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Ava

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio—home to delicious little vegan gems like Portia's Café and the mouthwatering Pattycake Bakery (go get a Sunday sticky bun and go wild)!

Favorite Bands: I have an eclectic ear and often fall deeply in love with music, only to move on just a few days later. I'm currently in love with Lana Del Rey, Kate Bush, Soko, Cat Power, Laura Marling, and Patti Smith. Wow, that list is all about the ladies! I'm also digging The National, Darkside, Titus Andronicus, The Magnetic Fields, and Mac DeMarco.

About Me: I go to school in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and study English (I go crazy for Victorian lit—especially those trailblazing Brontë sisters) and women's studies (bringing down the patriarchy through veganism is totally my method of empowerment). I'll graduate from college in May and then get to live a dream life in which I move to Los Angeles, work for PETA, and am generally hip. I'm an only child, and I hang out with my mom a lot. She's a hot vegan mom, and she likes to bake me pizza.

Love List: Watching Masterpiece Theatre and eating chocolate; sitting in the sun in the grass while reading; going for runs, hikes, and bike rides; kayaking; petting cats, cats, and more cats (mostly ones that are super-fluffy!); walking in cities and exploring small towns; big earrings; blogs; printmaking; French movies (oh-so clichéd but oh-so cool!); Scrabble and Bananagrams; dancing by myself; feminism; vegan food; vegan friends; and vegan me!

Loveless List: Cold wind, laziness, pettiness, the patriarchy, and the oppression of animals, of course!

How I Went Vegan: As a youngster, my mom and I went to a cool hippie community festival, and we were handed a leaflet about going vegan. My mom got super into it, but I hesitated—until checking out a PETA video about how chinchillas have their fur ripped off. By the seventh grade, I was a certifiable vegetarian. Flash forward to my 16th birthday, and meet the vegan me, who decided to make helping animals into a lifestyle. I can thank reading a book called Vegan Freak for that. Now I get to eat delicious food and have the wonderful feeling of making a difference, all while stuffing my face with vegan cheeses and baked goods.

Favorite Books: What Is the What by Dave Eggers, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, anything by Jane Austen, The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol Adams, and Ava: My Story by Ava Gardner (I like any book that has my name for a title!). One of my favorite activities is going to bookstores and collecting as many of the clearance books as I can. I really enjoy reading.

Random Facts: I went swing dancing once, and it was awful! I just flopped around in the center of the dance floor. In college, I got together with the three other vegans on campus and created a panel on veganism and feminism. We made vegan food, and everybody who attended got really energized. I'm an Aries and a monkey—so basically, I'm guaranteed to be a lot of fun.

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