplishes for animals!
Name: Maizie Ober
VegHead Status: Vegan
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Current Location: Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, USA
Occupation: Philosophy Student
Companion Animals: I have a rescue kitty named Noodlebug, but unfortunately I am allergic to her and most animals!
Favorite VegHead-Friendly Cafes and/or Restaurants: Screamers Pizza in Brooklyn and Blackbird Pizza in Philly
Favorite Foods: Avocado pesto pasta, any form of fried potato, tofu
Favorite Place You’ve Visited and Why: Boulder, Colorado, because it is such a progressive, vegan-friendly city with the added bonus of being on the edge of the Rockies with great access to epic running trails.
Favorite Veg Person of Interest: Scott Jurek (ultrarunner) or Sunaura Taylor (disability and animal activist)
Favorite Veg Cosmetics/Body Care Brand or Company: Tom’s of Maine
Fav Veg-Related/Environmental/Social Justice Books: Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation by Sunaura Taylor, Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society edited by A. Breeze Harper
Fav Veg-Related/Environment/Social Justice Movies: Okja
When did you go vegan and why? What, if any, are the difficulties you have encountered? Tell us your story:
I first went vegetarian in eighth grade as part of a Save the Chesapeake Bay project. I started doing research on factory farming for the project and realized that I wanted to go vegan when I got to college because of the horrendous treatment of animals in the industry. I ended up becoming vegan sophomore year of high school because both my parents went vegan first! The only difficulties I’ve encountered are people who attempt to make fun of my vegan food as if it’s weird. I’ll take my (delicious) tofu and save the animals and planet!
Where did your environmental ethic come from? What experience or individual inspired you or opened your eyes to the importance of sustainability?
I became vegan for ethical rather than environmental reasons, but since then I have become so much more aware of the effects I have on the environment. I remember watching a Buzzfeed video about being zero-waste and thinking I could never do that and people who did were crazy – the same thought I had when I first heard about vegans! Now I follow zero waste vegan Max La Manna on Instagram and have been much more conscious about my plastic use. I plan on becoming zero waste myself once I don’t have to live in a dorm.
Is there a particular environmental or social justice issue you have a special interest in? Tell us about the issue and why you became passionate about it.
I am interested eradicating animal agriculture for a multitude of reasons that continue to grow – treatment of non-human animals in the industry (especially dairy cows), environmental pollution and destruction, limited fresh food access in low income communities that is exasperated by government subsidies of animal products, and the experience of slaughterhouse workers who are primarily poor people of color with no other employment opportunities, to name a few.
I just completed an independent study on animal ethics and wrote my final paper on the necessity of seeing how we are in relationships with both the animals and humans oppressed by the animal agriculture industry. This isn’t just an animal issue – the animal agriculture industry harms marginalized human groups as well. I am currently considering how reasoning plays a role in assigning moral worth, and how this thereby harms nonhuman animals and disabled communities who are seen as lacking reasoning skills.
Tell us about your travels:
I have been to Argentina and Chile, which aren’t at the top of the list of vegan-friendly countries, but there are some great vegan restaurants in both Buenos Aires and Santiago. The Argentinians know how to do delicious vegan meat because beef is such a large part of their diet.
Do you have a favorite veg recipe you want to share with us?
YES! I just made Chloe Coscarelli’s avocado pesto pasta the other day and it is my new obsession. I changed some of her ingredients because I try to make foods oil-free and I am too cheap to buy pine nuts – so here it is: 2 avocadoes, 3 cloves of garlic, lemon juice, raw cashews, fist full of basil, salt and pepper all in a food processor. Thin it out with unsweetened almond milk and serve over linguine. YUMMM!
What are your future plans?
Short term, I will be attending the Dickinson in Oxford program next year and hopefully continuing my research on the value of reason in philosophy and ethics. Long term, I plan on attending graduate school for philosophy and eventually I would like to become a philosophy professor and change the dialogue surrounding reason and animals in philosophy.
Follow Maizie Here:
Facebook: Maizie Ober
YouTube Channel: Maizie Ober