For actively campaigning for recognition of animals’ personhood and protection as the leader of the local hub of Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS)—a PETA-backed, youth-led revolt against the old-fashioned idea that all other animals are here for the benefit of humans—University of Colorado–Boulder junior Paige Scatena has been named PETA’s Activist of the Year, beating out contenders from across the country. The award is part of PETA’s 15th annual Libby Awards (“Libby” as in animal liberation) recognizing the most effective and committed players on the animal rights scene.
Scatena, who is also the president of the student group Vegan Justice League, has organized pandemic-aware protests against cruelty to pigs in the meat industry, encouraged others to post signs against dolphin captivity on social media, and led a protest against Free People as part of PETA’s “The Face of Fashion Is Fear“ campaign. In her (limited) downtime, she enjoys cuddling with her adopted pot-bellied pig, Daisy.
“Whether she’s taking to the streets or using social media to speak up for animals, Paige Scatena is determined to have all animals afforded respect and understanding,” says PETA Director of the SOS Program Rachelle Owen. “PETA is recognizing her for being a force for good and a champion for human kindness and the interests of all species.”
PETA—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—joins Scatena in encouraging everyone to combat speciesism by buying cosmetics that weren’t tested on animals, choosing vegan food and fashion, staying away from animal circuses, and otherwise rejecting the exploitation of all animals.
The many 2020 Libby Award recipients include Selena Gomez for her vegan and cruelty-free makeup line, Lizzo for her vegan cooking videos, and Riverdale star Madelaine Petsch for her social media posts against exploiting animals by keeping them in captivity. Past Libby Award recipients include Billie Eilish, Greta Thunberg, and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.
Winners were determined by PETA based on equal consideration of the number of votes received, the nominees’ enthusiasm for animal rights, and the interest shown by the nominees’ supporters. Scatena will receive a framed certificate.
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