Animal Rights Activist, Massin Akandouch
My name is Massin Akandouch.
2. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I'm originally from Morocco, from the RIF region but I've been raised in Barcelona, Spain where I currently live.
I don't really have a "profession" but I'm a full-time animal rights activist and I'm in charge of the youth nonprofit I co-founded called Action for Liberation, which takes most of my time.
4. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm only 17 y/o so technically I'm a kid and I should be doing kids stuff and going to school instead of being an activist but I grew up in a family full of activists for different causes. My mom was a feminist & student rights activist when she was young in Morocco and she was even persecuted by the government, jailed and tortured in prison and my dad has been an activist for the freedom of the RIF he's entire life and having them as parents have always shown me that we can do better and we can create a change in this world, no matter where are we from, how much money have or famous we are. Everyone can create a huge change by speaking up against injustice.
That's why I don't feel like I'm wasting my time or youth as I want to use all the time and energy I have left in this planet to create a change and leave something that will make me proud once I'm gone. I want to be part of the change and empower other people to do the same through social media and the activism I do.
5. When did you decide to become a vegan?
I went vegan around 5 years ago approx when I was 12 years old.
6. What inspired you to become a vegan?
I was in my room using my laptop and watching videos on youtube and them youtube recommended me to watch a video called "The Best Speech you will Ever Hear" by the activist Gary Yourofski and after watching that long speech I realized that I can't keep being part of that cruelty and that I'll do anything I can to end that cruelty.
7. How did you decide to become an animal rights activist?
After around a year since I went vegan, I started following people on social media who were doing activism for animals and one day I saw on Facebook an event happening in Barcelona and I decided to go. After that, I was going to weekly to different events and then I realized that I could do even more and that's when I started organizing activism events and actions myself and after a while, I co-founded the youth nonprofit Action for Liberation.
8. What role do you think social media plays in the animal rights movement?
We are fighting against huge companies and corporations who have billions of dollars to influence the entire world and lie about their products. We don't have the amount of money they do but we have Social Media which is currently the easiest way to get to the public. Everyone has a cell phone and most people use social media daily, so through our social media accounts, we can create viral posts and collaborate with people that have a lot of influence to get to a lot of people that probably don't know yet the reality behind animal products.
9. What do you think is the biggest misconception about veganism?
I would say that the biggest misconceptions are the ones who most people already know they're fake for example that vegans don't have enough protein, nutrients, etc and that we only eat salads and green stuff when everyone knows that veganism is a healthy diet (which doesn't necessarily have to be healthy as there are thousands of non-healthy junk vegan foods everywhere) and there's variety of food and options for everyone! In fact, I don't like healthy food, I don't even like stuff that looks healthy even if it's junk processed food.
10. How can people get involved in the animal rights movement?
I would recommend to do a bit of research and find out the animal rights groups & organizations that are active in your area and join them! You don't necessarily have to do street-activism to become an activist, you can do online activism, donate to activists or organizations, volunteer at places, etc.. Everyone has a different way of doing activism and all of them are necessary.
And if you don't find any activism groups near you, start your own one! I know sounds scary and difficult but I started mine at 16 years old and if you put enough energy and time you'll organize amazing actions to promote veganism and animal rights!
11. What's next for you?
Currently, I'm really busy and spending a lot of time with the stuff we're working on at A4L (Action for Liberation) and I'm happy to see that every time our organization is getting bigger and media and the government are starting to pay a lot of attention in what we do. Even though, we still have a long way to go, we're getting bigger and stronger every day for the animals. We'll keep taking action for animal liberation until all animals have the moral basic rights they deserve such the right to live and be free in their natural habitats and we won't stop fighting for their freedom.