Volunteer Spotlight: Kasun Somaratne

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kasun Somaratne

Kasun with horse

This is our second Volunteer Spotlight.  Our featured volunteer is Kasun Somaratne, who is amazingly devoted and hardworking and has been helping Liberation BC since 2010.  He is always willing to lend a hand and has been a valuable member of our volunteer crew from his very first day.  Kasun is also a long-time volunteer with our friends over at Hearts on Noses Pig Sanctuary in Mission, BC.

Hometown: Kandy, Sri Lanka
Current location: Surrey, BC

How long have you been vegan?

I have been a vegan for three years.

How long have you been involved in animal rights advocacy, and what made you get involved in the first place?

I have been involved in animal rights advocacy for about as long as I have been a vegan. I was deeply upset when I learned about what animals have to go through in order to be our food, clothing etc.  Being a vegan was a relief in that I no longer directly support their suffering. I became interested in animal rights when I started to question what makes animals so different from humans that we can justify the way animals are treated today. It is unfortunate and cruel that animal interests are ignored in a society that claims to treat each other equally for such interests without discrimination. By being an animal rights advocate I hope to give a voice to the animals who are ignored.

How did you hear about Liberation BC, and what made you decide to start volunteering with us?

I found Liberation BC on the internet, and wanted to meet others who are interested in helping animals. So I decided to come to one of the monthly volunteer nights.

What sort of volunteer activities have you done with Liberation BC, and what’s your favourite form of outreach?

I have done leafleting, letter-writing, poster-making, public demos and participated in the annual Walk for Farm Animals.

Kasun at the 2012 Walk for Farm Animals in cow costume

Do you have any particularly fond memories of a specific event, or a great story to share?

When I do leafleting I like to put on the Liberation BC cow costume. It helps me appear more friendly and approachable, and also gets a lot of attention, especially from kids. It makes me happy when they say “I love you cow”.

Are you in school?

I am currently an undergraduate science student at UBC in my final year of studies.

What do you do for fun in your free time?

In my free time I will probably be hiking, fixing things, visiting my piggy friends at Hearts on Noses Sanctuary, cooking or eating out at a vegan-friendly restaurant with friends.

And lastly, what is your favourite vegan-friendly store and/or restaurant in Vancouver?

So many great vegan stores/restaurants in Vancouver, it’s hard to choose. My favourite vegan store is Karmavore and my favourite vegan restaurant is 3G Vegetarian.

Thank you, Kasun! 


3 Comments

Renard Moreau

February 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

[ Smiles ] That was one enjoyable and informative interview.

Gurjit

March 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

What is the difference between being vegan and vegetarian though? Does it cause harm to get an animals milk? Aren’t we as humans supposed to eat meat as part of our diet to get all the essential vitamins? Just curious.. 🙂 your dedication is commendable!

Becci

March 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hi Gurjit. Thanks for your nice comment!

In answer to your question, it unfortunately does hurt animals when we take their milk. Like humans, cows must have babies in order to give milk, so they are impregnated every year. The calves that are born are considered a byproduct of the dairy industry, and what a lot of people don’t know is that they are separated from their mothers within days or even hours of their birth so that we can harvest as much milk as possible for human consumption. Female calves are usually kept to replace their mothers. (Dairy cows have a difficult and physically demanding life and as a result, they die many years earlier than they would normally.) Male calves, however, are usually thrown away as garbage or raised for veal. If you don’t know about veal, you can learn more here: http://liberationbc.org/issues/veal

I would also suggest you learn more about the dairy industry at our page, which has a lot more information than I have space for in this comment section!: http://liberationbc.org/issues/dairy

As for nutrition, there aren’t any special vitamins that exist in meat that we cannot get from plants. The only exception is B12, which can be easily derived from supplements: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/dont-vegetarians-have-trouble-getting-enough

I’m also going to direct you to the website of Dr. Jack Norris: http://jacknorrisrd.com/ Dr. Norris is widely respected for giving unbiased information about vegan nutrition, good or bad.

Thanks again for your comment and have a great day!

Becci

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