edge

Meat Hater's Delight

Pictures by Mark Lyndersay

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Dylan De Gourville but my friends call me Dylan Digiorno.

One of my best friends, Ben, came up with the frozen pizza brand nickname because I used to really enjoy pizza before turning vegan. It started off as a funny comment and stayed with me. Even BC Pires thought my real name was Digiorno.

My dad wanted to call me Storm. I don’ t think I was named after Bob Dylan or any other famous Dylan. My mom just liked the name. I’m a big fan of Dylan Thomas’s poetry though. Do not go gentle into that good night impacted me the most. The poem urges people to resist death, though it's inevitable. Some people, at the end of their journey, realise that they didn't spark any real change in the world. That's not how I'd like to end up.

Over the last ten years, I’ve moved [all over] Port of Spain, but I come from South, where I lived for the first eight years of my life and formed all my happy childhood memories. It was quiet and peaceful back then. My dad's siblings and more than 20 cousins still live there, so South will always feel like home. My mom's family lives in Diego Martin and I'm exceptionally close to her parents.


I've never been close to death, every person I've loved is still with me. I shudder at the thought of [losing anyone] but I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it. My cousin Joseph has a really healthy relationship with death.

There's something unsettling about bringing a new child into such a harsh world when there are already so many children that need a loving home. I think I would adopt. A good bit of young people feel our love for our would-be children prevents us from forcing them to endure [our threatened natural] environment and all the hate floating around aimlessly.

I attended Holy Name Prep, then Fatima College, and now I'm at UWI, doing an MSc in applied psychology after my BSc. They were all great, [but] what stood out to me were the people. They shape different parts of yourself without you even noticing. Working with a woman I now consider a mentor made me realise the kind of professional I want to be. My form five teacher at Fatima my form five English teacher helped me find my confidence simply by showing she believed in me. Maybe that's why I enjoy writing now…


I was born and raised in a religious Roman Catholic family. [Several] of my uncles and aunts are nuns and priests. I believe, just not in the way my family would like me to. You are allowed to take the beautiful parts of the religion you follow and leave the ugly parts behind you.


Religion in society today has become so divisive, it's sad. We can all see when hatred is being cloaked under the guise of religion. I've watched way too many people perpetuate hatred towards certain groups in society based on religious beliefs.

Different people call me Dyl, Dylz, or Dylan Digiorno…[Many] different names but yet I'm the same person. Isn't it possible that all these different religions may give the same entity different faces and different names, but they're all believing in the same thing? I don't know, man, all I know is I love God.

I've gotten criticism for my views on religion but it doesn't bother me. I sleep just fine at night knowing I'm not holding any hate in my heart for anyone.

For a while I didn't want to go to church because I didn't appreciate how everyone attributed attendance in church to being a good person. I can appreciate all the beauty and humanity in churches now though, so if I do go I go to pray for the people there, not because I think God is any more with me there than he is with me at the beach or in my home.

I don't see how it's possible for God to be all powerful and all good, yet suffering prevails. It's paradoxical. I think it's wonderful that some people are able to have that kind of faith. [But] I don't believe every single bit of suffering has some grand divine reasoning.

For me, it's more important to believe in a kind God than an all-powerful God. The God that I believe in may not be all powerful. But they are definitely kind, and they are trying their best. Some people may call him Jesus, and others may call it the universe. I'm open to the possibility of all and comfortable with not knowing. And if I die and I realise I was wrong about it all, well, I'm fine with that, too.

I like the idea of an afterlife in "heaven" with my loved ones – but I just as easily entertain reincarnation and whatever. I hope there's something even more beautiful after all this but, if it really is just a long cold sleep, so be it. I like to sleep anyway.

I think it's extraordinarily narcissistic to denounce another person's entire religion because you think yours is the sole right one.

I went vegan because my value system is oriented around kindness. I love animals and I don't like to cause harm. So supporting an environmentally disastrous meat industry built on [extreme] cruelty just didn't appeal to me anymore.

[Veganism] is a difficult lifestyle to adopt in Trinidad. People telling you to change your lifestyle immediately are wrong. Start with small steps. I ended up eating non-vegan snacks like Nutella at high stress times over the quarantine. I'm just trying my best. Just try your best and it's fine.

When I do get to relax, I love the beach, with friends and family. I also really enjoy photography as a small side hobby, and writing. I've tried to put aside time these days to start writing a book, as it's been on my bucket list to have a book published since I was a kid.

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayThe best book I ever read was I'll Give You The Sun by [young adult fiction writer] Jandy Nelson. It may not have been the best from a literary standpoint but I can reread it over and over and not get tired.

Whether I'm feeling sad, happy or angry, I listen to music. I listen to most genres but I prefer alternative, like The 1975. My uncles are in a local rock band called Orange Sky. I'm awfully bad at singing and dancing but I still do it sometimes.

I particularly love movies that don't have a clear climax and resolution [where] you’re just looking into the life and emotions of others. I also really appreciate movies with a realistic ending, like A Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Y Tu Mama Tambien, La La Land and, Call Me By Your Name

I don’t have a favourite director. But I love Greta Gerwig. And my cousin Zach would probably want me to mention Quentin Tarantino.

I feel down when I try to spread myself too thin or when a family member or friend is sad or stressed. I'm fine with experiencing the rollercoaster of emotions though. I feel everyone is so scared to talk about feeling depressed in the Caribbean, when feeling sad is just as normal as feeling happy. The least we can do is acknowledge that and remove the taboo around talking about how we're actually doing mentally.


I look at the world in a liberal open way and worry that I might not be able to make an impact in the way I want to. [But] the current state of how we do things in the Caribbean is a huge hindrance to persons like me that may want to make a difference.


I feel like I've really seen the face of Trinidad and Tobago. And it's beautiful.

To me, being a Trini is about warmth, happiness and the ability to turn anything into a joke. Especially around carnival time, the happiness seems to bounce from person to person.

Trinidad & Tobago may be just a small dot on the map but it still means everything to me. This place gave me my parents, my grandparents, my family, my friends. Every one I love and every accomplishment I ever achieved was done here.


Meat Hater's Delight

Pictures by Mark Lyndersay

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Dylan De Gourville but my friends call me Dylan Digiorno.

One of my best friends, Ben, came up with the frozen pizza brand nickname because I used to really enjoy pizza before turning vegan. It started off as a funny comment and stayed with me. Even BC Pires thought my real name was Digiorno.

My dad wanted to call me Storm. I don’ t think I was named after Bob Dylan or any other famous Dylan. My mom just liked the name. I’m a big fan of Dylan Thomas’s poetry though. Do not go gentle into that good night impacted me the most. The poem urges people to resist death, though it's inevitable. Some people, at the end of their journey, realise that they didn't spark any real change in the world. That's not how I'd like to end up.

Over the last ten years, I’ve moved [all over] Port of Spain, but I come from South, where I lived for the first eight years of my life and formed all my happy childhood memories. It was quiet and peaceful back then. My dad's siblings and more than 20 cousins still live there, so South will always feel like home. My mom's family lives in Diego Martin and I'm exceptionally close to her parents.


I've never been close to death, every person I've loved is still with me. I shudder at the thought of [losing anyone] but I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it. My cousin Joseph has a really healthy relationship with death.

There's something unsettling about bringing a new child into such a harsh world when there are already so many children that need a loving home. I think I would adopt. A good bit of young people feel our love for our would-be children prevents us from forcing them to endure [our threatened natural] environment and all the hate floating around aimlessly.

I attended Holy Name Prep, then Fatima College, and now I'm at UWI, doing an MSc in applied psychology after my BSc. They were all great, [but] what stood out to me were the people. They shape different parts of yourself without you even noticing. Working with a woman I now consider a mentor made me realise the kind of professional I want to be. My form five teacher at Fatima my form five English teacher helped me find my confidence simply by showing she believed in me. Maybe that's why I enjoy writing now…


I was born and raised in a religious Roman Catholic family. [Several] of my uncles and aunts are nuns and priests. I believe, just not in the way my family would like me to. You are allowed to take the beautiful parts of the religion you follow and leave the ugly parts behind you.


Religion in society today has become so divisive, it's sad. We can all see when hatred is being cloaked under the guise of religion. I've watched way too many people perpetuate hatred towards certain groups in society based on religious beliefs.

Different people call me Dyl, Dylz, or Dylan Digiorno…[Many] different names but yet I'm the same person. Isn't it possible that all these different religions may give the same entity different faces and different names, but they're all believing in the same thing? I don't know, man, all I know is I love God.

I've gotten criticism for my views on religion but it doesn't bother me. I sleep just fine at night knowing I'm not holding any hate in my heart for anyone.

For a while I didn't want to go to church because I didn't appreciate how everyone attributed attendance in church to being a good person. I can appreciate all the beauty and humanity in churches now though, so if I do go I go to pray for the people there, not because I think God is any more with me there than he is with me at the beach or in my home.

I don't see how it's possible for God to be all powerful and all good, yet suffering prevails. It's paradoxical. I think it's wonderful that some people are able to have that kind of faith. [But] I don't believe every single bit of suffering has some grand divine reasoning.

For me, it's more important to believe in a kind God than an all-powerful God. The God that I believe in may not be all powerful. But they are definitely kind, and they are trying their best. Some people may call him Jesus, and others may call it the universe. I'm open to the possibility of all and comfortable with not knowing. And if I die and I realise I was wrong about it all, well, I'm fine with that, too.

I like the idea of an afterlife in "heaven" with my loved ones – but I just as easily entertain reincarnation and whatever. I hope there's something even more beautiful after all this but, if it really is just a long cold sleep, so be it. I like to sleep anyway.

I think it's extraordinarily narcissistic to denounce another person's entire religion because you think yours is the sole right one.

I went vegan because my value system is oriented around kindness. I love animals and I don't like to cause harm. So supporting an environmentally disastrous meat industry built on [extreme] cruelty just didn't appeal to me anymore.

[Veganism] is a difficult lifestyle to adopt in Trinidad. People telling you to change your lifestyle immediately are wrong. Start with small steps. I ended up eating non-vegan snacks like Nutella at high stress times over the quarantine. I'm just trying my best. Just try your best and it's fine.

When I do get to relax, I love the beach, with friends and family. I also really enjoy photography as a small side hobby, and writing. I've tried to put aside time these days to start writing a book, as it's been on my bucket list to have a book published since I was a kid.

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayThe best book I ever read was I'll Give You The Sun by [young adult fiction writer] Jandy Nelson. It may not have been the best from a literary standpoint but I can reread it over and over and not get tired.

Whether I'm feeling sad, happy or angry, I listen to music. I listen to most genres but I prefer alternative, like The 1975. My uncles are in a local rock band called Orange Sky. I'm awfully bad at singing and dancing but I still do it sometimes.

I particularly love movies that don't have a clear climax and resolution [where] you’re just looking into the life and emotions of others. I also really appreciate movies with a realistic ending, like A Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Y Tu Mama Tambien, La La Land and, Call Me By Your Name

I don’t have a favourite director. But I love Greta Gerwig. And my cousin Zach would probably want me to mention Quentin Tarantino.

I feel down when I try to spread myself too thin or when a family member or friend is sad or stressed. I'm fine with experiencing the rollercoaster of emotions though. I feel everyone is so scared to talk about feeling depressed in the Caribbean, when feeling sad is just as normal as feeling happy. The least we can do is acknowledge that and remove the taboo around talking about how we're actually doing mentally.


I look at the world in a liberal open way and worry that I might not be able to make an impact in the way I want to. [But] the current state of how we do things in the Caribbean is a huge hindrance to persons like me that may want to make a difference.


I feel like I've really seen the face of Trinidad and Tobago. And it's beautiful.

To me, being a Trini is about warmth, happiness and the ability to turn anything into a joke. Especially around carnival time, the happiness seems to bounce from person to person.

Trinidad & Tobago may be just a small dot on the map but it still means everything to me. This place gave me my parents, my grandparents, my family, my friends. Every one I love and every accomplishment I ever achieved was done here.