Dayna Frazer is a Cool And Thoughtful role model and the author of Leather Petal, a site dedicated to wellness, beauty, and ethics.
What do you burn for? I burn for genuine interaction and connection. I burn for understanding. And I burn for a path toward totally respecting nature.
Why veganism? How did you decide to become vegan? I became a vegan because of my sister initially. She was a raw fruitarian two years ago. Now she is just a regular vegan. But she showed my family how great it is for your body and that was just amazing to me. Then I watched Forks Over Knives and The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear by Gary Yourofsky and learned about the benefits of not consuming animal protein and saw the horrific acts that go on to produce animal products for consumers. I became a vegan immediately. I've never felt or looked better!
Who or what is most inspiring to you? My family. The values they instilled in me are priceless. They are such good, selfless, incredibly hard working people. My mom was a waitress my whole life, and she just went back to college in her 50s and got her bachelor's. My dad has been a stone mason since he was fifteen. My sister is starting an animal sanctuary. My brother helps veterans recover from drug addiction. They all have good intentions and great work ethic. I grew up very poor in terms of money, but certainly not affection and good nature.
What are you practicing, learning, or improving on right now? I'm currently learning Italian, as I'm traveling to Italy for two months to work with a new agency! I'm excited to go so far outside my comfort zone, and nervous to be completely alone, but I know I'll look back and be happy I took a risk. I'm also working on renting out my apartment for the time I'll be gone, which is proving to be very hard!
Soon afterwards I'm going sign up with WWOOF to do some organic farming in another country - maybe Italy. You work on a farm in exchange for knowledge about farming techniques, free lodging, and food. All in all - I'm working on taking advantage of opportunities not for monetary gain, but for genuine happiness. I think money will follow if you do what really makes you happy. It may not come for a while, or in that particular profession, but doing what makes you happy means you're on the right path - even if it's to something entirely different.
My favorite outfit / memory combination is... I remember wearing my first pair of skinny jeans in 2006 while everyone else was still wearing bell bottoms and flares. I read in People magazine that Kate Moss was bringing them back, so I scoured the local malls and finally found a pair of Levi's that were considered skinny. Walking into school - everyone was like whoa what ARE those? They were considered kind of "scene."
What are your dreams? I actually just wrote these down the other day to remind myself of what I'm working toward. Material wise, I want to live in a small house in the country (sooner rather than later), with a root cellar and a wood stove like my old house, a permaculture garden (a self sustaining garden that is GOOD for the environment. It mimics a forest and suspends an interdependent relationship between flora and fauna), and a sanctuary for as many animals as I can save from slaughter. In terms of career, I really don't know anymore! I was all set to attend law school, and realized I don't want that at all after working in two law firms. At least not right now. There are too many lawyers because society is too litigious. I'm just trying to find a way I can benefit the world while I have this temporary job that is modeling.