Mililani, Hawaii — Fifteen-year-old Mililani resident Alvin Park has won an "Outstanding Activist" Award from peta2—the world's largest youth animal rights organization—for his unrelenting fight to get KFC to stop its suppliers' worst abuses of chickens and for his protests of the cruel fur industry.
When he was just 3 years old, Park saw an elephant named Tyke rampage through the streets of Honolulu. Tyke had killed her trainer after being forced to perform in a circus. What happened next changed Park's attitude toward animals forever. "The police ended up shooting [Tyke] multiple times," he recalls. "After that, I realized that animals didn't belong in circuses."
Park—who went vegetarian at age 13 after watching PETA's shocking video "Meet Your Meat"—has been spearheading local action as part of peta2's international "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" campaign and organizing regular protests at KFC restaurants. KFC suppliers breed and drug chickens to grow so fast that many become crippled under the weight of their massive upper bodies. Many have their throats slit and are scalded to death in defeathering tanks while they are still conscious. Park has also protested the Canadian seal hunt and the Jungle Fun store in Honolulu's Ala Moana Mall, which sells toys that are made of rabbit fur.
"I left anti-fur stickers and leaflets around the [toys] and voiced my opinion about it rather loudly, despite angry glares from employees," says Park, a sophomore at Mililani High School. "This store doesn't seem to care that it's profiting off the bloody deaths of millions of animals."
Park will receive a certificate for his efforts, and he is featured on peta2.com as an inspiration to peta2's more than 220,000 "Street Team" members. Also featured on peta2.com are celebrity interviews, message boards, merchandise, downloadable voice-mail recordings, and chances to win great prizes like free concert tickets, iPods, and more.