Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 10/02/2020 – Animal Hero Kids has a very special month planned full of fun-filled activities to empower youth towards animal rescue and advocacy, #AnimalHeroKidTober with celebrities including Paul McCartney and Joaquin Phoenix supporting the cause. Now, kids will see the First Vegan Superhero, Veganza. She is the animal hero, who swoops in to help all animals in need of rescue. Veganza creates more animal heroes by empowering them with empathy. Courage, the mermaid, defends all sea creatures. Together, Veganza and Courage are unbeatable animal defenders. Pre-orders can be made here: https://animalherokids.org/veganza/ Founder of Animal Hero Kids and Author Susan Hargreaves is a 41 year veteran of the animal rights movement. She is a kindness educator and activist. She has rehabilitated wildlife and investigated animal cruelty in circuses and rodeos, as well as in the animal-based agriculture industry. Susan founded the youth empowering charity Animal Hero Kids to prevent the animal cruelty she has witnessed by fostering empathy and compassionate choices in youth.
Tell us about #AnimalHeroKidTober.
World Animal Hero Kids Month #animalherokidtober celebrates compassionate actions by youth, globally. Since 1980 I have been empowering youth and advocating for all species of animals not to be harmed. The key to preventing cruelty and apathy is to inspire others to empathy with real-life animal rescue stories by children and teens. This year #animalherokidtober actions and activities are taking place in Brazil, Kenya, Japan, Vancouver, and all around the United States. A cornucopia of positive and proactive events with young people reaching out to their community, sanctuaries, libraries, restaurants, and local government. Due to the current climate, we have had to pivot to safely achieve #animalherokidtober goals. Here are a few examples, Josie, 12 years of age in Virginia is giving a much-needed message of hope with her rescued pig, Franny, the first certified therapy pig in Virginia, Brunna, an 11-year-old climate activist will be asking local restaurants to feature #animalherokidtober vegan specials, Lilly in rural Alaska will be making catnip toys and reading some of the stories from the “Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless” book. Many children are asking friends and family to try vegan during #animalherokidtober for the sake of their own future and the planets’ future. In Connecticut, I will be reaching students in the first-ever virtual program where they will have the Animal Hero Kids version of the book as a guide. Two sisters, 7 and 9 years of age, will be surprised at JP Farm Animal Sanctuary with Animal Hero Kids Kind2All Award during their reading to rescued cows. Zsa Zsa, 7 years of age, will be dancing ballet with her rescued chickens as the audience.
Sign up to participate! On our website https://animalherokids.org/veganza/ it is an entire month of activities to support, celebrate, and recognize youth making a real difference.
Every day is filled with education and activities. Tell us about “National Take Your Parent(s) to a Vegan Lunch Day on Oct. 14th.”
We have also added an option for the parents of making lunch for your parent day, as not everyone can afford to take a parent to a restaurant plus if they are in an area of high risk we want to be mindful of the wide variety of circumstance and geographical differences in our activity choices. I am glad you asked about the vegan lunch activity, you do not have to be vegan to join Animal Hero Kids many children join us to help dogs, elephants, cats….often they end up learning about what is happening to all species of animals from their co-animal hero kids or teen crew and may end up making different choices, this can influence the parents. I have found many adults are drawn to the genuine, sincere message from youth because we may be tired of listening to each other. LOL!
Both books, Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless and the about to be released book, you heard it here first! Veganza Animal Hero has some fab vegan recipes included. In Veganza the characters have created their recipes. Animal Defenders’ Vegetable Pie is an example of the Best Gravy Ever. Lovey who is inspired by the 18-year-old rescued canine who lives with me is a character in the book, she has contributed Lovey’s Favorite Strawberry Shake. Lovey in real life helps me to surprise kids during school presentations with Animal Hero Kids Awards
Who are the great people supporting your cause?
One of the Animalherokidtober activities is a mobile video billboard with messages from kids asking the world to try vegan. The kids are also supporting the message of Joaquin Phoenix about changing the world from your kitchen after a recent undercover hen cruelty investigation. Banksy has given us permission, well Banksys’ representative to use the image of one of his surprise art installations for #animalherokidtober
We have been fortunate over the years for Animal Hero Kids’ mission of empowering youth to be supported by Sir Paul McCartney, with the Animal Hero Kids Young Veg Advocate Award, he contributed a quote “Animal Hero Kids Rock! The good news is no matter how old we are we can all help animals in need.”
Joaquin Phoenix is an uber-talented vegan activist has also generously given an encouraging quote to help achieve our goals “I was an Animal Hero Kid at 3-years old when I felt that animals had the right to live free of harm and suffering. It is vital to foster critical thinking in youth which leads to compassionate actions, and ultimately, a more peaceful world for all.”
During AnimalHeroKidtober a mobile video billboard will also feature Joaquins’ message about changing the world from your kitchen and the Animal Hero Kids’ messages about how to counteract climate change, stop animal cruelty and prevent future pandemics. One of the annual Animal Hero Kids Awards took place at James Camerons’ wife’ school, the first plant-based school in the US, MUSE school.
It is valuable for youth who sometimes may feel alone in their quest to help others to join animal hero kids. When they hear the encouragement from these well-known celebs it is life-supporting, star power being lent to lift and inspire is extremely valuable.
Jessica Chastain also kindly gave a quote for us to use, “ I don’t normally get into this, but I’m a vegan. I try not to, well, I don’t want to torture anything. I guess it’s about trying to live a life where I’m not contributing to the cruelty in the world….While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here.”
We have been fortunate over the years for Animal Hero Kids’ mission of empowering youth to be supported by Sir Paul McCartney, with the Animal Hero Kids Paul McCartney Young Veg Advocate Award, he contributed a quote “Animal Hero Kids Rock! The good news is no matter how old we are we can all help animals in need.” For us to use, as well as an entire chapter in the Animal Hero Kids book.
Recently I had the pleasure to virtually meet Maggie Baird, mum of famous singers, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connoll. Maggie told me all about her mission of feeding those in need with healthy plant-based food with the org she founded, Support and Feed.
NBA Champion, John Salley, has helped to recognize the Animal Hero Kids Paul McCartney Young Veg Advocate Award and is a great role model for healthy plant-powered living.
During AnimalHeroKidtober we are collaborating with Climate Healers, Hip Hop is Green, Three 7’s Animal Sanctuary, Tamerlaine Sanctuary, JP Farm Animal Sanctuary, and SoFloVegans.
I am also so thankful to Tofurky for providing their slow-roasted vegan chik’N lightly seasoned for our socially distanced group visiting the sanctuary in NY and food giveaways. Thanks to our partnership with Jackfruit Cafe in LA, Vegan Village in Fort Lauderdale, and the New Vegan in Delray Beach we will be feeding a domestic violence center, and a drop-in center in LA, and a group home in Miami.
Tell us about your new book, Veganza Animal Hero book. When is it available?
In 2014 I created the first woman vegan superhero, yes, a grown-up woman! Her name was Saoirse, which means nothing to most people, as it is Irish for Freedom. So, she changed her name to Veganza Animal Hero. I have been determined to stop animal suffering since I was 9 years old and was taken to a chicken hatchery and saw all the male chicks being gassed and suffocated, and then I witnessed, powerlessly, more animal abuse later that I could not do anything about. This is why I founded animal hero kids and work educating and empowering youth to ensure they know there are ways to help other animals and they are not alone. The Animal Hero Kids Crew is growing in numbers and reaching the corners of the earth.
This action-adventure story is the first time I have done a full color illustrated book with Monique Martinez, a superb artist. She brought Veganza alive and all of the characters including Courage the Mermaid.
100 % of any profits go to Animal Hero Kids free programs. The Animal Hero Kids book goal is to be gifted to school libraries around the US, after every free kindness education presentation I give a copy to the school so the kids can continue to read the stories and teachers use the activities.
We are actively searching for celebrities to voice over a Veganza Animal Hero claymation short, we need Veganza, Courage the mermaid, Jules the crow, and Lovey the narrator voiced. The claymation creator is a New York film graduate who is so enthusiastic about the project. He was positively affected by a school presentation in Miami I did, he was in pre-school at the time! So hey, Leonardo, Meryl, Viola, Ellen…. contact me at email@example.com if you wish to support this empowering positive project helping the planet, animals, and people!
Our last film “Be an Animal Hero” was adopted by 430 schools around the US and had cameos by Justin Bieber, Alec Baldwin, and Ron Artest all advocating for kindness.
Tell us about the Veganza song challenge.
Veganza Animal Hero needs a theme song whether it be opera, rap, R & B, Soul, Techno, hip hop, any genre. All ages can send in their videos to firstname.lastname@example.org If your song is chosen not only will you go down in history as being the creator of Veganza’s theme song, you will also receive $500. Bonus-
Be featured in all our social media and news releases. You can also create a song and hashtag #veganzasongchallenge and tag us @animalherokids
Without giving away too much of the storyline here’s inspiration….
Veganza, the animal hero, swoops in to help all animals in need of rescue. Veganza creates more animal heroes by empowering them with empathy. Courage, the mermaid, defends all sea creatures. Together, Veganza and Courage are unbeatable animal defenders.
How can celebrities help? Why is it so important to have their support now?
Celebrities have a world stage and can reach way more people than I can with our limited budget as a grassroots non-profit plus the support youth feel when a celebrity also does not want to see animals harmed and speaks out, even if it is uncomfortable it is priceless.
One tweet from Billie Eilish giving a shout out to kind, determined kids during AnimalHeroKidtober will reach Lilly in rural Alaska, Josie in Virginia and so many more will feel encouraged. It is not always easy to be the only person in the room pointing out a particular entertainment choice is cruel to wildlife or underlining animal agriculture’s cruel practices.
Celebrities who share their spotlight for positive role modeling and life-changing messages are responsible for a lot of progress. Public attitude shifts end up creating a more evolved world. Youth and celebrities and education all together are a winning combination. My life’s purpose is to prevent animal abuse. I will use the keys available to me to close the door on apathy, cruelty, or lack of empathy.
Animal Hero Kids around the world have a message to share as Lovey, the rescued 18-year-old poodle mix in Veganza Animal Hero says “ Will you consider the earth and we animals, too? Because if you do not, who will? Will you? ”
What excites you most about #AnimalHeroKidTober. What are your favorite activities?
I am looking forward to surprising a business owner who has evolved to a plant-based restaurant from a meat-centered restaurant with the “Evolve Kind2All” award, he has no idea unless he reads this! He may have an inkling. Ina, 7-year-old Orlando Animal Hero Kid will actually be donning a hazmat suit and educating with his sign about the connection between pandemics and eating animals, bird flu, swine flu, MERS, SARS, COVIDS can all be traced back to eating traumatized animals. The kids reading the Animal Hero Kids book to sanctuary or shelter animals is close to my heart and the mobile video billboard with kids messages from around the world and Joaquin Phoenix driving by the beach in Fort Lauderdale will be a great vehicle for education, literally! Feeding plant-powered food in LA, and South Florida to domestic violence shelters and drop-in centers will also be epic. I so appreciate Jackfruit Cafe, New Vegan Restaurant, and Vegan Village assisting with this part of #animalherokidtober If we get some good Veganza Song Challenge entries, I can add those to the mobile video billboard too.
I am also looking forward to the possibility there will be a bunch of Veganza and Courage the Mermaid Animal Heroes dressing up this Halloween and sending in their videos or photo!
#Animalherokidtober is sorely needed right now, we need a little uplift, and what can be more encouraging than to see people extending their hands and hearts to include all in their kindness?
Participate and Join Us at https://animalherokids.org/veganza/