In this latest vegan chat, we speak with Dr. Ash Nayate a clinical psychologist who is passionate about animal activism and animal rights. She and her young family regularly attend marches for the animals and in this feature, we chat to her about the journey towards compassionate living.
You come from a neuropsychology background, how does this skill set assist in promoting veganism and taking to non-vegans?
It helps on several fronts. First, in understanding how our brains work and identifying the optimal conditions for helping others make the connection.
Second, in understanding our neurobiology we can recognize the mental barriers that prevent people from acting compassionately. And third, by understanding the psychology of change, we can provide useful advice in making the transition.
You attend marches, write and speak, what do you consider to be the most effective form of activism for you personally?
I find them all useful, in different ways and for different reasons. “Effective advocacy” can only be defined by its goal, and every type of action has different goals.
What can people expect to get out of your book, ‘staying positive in a f*cked up world’?
It’s an easy to read guide for activists and change agents about overcoming the struggles we face in our advocacy. For example, coping with stress and avoiding burnout, dealing with hostility from others, and recognizing the obstacles to our own effective activism.
Who originally inspired your vegan journey?
The documentary, Earthlings.
It looks like your family is pretty involved in the activism too, can you tell us about having them by your side?
It is wonderful for so many reasons. Having a supportive and understanding family is priceless. We share similar values so we can always discuss our worries or vent about our frustrations. Activism is beneficial for our mental health and we know we’re setting a good example for our kids.
Do you believe we can create a vegan world in the next 100 years?
Absolutely. And I don’t think it will take as long as that.
Where do you see your activism/writing and work in the next 3-5 years, any lofty goals?
I’m working on my next book, called Raising kids in a F*cked Up World. It’s about raising socially conscious and ethical kids.
I also plan to expand my private neuropsychology practice and work with more people, including vegans, activists, and young people. I’m a fan of alternative schooling so I would also like to increase my work with the homeschooling and unschooling network of families.
Who are some other great activists we should be keeping an eye on?
There are so many vegan activists I find inspiring. Pam Ahern and Patty Mark have truly paved the way for activism.
In Melbourne: Joanne Lee, Kara Jade, Alix the vegan, Natalie Wanderlust, and Jaysherrie Bruxa. (Note! These are their Facebook names!)
Where do you go to eat great vegan food?
But if I go out, my top choices would be Finas, Loving Hut, and Weirdoughs.
Favourite vegan meal is?
Kung Po tofu.
Who should we interview next?
Any of the fabulous people mentioned in #8.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Dr Ash. We know your work and philosophies are no doubt helping many vegan and vegan parents navigate a kinder way of living. If you would like to get in touch with Dr. Ash or follow her journey, you can get in contact with her HERE.