Now, four years later, I'm going to be working for the organization that helped me discover my passion: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
There aren't many workplaces where, sitting in the lobby, one hears the receptionist ask a caller, "And what size is the cage the goat is in?" But that's the type of conversation I overheard during my three-day interview at PETA's headquarters in Norfolk, Va., in July.
I'll be working from home, though, so I'll miss out on exchanges like that. But, like some employees in Norfolk, I'll have dogs sleeping near my desk.
I've been given a tremendous, exciting opportunity: I'll be able to work on behalf of animals full time. As a special projects coordinator, I'll create and manage campaigns to keep animal issues in the media spotlight.
While I wanted to tell my readers about my new job -- it'd be weird if I didn't mention it -- my unwritten, self-imposed rule about not writing about work will remain. I think it's best to keep my professional work separate from my personal blog. But "Digging Through the Dirt" won't change, as it's always been primarily focused on animal exploiters and I rarely wrote about PETA.
I know that some in the animal-rights community dislike PETA, and I understand your concerns. But I hope that -- however you feel about PETA -- you'll support me in this new phase of my life.
Update (10/22/10): "Digging Through the Dirt" is my personal blog. Any claims I make or views I express here are my own, and not necessarily endorsed or representative of those held by PETA.