Again in our day, youth activism meant sporting “I’m not a nugget” T-shirts and plastering something we owned with stickers of comparable messaging. These of us who have been actually courageous stood outdoors of pet shops and handed out animal-rights flyers to strangers. Today, activism has gone digital, and Gen Zers are harnessing its energy to name for rapid motion.
Isaias Hernandez is pushing in opposition to societal obstacles utilizing his platform @queerbrownvegan to name for an environmental awakening. As a self-proclaimed Local weather Influencer, the 26-year-old asserts that the local weather drawback is an schooling drawback, and he works with companies and organizations to enhance their environmental footprint whereas additionally inspiring people to take up the trigger themselves. As a first-generation Mexican American who grew up in Part 8 Housing of Los Angeles, Hernandez additionally advocates for extra various voices within the area.
Tackling any environmental difficulty is a monumental elevate and approaching it with an intersectional mindset as Hernandez does presents much more items to the puzzle. Hernandez supplied a glimpse into his on a regular basis life as an activist, educator, and content material creator, together with some lighter matters on meals and favourite eating places.
Past this interview, we had the chance to hearken to Hernandez converse as a part of the Higher Earth Media occasion in Los Angeles on January 25. He was a part of a high-profile panel that included Assist+Feed founder Maggie Baird and environmental documentarian Katie Cleary.
He spoke about his youth, rising up in an city reasonably priced housing venture the place he skilled firsthand environmental injustice. Air air pollution plagued his neighborhood and it was this upbringing that sparked his ardour for pursuing a level in Environmental Science from the College of California, Berkeley. Nonetheless, Hernandez didn’t match the “look” of an environmentalist—he wasn’t a white cis-gendered male, and he was compelled to leap over extra hurdles than most.
Hernandez realized it wasn’t sufficient to advocate for the surroundings. He had to usher in extra voices—voices like his and people from different backgrounds.
“I educate folks on the intersections of meals sovereignty, racism, and schooling,” he defined. “I imagine you will need to perceive the historical past of our meals techniques being colonial tasks and energetic settler colonial tasks that uphold white supremacy. Schooling is what permits us to have crucial conversations round theories of liberation.”
A vegan environmentalist
Whereas obsessed with environmentalism from a younger age, Hernandez didn’t go absolutely vegan till his closing 12 months at UC Berkeley in 2018. The notion was sparked by his International Meals Programs Coverage course the place he discovered concerning the day by day atrocities of slaughterhouses dedicated in opposition to each the employees and the animals. His choice to slowly minimize out animal merchandise got here from an moral decision relatively than a purely climate-driven justification.
“It was not straightforward,” Hernandez admitted. “I really feel the psychological gymnastics to go vegan was a bit exhausting however with schooling, care, and discount, it made me who I’m in the present day.”
He continued, “I do know veganism is an interconnected motion to liberate non-human animals and people, this is the reason I do it, for all collective beings on the planet.”
A day by day snapshot
As a full-time freelancer, content material creator, and public speaker, Hernandez doesn’t stay a life that may be contained right into a 9-to-5 schedule. Nonetheless, he did share his morning and night routine together with just a few duties he is likely to be juggling on any given day.
8am: When he isn’t known as for an excruciatingly early worldwide assembly, Hernandez likes to get up and luxuriate in a Peloton class on the bike.
9am: Hernandez refuels instantly by making his personal inexperienced juice, which takes about half-hour. His go-to mix contains vegan protein powder, spinach, broccoli, celery, and cucumber. Following this, he’ll hop within the bathe and undergo his skincare routine, and eat a lightweight breakfast that usually consists of vegan yogurt or fruit.
On mornings that permit a bit extra time, Hernandez will take the time to craft a selfmade vegan egg McMuffin. His foolproof recipe features a JUST Foldable Egg and a Gardein patty between a vegan mayo-slathered English muffin, served with lettuce and tomato on the aspect.
11am to 1pm: He will get to work, which might embrace every thing from conferences with shoppers to speak about talking alternatives, posting on social media, designing infographics, importing YouTube movies, and extra. To interrupt up the monotony, he’ll typically go on walks for conferences and take the decision via his AirPods.
1pm to 2pm: Hernandez dedicates an hour for lunch to reset, then he’ll get again at it, taking mini breaks each hour to stretch.
2pm to 6pm: Head-down at work, with hourly breaks for stretching and mobility.
6pm to 10pm: The rest of the night contains making dinner, listening to music, and lights out by 10pm. “I’m an previous soul,” he professed.
Time allowing, Hernandez will slot in a foraging session in the course of the summer time months. He splits his time between Los Angeles and New York Metropolis, however he actually enjoys foraging on the East Coast. “I really like trying to find fungi as a result of it enhances my eyes and lets me discover issues simply,” Hernandez defined.
Vegan meals finds
The East Coast might have higher fungi finds than metropolitan LA, however when requested about his favourite eating places, the West Coast gained out. Monty’s Good Burger, Cafe Gratitude, and Veggie Grill made his high three. When not noshing on a burger from Monty’s or a bowl from Cafe Gratitude, Hernadez is energetic in his house kitchen. He instructed us he typically makes enchiladas, pan dulce, and ramen at house—all dishes that require a little bit of endurance and ability.
To study extra about Hernandez’s work and study how one can help, observe him @queerbrownvegan on Instagram or go to his web site.