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Kids Changing the World

Occasionally I see posts from animal advocates encouraging a childless lifestyle. While I understand the dangers of an overpopulated world, we must not forget that there are terrific activist kids out there, their voices incredibly powerful because of their youth. This holiday season I celebrate a few  and wish them and the others that will surely follow good speed!

Alyssa Grayson – was named by HSUS Kind Kid of 2012. She was in fifth DSC_00292-300x178grade at the time. After starting a wolf club in second grade, Alyssa learned all she could about her favorite animals. Today, she gives presentations about protecting wolves at libraries and schools. In fact, she’s become such a wolf expert that she was appointed as the first junior advisor to the National Wolfwatcher Coalition. I met Alyssa this past fall at a walk to oppose the de-listing of the gray wolf in the lower 48.  She’s articulate, passionate, and a role model for all of us.  See her in action at

Nirmala Toppo – 14 years old. India. Last  June, a herd of elephants from nearby forests entered a residential area in the city of Rourkela. Before the wild 470_2714893animals could wreak havoc on the town, authorities got hold of Nirmala, whom they call “Tarzan Girl,” because of her ability to communicate with elephants. Nirmala rushed from her village to a football field in the city where the elephants were temporarily being held. “First I pray and then talk to the herd,” the teen told the BBC. “They understand what I say. I tell them this is not your home. You should return where you belong.” The elephants started walking with her. In fact, they walked with her for miles as she continued to speak with them and guide them back to the forest.

Jasmine Polsinelli – 11 years old. Ontario. Jasmine has been active in helping people understanding how animals are exploited as a commodity since the age of 8. Her love for coyotes is the drive behind her current campaign to raise awareness about the inhumane practice of using body traps and snares, and to ask large companies such as Canada Goose to use cruelty-free products in their jackets.  She writes on her blog, “I am a normal 11 year old girl, but what is normal? I’ve been vegan all my life. Never eaten, worn or ridden an animal. I have two dogs and four cats who are all rescues. I attend vigils to help people understand what happens to the animals that are used for food, clothing and entertainment. My best friend and I talk almost every day for hours on the phone until our parents kick us off. I’ve held a dying animal in my arms. This is my normal life…”  Here she is being interviewed on Defender’s Radio: 

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