I am Mae Tipple, and I often think that my name is about as quirky as I am.
I grew up in the very small town of Scituate, Rhode Island (pronounced SIT-chew-it), with my two sisters, Emma and Lizzie (I’m in the middle!), and my mother. I always loved nature, playing outside, and spending time with animals. Growing up, I had two cats – Whiskers and Sherman, two miniature poodles – Marty and Maggie, and a guinea pig named Henry. Despite my mom always saying she’s not an animal person, there were always animals in the house.
Animals and music – there was always music in the house. My musicianship began when I started piano lessons at age 7. Between my older sister and I, over the years we accumulated quite a long list of instruments in the house – piano, violin, guitar, clarinet, trumpet, flute, oboe, English horn, penny whistle, saxophone, accordion, drums, bass guitar, and probably more than I can remember. There was a time when I couldn’t fathom having a career in anything but music. I studied music as a flute major at Rhode Island College, played in a punk rock band, taught private lessons, volunteered with an army band, taught music at an arts camp, sold guitars and gear…and then somehow I ended up in dog grooming. After several frustrating years of trying to stay afloat while desperately wanting to figure out what to do with myself, I realized that working with animals was my true calling. That, and I needed to get the heck out of Rhode Island.
In January of 2012, I moved to Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Many years before I left lil’ Rhodie, I learned of this word, “vegan.” The idea of not eating any animal products at all intrigued me because I always knew in the back of my mind how poorly those animals were treated, but I never thought that I would be a vegan. I thought a vegan must be a really weird, awkward person that is somehow out of touch with the rest of the world.
Just after high school, two of my best friends, Jasmine and Ashley, became vegans. It took many years for the spark that they unknowingly lit inside me to ignite. For about a year or two before I went vegan, I knew that I wanted to give it a shot, but I somehow thought that my busy life didn’t have time for it. I laugh at myself now, because very few things in life have come as naturally to me as veganism. You could say that becoming vegan was a New Year’s resolution for me. I officially made the switch on New Year’s Day 2013, and have never looked back. I realized pretty quickly afterwards that my dream was to start my own farm animal rescue.
In July of 2013, I headed out west to Tacoma, Washington. In February of 2014, I started volunteering at my local Humane Society, and primarily worked with the rabbits. Two months later, they hired me, and I continued to work as an adoption counselor at the shelter for three years. I cared for the cats, dogs, and rabbits, facilitated visitations, counseled adoptions, worked at the customer service counter, and more. One of my specialties is socializing feral, undersocial, and/or behaviorally troubled cats and kittens.
Aside from working with animals, I also enjoy playing my guitar, cooking, hiking (I LOVE summiting mountains!), and spending time with the South Sound Vegans as well as the Tacoma Vegans (potlucks, restaurants, hiking, cooking demos, fundraisers, activism, holiday gatherings, and more vegan awesomeness!)
Oh, and my cat. Snuggling with my cat, Cupid, is one of the most important parts of my day. Check out his story.
Now that you’ve read everything about me, I’m serious when I say that I’d LOVE to hear about you! Tell me your story. Tell me why you’re drawn to this blog, this project. Ask questions and give suggestions. YOU are so important to me. You can make a difference. Find out how here. Contact me here.
Peace, Love, and Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese,