Happy Veggie Kids: Olivia!  »

This is Olivia with her friend Ruby! Olivia is almost five. Happy early bday, O! She’s from Nevada City, CA. and her mom has a cool vegan baking biz: Allison’s Gourmet. OMG that stuff looks GOOD! Olivia must be living the yummy vegan life. Jealous.

What is your favorite food?
Pink Beans. [Ed. note: whaa? Is this a real thing? I love pink food!]

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Olivia: Chocolate strawberry with cherries on top.

Why are you vegan?
Olivia: Because we don’t want to hurt other animals.

Do you like being vegan? Why?
Olivia: Yes, it’s fun ‘cause you can eat yummier stuff than turkey and junk like that. Mom: What’s yummier stuff?
Olivia: You know, kale, and stuff like that.

Is it ever hard to be vegan?
Olivia: No, it’s fun to be vegan. Especially for your tummy because it doesn’t have to process a bunch of junk.

What do your friends think about you being vegan?
Um, I don’t really know how to answer that one. I haven’t asked them.

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Olivia: Ruby, the pig at Animal Place because I’ve known her since she was a baby. [Ed. note: AHHDORBS]

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Pink dinosaurs? I don’t know what pink dinosaurs are so I don’t really know if I like them. But yeah, I’ll draw one for you! 

Olivia offers this final note: “If you’re not vegan, I want you to be vegan. Because it’s fun.

As usual, if you have a vegan or vegetarian kid who wants to do the interview, email me!


Eleven-year-old raises $150,000 for Gulf Coast birds. What have you done for me lately?  »

Damn, 11-year-old, way to make us look bad! Olivia, a young bird-lover, was totally saddened by the images of pelicans and other birds covered in oil after the BP oil spill and wanted to do something about it! So she offered her services to the Audubon Society:

Dear Audubon Society:

As you all are aware of, the oil spill in the Gulf is devistating [sic]. My mom has already donated a lot of money to help, but I have an idea that may also help. I am a decent drawer, and I was wondering if I could sell some bird paintings and give the profits to your organization.

OMGJesus how adorable? Olivia started selling her bird paintings and sold 500 in three weeks, garnering over $150,000. She’s now illustrated a book, Olivia’s Birds, the proceeds of which go to the Audubon Society’s conservation program. What the hell was I doing when I was 11? Watching Jem and eating Fundip. What a jerk.


Guest post: Calling all California voters! Support SB 917!  »

[Olivia, celebrity pig!]

In 2004, a teenage girl witnessed the sale of potbellied piglets in a parking lot. Concerned, she approached the individual and inquired about the pigs. The man stated some were sold for pets, a couple for meat, and the last one would possibly be purchased by someone who would eventually eat her. Appalled, the girl implored the man to give her the piglet. Moved by her emotional response, he obliged, and the young woman left with a squirming, screaming pig.

Later, she and her parents called Animal Place and shared the story of the piglet. The sanctuary, already home to seven potbellied pigs, agreed to take in the animal. She was later named Olivia and is a crowd favorite at tours, with her rotund belly and drama-queen personality.

When the family asked us about the legalities of selling animals in parking lots, Animal Place explained it was allowed in California. In fact, animals can be sold alongside highways, at carnivals and boardwalks, and at any public right of way. There is no legal oversight or protection given to these animals.

In 2009, Animal Place, along with several other animal welfare organizations, worked with then-California state Assemblyman Ted Lieu to ban the practice of selling animals at flea markets and in parking lots. Unbeknown to us, there is a flea market coalition in California that apparently has more clout than an association of animal advocacy groups—the bill ended up failing.

But Mr. Lieu did not give up. This year, as a senator, he has introduced SB 917, which not only bans the sale of animals in certain areas but also tightens up the penalties for animal abuse. The bill would prohibit puppies and kittens from being sold out of boxes in supermarket parking lots. It would stop the practice of selling amphibians, reptiles and other species alongside highways and streets. It is sadly ridiculous that this law needs to be introduced at all—every city and county should have already banned these practices in the state.

It exempts livestock auctions, 4-H/FFA events, public/private animal shelters, state/county/city fairs, and live animal markets. Which is great for shelters, so they can continue offering meet and greets for adoptable animals, not so great for farmed animals and smaller animals who will still be sold with no legal protection at auctions and flea markets, but it’s a great start to solving a serious animal welfare problem.

Passing a bill is no easy task, and this bill will face its own hurdles. Californians can help by voicing their support for SB 917—that is a very simple thing to do!

If you can only write one letter or make one phone call, make sure to contact Senator Lieu and thank him for introducing SB 917, providing such basic, commonsense protections to the animals:

The Honorable Ted Lieu
State Capitol, Room 4090
Sacramento, CA, 95814

Phone: (916) 651-4028. All you need to say is that you are a registered California voter and want to express your support of SB 917, done!

Want to make more of an impact? ContactPublic Safety Committee Chair Senator Loni Hancock and urge her support of SB 917:

The Honorable Loni Hancock
State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA  9581

The first hearing for SB 917 is scheduled for Apr. 12, so get your letters and phone calls in soon! It’s so easy to make a difference for animals, all you need to do is pen a short letter or make a brief phone call! Olivia thanks you—but only if you give her vegan cupcakes first.

Marji Beach is the ridiculously awesome Education Manager for Animal Place. She’s super smart, so you should listen to her.


Olivia of Do You Want Whole Food, or Do You Want the Truth? made these super-scrumptious-looking cookies & cream cupcakes for her sister’s 18th birthday. Awesome sister, great job, Olivia! She used recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and reports that they were indeed “marvelous.”

Olivia of Do You Want Whole Food, or Do You Want the Truth? made these super-scrumptious-looking cookies & cream cupcakes for her sister’s 18th birthday. Awesome sister, great job, Olivia! She used recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and reports that they were indeed “marvelous.”

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