San Diego Teen Takes Home peta2 Award

Caring Teen Takes On SeaWorld Through Popular YouTube Videos, Public Protests Against Cruelty to Orcas

For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

San Diego – San Diego teen and author Zach Affolter sets a high bar for helping animals in need, whether he’s mobilizing fellow students through online petitions or asking his school board to nix trips to SeaWorld. That’s why peta2, PETA’s youth division, is recognizing Zach as its 2014 Star Street Teamer of the Year in the ninth annual Libby Awards. “Libby” is for “liberation”—as in animal liberation. The winners were chosen with help from visitors to who cast votes to help peta2 decide whom it would choose as Libby Award winners. They also entered for a chance to win a giant Libby prize pack filled with goodies from last year’s winners, including a cookbook, personal-care products, and vegan treats.

As a member of peta2’s Youth Advisory Board, Zach offers constant feedback and ideas to help make peta2 bigger and better, and his work doesn’t stop there. Zach speaks up for animals in need through YouTube videos, which have garnered more than 114,000 views, and he’s even writing a novel about Lolita, the lone orca held captive at Miami Seaquarium. He can also be found protesting the imprisonment of animals at SeaWorld and other abusement parks.

“Animals are lucky to have Zach’s innovative, creative spirit on their side,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “All of peta2’s winners and nominees deserve a round of applause because they’re inspiring young people across the country to get active for animals every chance they get.”

Other Libby Award categories include Best Use of Internet Stardom for Animals, Best Vegan Cosmetics Product, and Best New Vegan Food Item. Winners were chosen by peta2—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—based on several factors, including vote count. See the full contest details here.

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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