The Intern Experience: Liselle Finlay

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

Pagsajan Falls

Liselle and other PETA interns exploring a local tourist attraction

Now this was a happy accident.

During a casual perusal of the PETA website, I stumbled across the Manila internship opportunity. I clicked on the link, read on, and suddenly found myself applying as I unleashed an array of cheesy clichés and wise proverbs, such as “Be the change you want to see in the world” and “Practice what you preach.” Then I accepted the position and had to tell my boss.

The last part wasn’t much fun. My employer, although not exactly sharing my enthusiasm, did understand. So a quick month later, I arrived in Manila to “save some monkeys”, as my boss liked to put it.

Oddly enough, saving monkeys was actually something that was at the top of the agenda when I got here. The campaign against Philippine Airlines (PAL) for shipping primates to laboratories was ramping up, and alongside outreach leafleting events, I also took part in my first “disruption”—that is, going into a PAL office to make some noise about the company’s involvement in cruelty to monkeys. It helped lead us to victory. Following the disruption, PAL released a statement saying that it would no longer be shipping primates to laboratories.

Every day in the PETA office, you get to help create change and make a difference for the millions of animals who are suffering in the world. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking small steps toward future improvements, and sometimes you get to cross the finish line—but it’s always meaningful. It’s one of the coolest and most rewarding things about working for PETA—everything you do counts.

Mali elephantIn my month here, I have worked on the “Free Mali” campaign and written numerous blog posts about everything from the Beijing large-dog ban to apps for the traveling vegan. I have visited, played with, and fed some friendly—and some not-so-friendly—slum dogs with PETA crusader Ashley, who looks after these pups every weekend, and completed numerous research tasks involving tiger sanctuaries, fashion “fur pas,” case studies … and the list goes on.

It’s been a busy, interesting, engaging, and rewarding internship, wrapped up with a sizeable dose of adventure and a whole office full of good folks. I may not have been looking for it, but I found exactly what I needed by coming here—the satisfaction that comes with standing up for the things that you believe in and an increased sense of hope in the animal rights movement, because these guys fight a pretty awesome fight.

Post written by former intern Liselle Finlay