My 15 Minutes of Fame in Northampton


Today I am featured in the Hampshire Gazette's Hampshire Life I.D. Column. Somebody referred me to them as a good candidate, and I suppose my life is rather interesting. The only mis-quote is about me photographing farm animals for VegNews. I am actually the "Digital Photography Advisor" for that magazine, which hasn't really gotten many of my photographs published in there (I helped them out when they were getting started and it is kind of an honorary position). I photograph the animals for the sanctuaries where they reside, and for the furtherance of the vegan message. But that is all fine, I am happy to have gotten a chance to plug veganism in a mainstream newspaper. It will be something nice to send my mom and dad, too.

The links below are added by me, to make it more interesting for you...

Used with permission from the Daily Hampshire Gazette

For Derek Goodwin, being a vegan isn't just about deciding what to eat - it's a lifestyle choice. Goodwin, a photographer from Northampton, became a vegan 13 years ago and since then has gone on to photograph sanctuary farm animals for a magazine known as VegNews, bake and cook vegan foods for the Evolution Cafe in Florence, and co-host a vegan show on ValleyFree Radio, 103.3 FM in Florence, that's available worldwide as a podcast.

Goodwin, who also works as a wedding photographer and for the bike-based trash and recycling collaborative Pedal People in Florence, has a background in Web design as well. But one of his more recent projects, undertaken with friends, was to buy an old school bus and convert it to burn used vegetable oil. The "Vegan Bus" took its maiden voyage - about 6,000 miles round trip - to Nevada for the 2007 Burning Man art festival, where the crew joined with an organization called Vegcamp to do outreach and education.

These days Goodwin's working on creating a nonprofit organization to fund the Vegan Bus and his radio show so that he can dedicate more time to animal activism. He says there's much to learn about animals simply by watching and photographing them: "They are so different from what we are taught they are. They are individuals with personalities."

Full name: Derek Goodwin

People know you as: Deralique (Zoolander reference)

Date and place of birth: March 26, 1967, St. Louis, Mo.

Address: Northampton

Jobs: Photographer, vegan baker, cyclist with Pedal People

Who lives under the same roof as you?: A giant dog named Harpuah and his owner, Gina

Children: Nope

Education: Rochester Institute of Technology, B.F.A. in fine art/photography, 1995

Pets: Worms in a compost bin

Book you'd recommend to a friend: "The Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu

Favorite movie: "The Matrix"

Favorite television show: Don't have a TV

Favorite singer or group: Radiohead

What do you waste your money on?: Vegan food, camera and computer equipment

Guilty pleasure: Soy mocha lattes

Life-changing experience: Photographing farm animals at sanctuaries is humbling. ... They love to play, they form complex social arrangements, and they are wise in ways which humans don't often recognize

Funniest memory: My humor is probably not safe for this publication

Strangest job you ever held: I spent most of the '90s as a stagehand, saw some crazy stuff

Bumper-sticker statement?: Support your right to arm bears

A little-known fact about you: I started to grow a tail and had to have it surgically removed. Oh, and I like to climb trees

Dumbest thing you ever did: Once when I was photographing a wedding, I tripped and fell into the baptismal font. For some reason it was in the middle of the aisle. I lost a couple of lenses and it was pretty embarrassing. Luckily God forgave me

One product, trend or fashion you'd like to see return: G.I. Joe with Kung Fu Grip

What really sets you off? Getting charged extra money for soy milk in my coffee

Celebrity encounters? Anne Rice once told me I was cuter than Brad Pitt

Favorite Web site:

One thing you would change about yourself: I would like to become a Buddha, but not in this lifetime

People who knew you in high school thought you were: A crazy headbanger

Whom do you most admire? I admire my girlfriend, Monica, because she lives creatively, ethically and compassionately, she is sweet and amazingly beautiful, and she inspires me to be my best self

Parting shot: My favorite quote is from Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist monk, writer and peace activist - "People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth"

- Compiled by Steve Pfarrer