Jessica Gonzalez Castro is a reader. 

One book in particular has shaped the trajectory of her life. After reading “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer, Jessica was moved to learn how she could be a more effective activist for animal rights. So it was with great disappointment that she found her local library in Quintana Roo to be devoid of any resources on veganism, social activism, or speciesism. 

Undaunted, Jessica decided she would create her own library; a mobile resource to bring more children and adults into the circle of compassion that includes non-human animals. 

Jessica took books to events, formed a reading club, and established a lending library through seed funding from The Pollination Project. But all the while, her dreams were leading her to something bigger. 

She wanted the library to have a permanent home, and she also wanted to have a physical space where the community could learn and gather around a shared heart for animal rights. And so, just over a year ago, “Casa Animal” (Animal House) became Mexico’s first vegan antispeciesism community center. 

In a short time, Animal House has offered so much to the community. They have given plant-based foods to vulnerable people, held workshops for entrepreneurs working on vegan businesses, offered vegan cooking classes, and hosted guest activists from around the world. 

In retrospect, her work has all been driving towards one bigger dream: making speciesism visible. 

“Animal suffering happens out of human sight.” says Jessica, “So our responses should be as visible as possible. We give people books they can hold, a community of friends they can hug, and food they can eat.”

Learn more about Animal House here.