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Nathan Allen

Hello, I’m Nathan Allen. Welcome to my page! This serves as an experiment in shortform as well as a little intro to myself.

I am a freelance (sort of, I'm new to this) writer based in Winston-Salem, NC. My writing tends to focus on the interdisciplinary study of the environment — those places where science, philosophy, psychology, history, and other discipline meet. Other than that, I write about philosophy broadly, LGBTQ+ issues, media studies, and culture.

I am a writer and editor of Pollen — an interdisciplinary magazine about the environment. In addition, I am a regular writer for Mind…

Looking at the use case and history of these multiple-use names.

Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

[tw: rape, assault]

In 1973, a landmark legal case known to many as “Roe v. Wade” occurred. Less known is the fact that “Roe” was half of Jane Roe, a pseudonym for the plaintiff.

In 1986, a woman known only as Jane Doe to the public, engaged in an 11-year court battle with the Toronto Police Department after they used her as bait to catch the infamous “Balcony Rapist.” She won the case.

In 2015, a man raped “Emily Doe” on the Stanford University campus. Emily Doe was not actually the victim’s name.

And, in March of 2021, a man…

And if you are a writer, here’s why you should too.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

In high school, the administration gave all the students a laptop to use for class and take home with us for homework. It was a Chromebook; and — I absolutely hated it. Why? I really have no idea.

I suspect it has to do with some psychological trick having to do with Chromebooks having a reputation for being really sh*tty machines. I completely fell for it too. I hated it and only used it for school.

In college, the slander of Chromebooks was still internalized. I was an Apple guy, with a super high-end MacBook which I naively thought was…

Philosopher Judith Butler on performing one’s gender

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

“Why do you talk like that? Why do you act like a girl?”

When I was younger, I was asked these two questions all of the time. Most of the time I would answer with “Um, I don’t know?” which was truthful. I was just doing me — which so happen to clash with gender norms.

As I got older, I began to recognize the real consequences of not properly playing out gender norms. So I began shielding. This phenomenon (which I swear I read about somewhere so if someone knows about it please comment) is basically a group of…

And opponents of cancel culture make it difficult to solve.

Have you ever thought about something so big that it seemed unfathomable, and maybe even unreal? Well, if so, you have likely encountered what is called a hyperobject. According to eco-philosopher Tim Morton, hyperobjects are those “…things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to human.”

I admit, it does sound a little complicated but it might sound familiar because humans are currently dealing with a dangerous hyperobject: climate change. A ‘thing’ of massive proportion that seems out of reach for us organism who live only a short 100 years if we are lucky.

So let’s talk more…

Notes on Veganism

I did not know how good this would feel.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

A couple of months ago, I signed the lease. A day later, I was handed the keys to my new place. It was a big step, but not really because of the move.

I reveled in this situation because for the first time in my life, I would be able to live in a completely vegan household. You see, my roommate Cam, a buddy from college, is vegan too. For months, we had fantasized about having our own place with plants in the window, oat milk in the fridge, Oreos in the cabinet, and Peter Singer on the bookshelf.


You’ll be glad you did

Courtesy of deadlyxdelish.

Just the other day, I was whipping up one of my specialties — tempeh pasta with red sauce. Pan-seared tempeh crumbles, sautéed green onion, any type of pasta, and marinara. It’s delicious and super easy.

As I handed my mom her bowl of sauce-covered noodles, she asked me what the meat substitute was.

“It’s tempeh” I answered. What came next was just evil.

“Oh, cool. That is like tofu, right?”

NO, MOM. It is NOT like tofu. I was furious. Tempeh is this beautiful fermented food crafted by the Gods themselves from soybeans. We humans are lucky to have it…

During the entire conversation, they did not say a word because they were a cat listening to me cry.

This is my cat, not the stranger cat. Photo by author.

The year was — finally — transitioning. The clock was striking midnight a couple of months ago and what seemed like the worst year was over. Well, it technically was. The year of the virus had only lapsed into another one.

This New Year’s, I had stayed with my roommate and her family (5 people in total for anyone trying to catch me in a non-compliant group size). I had a great time. We made a whole lot of vegan snacks; I whipped up my famous chickpea salad and hardly got a single bite in. …

A non-judgemental guided tour of common supplies for safe sex!

Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

After my own battle with a particularly strong strain of gonorrhea (not the super-type, thank goodness!), I became somewhat of a stickler for safe sex practices. I promoted the use of protection (for me, condoms) with my friends as well as within my own relationships. My pals can attest to my insistence that they get tested regularly (that’s every three months when you are sexually active btw). I knew what it was like to have a bad case of a sexually transmitted infection STI and I did not want anyone else to go through that if it was preventable.


How might we humans aid in nature’s rehabilitation after tragedy? A really neat article in Popular Science by Meera Subramanian gives us 5 accounts of nature and humans tag-teaming restoration.

Nathan Allen

writer. illustrator. manic collector of pens and notebooks. bug guy from North Carolina. see my work at

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