L.A. Teen Nabs Award for Rallying Her Peers to Help Animals

peta2 Recognizes High School Student for Organizing Vegan Food Giveaways, Shelter Donation Drives, and More

For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2017

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Los AngelesDesiree Hernandez started the first animal rights group at Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School, organized a donation drive to support her local open-admission animal shelter, and held a dairy-free smoothie giveaway at her high school to promote vegan food—and when it comes to the 17-year-old’s activism for animals, those are just for starters. For her outstanding efforts, peta2, PETA’s youth division, is presenting her with its Hero to Animals Award.

Hernandez has participated in PETA demonstrations—such as by dressing as a pig to march with PETA in the Echo Park Community Parade—and even took to the streets to organize her own protest against keeping wild animals in captivity at the Los Angeles Zoo. Because many of her classmates are environmentally conscious, her first action for 2017 is organizing a screening of the hard-hitting documentary Cowspiracy, which reveals the meat industry’s devastating impact on the planet. And all year long, she’ll be part of peta2’s Youth Advisory Board, offering her suggestions for ways to make peta2 campaigns bigger and better.

“peta2 is recognizing Desiree Hernandez for igniting a fire of animal rights activism at her school,” says peta2 Senior Director Marta Holmberg. “From vegan food giveaways to shelter drives to film screenings, she’s shining a spotlight on ways that all of her peers can help animals.”

Anyone can be a hero to animals by choosing vegan meals, refusing to wear fur, and always adopting rather than buying companion animals. peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—is featuring Hernandez on its Heroes page. She’ll also receive a framed certificate.

For more information on ways that young people can help animals, please visit peta2.com.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind