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lauren Ornelas and

Mark Hawthorne


46, vegan 28 years, hometown San Antonio, TX

54, vegan 15 years; hometown Rohnert Park, CA



What is it like to be in a couple where you’re both focused on AR?


L: It’s good and it’s helpful because we know the same people, we understand the struggles, we understand  the pain. It’s also very cool because I find people in this movement to be very competitive with one another, and it’s so fun and exciting to want to promote somebody else who I respect and obviously love. There’s something fun about the fact that we’re in the same place. We both understand the pain of driving and seeing animals hit by the side of the road. There’s no time spent explaining to somebody why this is so painful.


M: I think we’re both really conscious of the importance of taking time out to recharge your batteries. I guess I’m better at it, and I try to encourage lauren to do it more. We have a Fun Friday. Every  Friday, after work, we relax. We almost always have dinner together, but the extra part of Friday is that we have what I like to call ‘an adult beverage,’ which is really just a way of saying ‘alcohol.’ Or maybe two, if we’re being honest. And watch a bad movie, or maybe two bad movies, if we’re being honest. And just unwind, for three or four hours not think about the state of the world.


We both talk about these issues in our talks and writing, blogs and articles with other activists, saying that they should really try to do that as well. It’s important to maintaining our long-term commitment to the movement to consider ourselves as well and our own well-being.

L: That’s what I’m still learning about. I’m not as good at it, but I’m learning. We have lunch together every Friday and then we have the Fun Fridays at night, and it gives us something to look forward to. So even if a week is really stressful and I don’t feel like doing anything right now but I have to continue working, I know on Friday I’ve budgeted in my schedule to not work a 14-hour day, because I’m going to spend time with Mark.


photo by Holly Feral

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