October 27, 2020

PT 7: Those Vegan Cowgirls

Gather around, ladies and gentlemen, for today this songbird will be singing you a different song than you’ve heard from him before. Course, we got plenty of stuff going down on our good ranch that I could tell you about, and many exciting things cookin’ in the lab, but that’s a tale for another day. This here story I’m about to unfold is about the women of the wild west, the daring dames that rose to great heights in a society that tried to keep them down. These ‘femmes’ proved ‘fatale’ to the old-fashioned stereotypes of the world, and now and then to an unlucky banker or cattle driver that was foolish enough to reach for his shooting iron. In the face of adversity, these women found out that at some point the voice of the unheard has to stop asking and start demanding. In doing so, they left their mark on history and changed the course of time. I’m sure this is starting to sound mighty familiar…

One such desert rose went by the name of Pearl Hart. From a well-off family in the frigid lands of Ontario, she was given all the things a young lady could dream of, if a young sophisticated lady were to have the correct dreams of course. She received the best education and would never be short on money, all she had to do was follow the path that was set out for her. Marry a man of her parent’s choosing, have lots of children, and conform to the role of mother and wife. Many a girl would have been jealous, but it turns out that Pearl was cut from a different wood altogether. She refused to live a life that she had no say in, and chose freedom in hardship over slavery in wealth.

She ran off, and hardship was indeed what she encountered. After many trials and tribulations she came across Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and saw Annie Oakley, famous sharpshooter and advocate for female self-defense. Annie was living the life that Pearl had been dreaming of, living proof that a woman could make a change in the world and be respected for it. And although Pearl herself turned to a more, let’s say, clandestine way of living, she carried the torch of change throughout her life. At her court trial for robbery she infamously claimed that she did not consent to being punished for breaking a law that she, as a woman, could not have voted for. Her voice was heard, and she was released without charges.

Now, you might be asking yourself where this story’s headed, and I’m about to tell you. For every Pearl Heart and for every Annie Oakley, there are a hundred, a thousand other women who are changing this world of ours every single day. At the hands of the women at our lab who are pushing the boundaries of science and industry, of the ones who are investing in revolutionary vegan businesses, and of those who raise awareness for innovative female-founded vegan initiatives, change is upon us. And of course: those who make it happen.

When it comes down to it, change is never easy. Regardless whether you’re a man or woman, it’s difficult to take the path less travelled by. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves why we do this, why we walk this road. We walk it because, like Pearl and Annie and all those others, we choose the future rewards of today’s hardship over the future price of today’s easy road. We walk it with pride, and are getting closer to a brighter tomorrow with each and every step.

Picture: Pearl Hart – Unknown Author – “An Arizona Episode”. Cosmopolitan 27: 673-677. May-October 1899.

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