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Home / Articles / Columnists / Animal Heroes /  Aren’t You Getting a Little Old for....?
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Tuesday, February 6,2024

Aren’t You Getting a Little Old for....?

By Susan Hargreaves Author-Activist-Educator of BEanAnimalHero.org  
It was 1995 when someone first asked me with a judgmental tone, ‘Aren’t you getting a little old for this type of thing?’ after I organized a protest at SeaWorld. Twenty-four years later and many varied versions of the same question have been aimed my way, from “Shouldn’t you be thinking about slowing down?” to “You can’t act like you’re 40 anymore, you’re going to wreck your body by overdoing it,” to “When you’re older, you look better with shorter hair.”

When I wrote the first “Veganza Animal Hero” children’s picture book, and subsequently began delighting younger elementary grade students with live action Veganza appearances in their classrooms, donning a cape and large wings, came the inevitable statement disguised as a query: “You’re a little old to be a vegan superhero.”

I can’t help but think of a sentence from America Ferrara’s monologue in the “Barbie” film: “You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.” in other words, stay in your relegated box others have created for you – for some women it may be labeled as “past its sell-by-date” box?


Susan Hargreaves with rescued canine companion and rescued chicken. Photocredit SK Roth

A long-term activist friend, Merlin Andrew, who chained herself to the Minister of Fisheries desk in an act of civil disobedience to protest the continued seal clubbings in Canada when she was 76, said in one of her last CBC radio interviews, the worse thing about getting older is becoming invisible. The last time I saw her, she was railing against the government for refusing to renew her motorcycle license when she was 98.

A heartfelt thank you goes to those who have attempted to block my way to continued effectiveness, a heartfelt thank you to those who underestimate the value of experience perfecting a skill set, as they served to put more steel in my resolve, more life in my determination.

I keep my eyes on the prize, and renew my vow to continue to succeed in helping other animals, to continue to aid all species to the best of my abilities, unfettered by attempts at imposing restrictions. Onward!

 

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Also from Susan Hargreaves Author-Activist-Educator of BEanAnimalHero.org:

 
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