WAN Announces New Youth Warrior Article Series & Talks With Animal Hero Kids Founder and Author, Susan Hargreaves!

Jasmine Polsinelli advocating at The Toronto Pig Save.

As mentioned previously on WAN, we have decided to launch a new series of articles focusing on the young animal advocates of tomorrow; who are not waiting for tomorrow but rather making a difference today.

Each article in our WAN’s Youth Warrior series will profile one of the many wise and determined young people who are taking on some of the most significant animal welfare issues of the day. Whether it be by generating petitions, influencing changes in legislation, or promoting veganism, these compassionate “kids” are working hard, creatively, and tirelessly to create a better world where animals and humans can co-exist in peace.

WAN applauds each and every one of these extraordinary humans!

As a kick-off to the series, WAN recently had the opportunity to spend time with Susan Hargreaves, a remarkable woman, educator, and inspirational mentor to young animal advocates around the world.

A humane educator and animal activist for all of her adult life, Hargreaves founded the non-profit Animal Hero Kids more than 20 years ago to encourage and recognize young people who not only care about animal welfare, they advocate for it.

Hargreaves also shines a light on heroic kids from around the world and their remarkable stories in her book titled Animal Hero Kids, Voices for the Voiceless.

A quote from Paul McCartney is proudly displayed on the cover of the book which also offers advice from other notable animal advocates such as the one-and-only Jane Goodall.

“Animal Hero Kids Rock! It doesn’t matter how young or old you are,” McCartney said, “the good news is you can help animals in need.”

An empowering guidebook to creating champions for animals, Animal Hero Kids “Voice for the Voiceless,” also shares interesting facts, figures, and activity ideas. Even better, a percentage of the profits from its sales are used to help subsidize animal hero kids complementary, humane education programs.

“The book is about education, kindness and compassion,” Hargreaves told WAN. “We have never needed compassion more than today.”

Hargreaves explained that her first exposure to the horrors of animal cruelty was when she was 9-years-old and her aunt brought her to a chicken-hatchery where she worked. As her Aunt settled into her receptionist job, she encouraged Hargreaves to visit all the little chicks. Needless to say, what she found inside was not a bunch of cute little chickens to play with, but instead, rows of terrorized and tormented “industrial sized” animals.

“I reach 30,000 students each year with programs encouraging kindness while fostering empathy and critical thinking,” said Hargreaves who has spent the last four years traveling the country to recognize and encourage young brave heroes. “This is a win-win for everyone.”

Hargreaves tailors the advice she gives to each young advocate.

“I find out who they want to help, what they want, what their skills are, and talk to their parents to know what they are comfortable with,” Hargreaves explained to WAN.

That is why in this book you will find stories about a variety of talented young animal advocates: some excel in public speaking, others use art to spread the message of animal equality and compassion to inspire change, a few are on their way to becoming professional vegan chefs, and one even raps about animal welfare.

Hargreaves shared that November is Animal Heroes Kids Month and has more than 160 organizations throughout the world who have collaborated to encourage and recognize animal hero kids locally.

In honor of Sir Paul McCartney, The Young Veg Advocate Award is presented to an individual or group under the age of 19 that promotes kind food choices.

Further information about the award categories, the organization, and the remarkable young heroes who span the world can be found on The Animal Hero Kids website.

Look for the first of what will be many installations from WAN’s Youth Warriors series.

Prepare to be surprised, inspired, and proud of these young animal advocates who are wise beyond their years. We can and should learn from them all!

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