Today, many youth activists around the world advocate to change society, hoping that their voices would raise awareness and impact others. Sophomore Alyssa Yao is one of them, standing for animal rights.
Yao first developed an interest in animal rights activism after going vegan.
“I went completely vegan [in] August of eighth grade. Before I had taken little steps [to become a vegan], but that’s when I decided to cut [all animal products] off.” explains Yao.
Yao ultimately decided to become vegan for numerous reasons. One of them was watching a documentary film about intensive factory farming, ‘Forks Over Knives’, after her mother’s recommendation.
“[Watching the documentary] created a spark in me. It made me think, ‘Why are we doing this to innocent animals that have done nothing wrong to us?’” said Yao, “By purchasing animal products, we’re supporting this. The only way for it to stop is for us to stop supporting it.”
The spark eventually developed into something bigger that led Yao to become an activist.
Said Yao, “[As an activist], in general I would explain to other people about what made me go vegan, if they ask about it. I’ve also attended the Cube of Truth a couple of times.”
A Cube of Truth is a peaceful street activism demonstration by an organization called Anonymous for the Voiceless. Activists participating in the Cube of Truth act for animal rights while wearing an ‘Anonymous’ mask.
“[Activists participating in the Cube of Truth] go to places that have heavy traffic and show clips of standard industry practices of factories. People who walk by have the choice to enlighten themselves about what they are supporting, and they can ask questions about the video.” explains Yao, “The purpose of [a Cube of Truth] is to not get people to convert to being vegan but it’s to get them thinking about what they support. At the end of the day, we are just trying to be a voice for the voiceless.”
When Yao first chose to become a vegan, she may have not known that it would be something that she strongly stands by for. Nonetheless, it is a choice that she will never regret.
Said Yao, “It is important to know how your actions affect others. Every little step counts.”