Dr. Abigail Levin
At 10 a.m., Dr. Abigail Levin sits in the front of her classroom on her desk with a smile on her face and greets her animal ethics students. In order to keep up with her fast-paced conversations, her students take out their notebooks and get ready to write as fast as they possibly can.
While always teaching up a storm, Levin makes a point to be cheerful in her political philosophy, eastern philosophy, animal ethics, and environmental ethics classes on campus. But she also often challenges her students preconceived ideas.
“I love to teach all of these courses, because I think that they really make me, and hopefully my students, revisit habits and prejudices that we tend to take for granted,” Levin says. “These courses, I hope, make us aware of the smallness, and privilege, of our lives in the developed west.”
Students who’ve had Levin know, she is a vegetarian and supports many clubs and activities on campus that encourage vegetarianism and environmentally friendly practices. She was a major supporter of establishing the vegetarian section in Clet Dining Hall in order to provide more variety for students.
“From the time I was old enough to recognize that meat was once a live animal, around 8 or 9, I was viscerally turned off by it,” she says.
On top of teaching, Levin is a Big Sister to a student attending Niagara Falls High School, a member of the Rochester Zen Center (a Buddhist community) and is an adviser for the NU Alliance, and NU's Gay-Straight Student Alliance.
When not teaching or partaking in various organizations, Levin keeps life simple.
“I am a huge board game/card game nerd. I will drop anything to play poker or Scrabble, and I'm always up for learning new games. My husband and I have three cats: Oise, Elsinore and Donny, and we play with them all the time,” she says.