'Marvel's Hero Project' Star Nabs Libby Award for Being a Mighty Animal Defender
For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2019
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Long Beach, Calif. – For being an outspoken animal rights proponent and inspiring countless people to go vegan, 13-year-old Genesis Butler has been named PETA’s Young Animal Activist of the Year, as part of PETA’s 14th annual Libby Awards. “Libby” is short for “liberation”—as in “animal liberation”—and the awards recognize the most powerful players on the animal rights scene.
As one of the stars of Marvel’s Hero Project, a documentary series highlighting young heroes who are tackling big issues, Genesis will be getting an even bigger platform to share her pro-vegan message with the world—although she’s already made much headway on her own. At just 10 years old, she gave a highly viewed TEDx Talk, slamming the meat and dairy industries for contributing to the global climate crisis, and she’s even urged Pope Francis to go vegan for Lent. She’s also an outspoken advocate for animals on social media, where just recently she challenged people to spare a thought for pigs in the meat industry: “I’ve seen pigs before they are going to be killed for food, so I know how terrified they are, and when I look into their eyes, I can see the abuse they’ve been through,” she wrote on Instagram. “They are just babies who want to live, just like you and I.”
“Whether she’s talking to the pope or to kids just like her, Genesis never misses an opportunity to encourage people to show compassion for animals,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA is recognizing her for being a superhero for animals every day and inspiring others to do the same.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that billions of animals are tormented and killed in the food industry every year. Chickens’ and turkeys’ throats are slit while they’re still conscious, piglets are castrated and their tails are cut off without any pain relief, and cows are hung upside down and bled to death, often while they’re still able to feel pain. Each person who goes vegan spares the lives of nearly 200 animals every year.
Genesis—who was named PETA Kids’ Cutest Vegan Kid in 2015—joins fellow 2019 award recipients Billie Eilish (Best Voice for Animals), Millie Bobby Brown (Best Side Hustle for Animals), and Greta Thunberg (Youth Role Model of the Year) and will receive a framed certificate.
PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. The group offers a free vegan starter kit full of recipes, tips, and more. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.