Vegan Author’s Dystopian Visions
#JaneUnchained has interviewed many authors, such as Kathy Freston, Jordi Casamitjana, Dr. Melanie Joy, and Victoria Moran.
And, of course, we feature hundreds of vegan recipes. Today, however, we meet a vegan fiction author.
Maya Cohen-Ronen (pen name M. C Ronen) has been a passionate vegan since 2012. She is both an animal rights activist and ethically minded. Maya is also an author. She originates from New Zealand.
Maya was born on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. She has also lived in several different countries.
Maya was raised with a strong feminist identity. Plus, she chose to study an MSc degree in Gender and Society at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland. Maya finally made New Zealand her home after graduating from here twenty years ago,
Maya the activist organizes the Animal Save chapter in her hometown of Wellington. She’s a frequent participant in animal rights actions including protests, marches, and disruptions. This vegan author has dystopian visions.
Maya is also an avid fiction reader with has a penchant for dystopia and suspense. However, Maya discovered she could no longer enjoy reading because of becoming vegan.
She faced a challenge in every book she read. She picked up a novel and every single one promoted speciesism and animal cruelty. Thus Maya realized that safe, speciesism-free fiction books were difficult to find. She also found books promoting animal rights and veganism are rare too. Therefore, Maya wrote her own vegan fiction.
Maya penned The Liberation Trilogy. Her series of vegan dystopian suspense books contain a strong female lead and ethical message in response to this.
Animal Liberation Trilogy
Her first work, ‘The Shed’ was published in 2018. Its sequel ‘Liberation’ hit the shelves in 2020. The final instalment ‘It Was in Our Hands’ was published on 15 July 2021. Online retailers stock all three of these books. Maya’s is a public servant, she is also the proud mother of two children, two dogs and one rabbit.
Jane Velez-Mitchell asked Maya how ethics and fiction combine in Maya’s books?
“It simply means I write stories that have an ethical engine room. Namely, they have a vegan non-offensive message for both vegans and non-vegans. I am the only one writing this type of fiction in the market today I believe.
“If you are a bookworm, or even an occasional reader, and happen to be vegan or vegetarian, you may have faced with this issue yourself. People pick up a book that was recommended to them by someone. It could also be a best-seller which created a lot of hype in the media.
“Just as they dive into this book, they are faced with the sour truth: The obvious embedded animal cruelty and speciesism of it.
“It might be the mention of a bacon breakfast here or a chicken sandwich there, a heroine who hunts animals, a protagonist who loves wearing leather. It is everywhere, unavoidable, and deeply frustrating.”
A Big Vegan Heart
So, why did you start writing with this ethical mindset?
“I just couldn’t enjoy reading anymore. I am an avid reader, I have a particular interest in Young and New-Adults Dystopian Suspense books. However, every novel is filled with animal cruelty sentiments making it more difficult for me to enjoy reading.
Dystopian Suspense Stories
“I am a vegan and an activist, and it was important for me to create a book that has a clear ethical undertone and message. The story also had to easily appeal to non-vegans. I wrote the books I wanted to read myself. In short they are dystopian suspense stories with twists, but with a big vegan heart and a clear, animal rights message.
“My books also have an emphasis on feminism (I hold an MSc degree in Gender studies from the University of Edinburgh) and climate change.”
Jane Velez-Mitchell caught up with Maya for a chat.
Maya has kindly presented Jane Unchained readers with a synopsis of her works.
“My first book The Shed was published in September 2018.
“Sunny, a girl living in a community on a farm in a seemingly apocalyptic world. The farm has strict rules that are firmly observed, and especially the rule that girls like Sunny must not enter The Shed. The Shed itself is an impending building inside the farm. Only grown women are allowed in, but some who go in never come back. One night the farm is raided and some are taken.
“Sunny’s friends are summoned to The Shed a few years later. Sunny‘s mother orders her to escape. But Sunny’s path of escape still leads her right inside The Shed. What will she find there? Why was the farm raided and what world awaits beyond it?”
“Liberation, the sequel to The Shed was published in February 2020.
“Sunny, the heroine of The Shed, is now an activist who fights to liberate other slaves from their hopeless destinies. The dangerous and relentless battle for total liberation provides for many suspenseful encounters, as well as several unexpected discoveries.
“In the activists’ bunker romance blossoms. But an old villain returns to Sunny’s life through an unexpected turn of events. There’s the promise that she had changed. But can she be trusted?”
In Our Hands
“The final book of the vegan fiction trilogy, It was in our Hands, came out on 15 July this year!
“Sunny, a seasoned, long-time activist, fights to liberate enslaved and exploited victims. But Sunny herself is an escapee from a farm where she was kept as a slave. Sunny’s years of battling for total liberation did not dampen her highly developed sense of justice. The time has come to take the fight into a brand-new arena – the treacherous political one. Could the Liberation Amendment be passed into law? And if so, at what cost?
“The Liberation saga powerfully ends with this eventful, emotional rollercoaster. It is a tale of love, loss, violence, bravery, compassion and friendship.”
Readers say: “You kept me riveted from the very first page to the very last”.
Maya has kindly given Jane Unchained readers further links to her writings.
She states: “Here is a link to a written interview I had as alumna of Gender and Society Postgrad where I describe how my feminism and veganism interlink”.
“Here is a very recent interview I had with Liberation Hour Radio about my activism and books”.
Maya’s vegan fiction trilogy is available on Amazon.
Check out Maya’s Facebook page.
Maya concludes: “Please feel free to contact me for further information. It would be an honour for me to be able to reach out.”