Nineteen-Year-Old Helps 'Veganize' Campus With Tips From peta2
Sarah Lawrence College sophomore Shakira Croce has won a College Activist Award from peta2—the world's largest youth animal rights organization—for her unrelenting and successful efforts to make vegan food widely available on campus. Croce is also being recognized for her work focusing attention on the downside of animal testing and the upside of adopting companion animals from shelters.
Visit any of Sarah Lawrence's three dining halls and the first thing you'll notice is the abundance of delicious vegetarian and vegan options, including the entirely meatless menu at the Health Food Bar. Students Promoting Awareness of Animal Rights—an organization that Croce started at her Gainesville, Ga., high school—has worked with the Sarah Lawrence administration and foodservice staff to increase the number and variety of vegan meals and make them more visible to students. Croce knows a thing or two about vegetarian food: She kicked the meat habit when she was 12 after learning about the cruelty of factory farming on PETA's Web site.
Croce is very proud of Sarah Lawrence for being one of the first colleges in the nation to adopt a written policy stipulating that students be provided with alternatives to dissection.
Furthermore, when she noticed that the college was buying cleaning supplies that were cruelly tested on animals, she and her group persuaded the school to switch to cruelty-free products.
In her "spare" time, you'll find Croce passing out PETA leaflets and other literature both on campus and in the local community. She has also invited PETA and peta2 staff members to the campus to speak on a variety of animal rights issues, including the benefits of going vegetarian, the problems with wearing fur and leather, and the cat and dog overpopulation crisis.
"Being an activist for the animals has been one of the most rewarding activities in my life," says Croce. "There was a time when I wasn't aware of the abuses of animals killed for food, but when I found out, I wanted to do something about it. Now, I want to help others learn how they can help stop animal suffering too."
For more information, please visit peta2.com or click here.