No matter what our interest or involvement level in the cause of animal advocacy, there's always more to learn about this ever-evolving topic. And who better to learn from than Susan Hargreaves, activist and author extraordinaire?
Hargreaves is the woman behind Animal Hero Kids, a group that recognizes youngsters for their kindness and compassion. She's also an award-winning educator, radio host, former undercover farm investigator and much more. Tomorrow, she'll be appearing at the EarthSave vegan potluck at Coral Gables Congregational Church in Coral Gables to talk about her new book Animal Hero Kids: Voices for the Voiceless. The 296-page guidebook offers tips and stories from famous animal advocates like Russell Simmons, Sir Paul McCartney, Ricky Williams, Jane Goodall and Paul Watson.
"Russell Simmons said it best when he said 'This book is for anyone who cares about animals, kindness and justice,' says Hargreave. "There is also a fave vegan recipe section written by kids. My challenge there was to find someone whose favorite thing to eat was not mac and cheese. Animal Hero Kids' goal is to gift school libraries with the book as part of Animal Hero Kids kindness school programs and kits."
Hargreaves is the past chair of EarthSave Miami, as well as the creator of Animal Voices, a Toronto radio series; a Distinguished Education, Eco-Hero Humane & Environmental Education award-winner; former Director of Humane Education at the Wildlife Care Center in Fort Lauderdale; former undercover farm investigator—the list goes on. She's been involved in the animal protection movement for more than three decades.
Susan Hargreaves with Suzy Amis Cameron and the first vegan school.
Photo credit: Heather Hyde
"Since I saw male baby chicks being gassed and suffocated at a chicken hatchery when I was nine-years-old my life goal has been to educate about kind choices and the impact we have on animals and the earth," Hargreaves explains of her advocacy efforts. "I have seen a sea change, literally, when it comes to the public being entertained by captive marine mammals and elephants, and other wildlife."
The increase in vegan eating and awareness of animal issues warms Hargreaves heart, as do the many stories of compassionate children she sees through her work with Animal Hero Kids.
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"This book is chock filled of stories that are heartening about kids and teens rescuing all animals, from the Liberty City crew who rescued the dog who was beaten and stuffed down the sewer grate to the girl who brought the pig who fell off a slaughter truck back from the brink. So many brave, kind kids and teens," she explains. "This is the stuff that makes it easier to get up in the morning and to keep plugging away as a kind educator, an activist, a spokesperson knowing there are so many courageous and compassionate kids out there."
"We are in a pivotal point in history where our consumer choices will change the world for animals who are in need right now, whether they are on a factory farm, in a circus or a tank. I hope people will return home [from the talk] feeling empowered and encouraged, we can create change as individuals to reverberate and radically improve the lives of exploited animals."
The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Coral Gables Congregational Church Fellowship Hall, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables. Admission is free if you bring a vegan dish to share; $5 donations welcome. Those without food pay $8 per person. Visit earthsavemiami.org. Hargreave's book will be available at the talk and is also available at animalherokids.org.