Photo Credit: Vegan Outreach

Animals Have A True Friend in Forest Hills

In All by Tola Brennan

Guy Grayson is a vegan activist living in Forest Hills. And he has a mission. He’s usually posted up at the corner of Austin Street and Continental Avenue in the heart of the Forest Hills business district, right at near the entrance to the LIRR stop.

“I try to get out here almost every day and pamphlet this vegan literature,” he said.

Grayson, 36, said he’s not fixed on the vegan part. Sometimes it’s just gently suggesting that people eat less meat. “I’m just trying to stop factory farming,” he said.

And overall his experience has been a positive one. “People are very nice around here for the most part even with not everyone liking this cause against factory farming because they eat meat,” he said. “If they don’t want a pamphlet they just walk by and just don’t really bother me.”

He seemed nonchalant about the less polite reactions. “Maybe once every week you’ll get someone who says a derogatory comment,” he said. It seems that the many kind reactions simply overwhelm dwelling on the naysayers.

Or perhaps it’s his passionate and frequently expressed love of where he lives. “I love this neighborhood. Sometimes when I get out here it feels like family,” he said. “Every day you see some of the same people.”

He moved back a little and said “sorry” and giggled pleasantly as someone passed by on the busy intersection. There’s a friendly sense of rootedness as he navigated his daily post.

For someone who seems so connected to the neighborhood, it’s a surprise that he’s only lived in the area for around five years. “I like it,” he said and shrugged like the situation made perfect sense for him.

He’s also deeply enchanted by Forest Hills Gardens. He talks about the upscale patch of Forest Hills with has a suburban gated community feel, tree-lined streets and lots of prime real estate with an almost religious reverence.

“It’s the most beautiful place I’ve even seen,” he said. “There’s no place like it.”

He gushed that Simon & Garfunkel lived there back in the day before he reiterated that it was most beautiful place he’d ever seen. He shook his head in awe.

Handing out flyers isn’t the only thing he wants to do. The next step for him is to expand his writing career. And he knows what he wants to tackle. ”Something I’m passionate about like animals and real issues,” he said. “Hopefully I don’t have to sell out and write about stuff I don’t care about.”