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Friday, July 2,2021

Be an Animal Hero for ALL!

By Susan Hargreaves Author-Activist-Educator of  
One of the facts about people I have learned from my 40-plus years visiting schools and libraries to give “Be an Animal Hero” presentations is they do not wish to be purposely cruel. When individuals discover that each time they go grocery shopping or decide which form of entertainment to choose, or which cosmetic or cleaning product to buy, they can be animal heroes, then they do just that.

The main character in my new “Veganza Animal Hero” book and all of the animal rescue stories in “Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless” share the common theme of inspiring empathy and compassion. The “Be an Animal Hero” presentations with free education programs also equip the participants to be heroes for animals.

Three “Be an Animal Hero” Tips 1. Choose to visit legitimate animal sanctuaries and volunteer or bring treats for the rescued animals, instead of going to zoos, aquariums or circuses.

You may ask how do I tell the difference between the real sanctuaries and the exploitive businesses? The real sanctuaries do not breed or drag wildlife around to exhibit in malls. There’s a place near me that keep sloths awake in the daytime. Two-toed sloths are nocturnal and three-toed sloths are mostly nocturnal and sleep in tree branches most of the day. This company drapes sloths on people’s necks and shoulders all day in a loud, unnatural environment. Anyone who watches the Discovery Channel is aware how wildlife should really live.

Rescued farm animals enjoy human attention; generally, pigs appreciate belly rubs and treats. Positive, responsible interactions are welcomed in farmed animal rescue sanctuaries.

2. Buy kind vegan fare.

Instead of contributing to the supply and demand chain of animal cruelty, choose vegan fare. Tofurky, Gardein, Beyond, Impossible are just a few of the burgers, crispy tenders, sausages that are affordable and available in your neighborhood grocery store.

Daiya, Miyoko’s, Follow Your Heart, Kite Hill, Tofutti all have scrumptious cheeses. So Delicious, Silk, Elmhurst, Oatmilk join a line up of plant milks. JUST Egg is the newest egg replacement that makes great omelettes. I sauté garlic, onion, orange pepper, spices, and then add the JUST Egg with some nutritional yeast and Daiya cheddar slices. So good. Don’t even get me started on all of the ice creams that are vegan now and so delish. Yum.

3. Decide compassion is the fashion.

I was shopping at T.J. Maxx when I discovered a cream-colored vegan leather motorcycle jacket with flower embroidery all over it. When I say the big label on it saying “vegan pleather” for $29.95 it was sold! The animal skin industry is extremely cruel – ostriches, alligators, emus, foxes, mink, sheep, wolves, snakes, as well as calves and cows all suffer. There are loads of alternatives today – most major fashion labels are not using real fur anymore. I am thrilled when I go into stores and ask for vegan shoes, the sales people know exactly what I am talking about!

Thank you for caring enough to read the Animal Heroes column. For more details go to


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