Sharon Spitz, a geeky girl with a tin grin, is everybody's favorite teen 'toon. Why? Because the spunky star of TVs Braceface is completely clued in when it comes to animals. Sharon is a vegan animal rights activistjust like the famous actor who provides her voice: Alicia Silverstone. Alicia, who is also Braceface's executive producer, says she wants to "show kids that there are alternative ways to do things and that they can live their lives differently."
The Meat of the Matter
Alicia's animated alter ego, Sharon, goes veg after taking a part-time job at a meat-packing plant, where her crush, Alden, works. When Sharon makes the connection between the terrified animals she sees in the stockyard and the beef burgers and chicken nuggets she used to scarf down, she chooses cows over the cute boy. Sharon quits her job, joins an animal rights group, and never eats animals again! Alicia hopes viewers will do the same. Says Alicia, going vegan is "the single best thing I've done in my life. I am so much happier and confident."
"Take responsibility and speak out for those who can't speak for themselves. Without usall of usanimals don't stand a chance."
"I couldn't look at myself in the mirror if I ate meat."
"Once I became vegan, my nails were stronger, my skin was glowing, I lost a lot of weight. Whoooaa! Is this like great karma or what?"
Want to be like Alicia? It's easy, she says. "Every day you can make little choices. Just little adjustments in your life that can change the world, that can truly change the world to be a happier place. And it's not that hard to do!"
Sharon's animal rights activism doesn't stop at the dinner table. In another episode, she refuses to cut up a frog in biology class. That's not surprising: Alicia did the same thing when she was in school. "When I was in high school, my biology teacher refused to allow me an alternative to dissecting animals," she says. "I felt frowned upon for standing up for my beliefs. No student should have to go through that." These days, many students dont have to: Eight states, including Florida, New York, and California, as well as individual school districts around the country, have policies guaranteeing kids the right to refuse to dissect.
What will Sharon tackle next? It could be anything from promoting pleather to protesting pet shops. Alicia's starred in a pro-pleather ad for PETA and was the cover girl of our guide to cruelty-free cosmetics. She also urges her fans to adopt needy animalslike she doesinstead of buying them from pet shops. "Why do people go to pet stores and breeders when there are millions of animals put to sleep every year in the United States?" asks Alicia. Good question!
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