The world is changing all the time and at this very moment, thousands of people all over the world are trying to help to make it a better place. Activism may take many different forms but this blog introduces one woman who in her own quiet way is making a huge contribution to saving the lives of thousands of sentient beings by bringing about awareness of their suffering.
Maritza Oliver is one of the many thousands of people trying to make a difference to save the lives of sentient beings and help bring about awareness of their plight through her books. Maritza is the mother to a 14-year-old son, who, along with herself and her husband, are all vegan.
Born and raised in Peru, Maritza moved to Canada in 2002 and became an entrepreneur, artist, activist, author and illustrator. After studying Fine Arts and Graphic Design in Lima, Peru, and in Madrid, Spain, today she combines her passion for art with her love of animal advocacy, the environment and social justice by writing children’s picture books on veganism.
In July of 2013, Maritza came across a speech by Gary Yourofsky called "The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear" and began seriously questioning her moral compass. Shortly after, she discovered something in her that she did not know existed - a heart full of compassion. She felt as though she were born again and had been given a second chance to do something meaningful with her life.
Once she understood the horrific truth about the cruel and inhumane practices of animal agriculture, she went vegan and never looked back. She understood what many other vegans understand: that we do not need to consume animals to be healthy and vibrant. She chose never to inflict pain or suffering on any sentient being again and says it was the best decision she ever made. Maritza has grown and educated herself during her vegan journey and considers herself to be a social justice activist, seeing specieism as the social justice issue of our time.
Although Maritza has been a portrait artist her whole life, she chose to write vegan books for children because as a mother, she strongly believes in the importance of reaching out to children. She considers children to be more open-minded, inherently compassionate and receptive to new ideas. She feels that children need to be empowered and be given the right to make their own choices at an early age. Maritza explains how she believes that "only empowered children can save humanity from the massive ethical crisis we are witnessing today".
Maritza's vegan children's books were created to empower future generations to extend their compassion, kindness and empathy for all sentient beings that we share this planet with as part of their daily practice. Her books have a distinctive style - colourful with whimsical illustrations that depict the plight of those whose voices have been silenced. Her vision is simple: "love, respect and compassion for all".
Although Maritza is very busy being a mum, writing books and creating art, she still finds time to attend local vegan events and supports certain non-profit organisations such as A Well-Fed World, Food Empowerment Project and Chilis on Wheels.
As a mother, author, illustrator and activist, Maritza's work reflects her life and the things that inspire her. To Maritiza, veganism is not just a lifestyle; it is her whole life. Her love for nature, animals, justice, equality and her desire to spread the vegan message are the driving force behind her creative process. Maritza is committed to dedicating the rest of her life to spreading veganism through her work.
In her own words, Martiza describes the message she wants to communicate to the world through her venture:
"If you are a vegan, share this positive change with others. You will not only help others improve their lives, but you will also help make a difference to the animals out there and help save our planet. Most importantly, be proud of yourself for making the world a better place. If you are not vegan yet, I hope you make the connection and align your values with your actions, and realise that veganism is the bare minimum we can do and the most ethical way to live on this planet."
by Cindy Thomas
You can visit Maritza Oliver's website to take a peek at her children's books, colouring books, and her blog and future projects to come. You can make your purchases from her website or on www.amazon.ca, www.bookdepository.com and at other outlets mentioned on her website.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.