What is the vegan teen summit?

The Vegan Teen Summit is a virtual event which brings together teens who are interested in learning more about plant-based eating, climate activism, compassionate businesses, animal rescue and more. This event will feature speakers who are experts in their field.

The goal of this event is to enlighten teens about what they can do to change the future of our planet for the better, creating a more compassionate, healthy, and sustainable world. We intend to invite speakers from a variety of backgrounds and career paths to show young people the variety of opportunities to help animals and our planet in both non-profit and for-profit arenas.

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I’m a Sophomore in high school and have been a vegan since I was 9 years old. I have always loved animals and spend a lot of my free time volunteering at Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary, but I balance that out with volleyball.

Why did you start volunteering at Charlie’s Acres?

I went vegan at the age of 9 after I had begun to fall in love with farm animals. I visited Pigs Peace Sanctuary, and realized animal cruelty was something I would never support again. I was in search of a sanctuary near my hometown that I could volunteer at. When I was 13 I found Charlie’s Acres Farm Sanctuary, and I instantly fell in love! I have volunteered at Charlie’s Acres for almost 3 years now, and recently became their first intern this summer. As I have volunteered and interned, I have made many animal friends, but my personal favorite has to be Betty the pig!

How did you come up with the idea?

As the summer boredom hit due to Coronavirus, I found myself attending virtual YEA (Youth Empowered Action) Camp. I was inspired to make a bigger difference over the week. At the end of camp each camper makes an action plan, and that’s when the idea hit! I wanted to create a space where teens could come together virtually and learn what kinds of interesting careers are out there and how you can make positive change in the world while still pursuing your passions. And so the virtual Vegan Teen Summit was born!

The panel names for the teen summit have interesting names. What was the idea behind that?

We named the panels after the excuses people might give for not wanting to go vegan or not considering a vegan job path. So the first day has a panel called “But what if I don’t care about animals?” and will feature people who are working towards the same goal, even if their motives are different. If you don’t care about animals, you can still enjoy hearing from professionals who advocate for veganism for the sake of social justice and the environment. The whole point we’re trying to make is to show that there are so many out of the box ways to incorporate veganism, compassion, and sustainability into your work.

If someone is not a teenager, can they still attend the summit?

Absolutely! Any person who wants to learn more about creative ways to incorporate activism and sustainability into your career is encouraged to participate.

Is this event only for vegans?

Nope! All are invited to join. This event will feature speakers who incorporate veganism into their work.

How did you choose your panelists for the Vegan Teen Summit?

We really wanted to focus on choosing a diverse group of speakers so we reached out to people from all different fields and backgrounds. We could not be more thrilled with the response that we got and have speakers from Olympic Athletes, artists, chefs, sanctuary founders, activists, filmmakers, and people working in the corporate world. We also wanted to be sure to pick a good amount of speakers who are themselves teens such as climate activist Sarah Goody and animal rescue founder Kira Kiesler. I’m personally most excited to hear from Haile Thomas, an awesome chef and youth health advocate as I’ve been following her for awhile and recently got her cookbook as a Christmas gift.

How can I join?

Check out our registration page at https://charliesacres.salsalabs.org/VeganTeenSummit. Be sure to also follow us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/veganteensummit/ for some great additional content.

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