Many of us have had to stand up to our teacher and say that dissecting an animal is wrong. Could you imagine if your teacher laughed at you and held a baggie of dead frogs in your face? Well, that’s what happened to Street Teamer Sarah Wingo, in Fort Myers, FL—despite the fact that Florida has a statewide dissection choice policy.
Instead of being bullied into dissecting animals with the rest of the class, Sarah reported her teacher’s behavior, and within days, her story made national news! For her bravery and dedication, Sarah will receive a “Compassionate Action Award” from us here at peta2 (awesome, right?).
Check out what Sarah has to say about her experience below!
Why do you choose not to dissect animals?
I choose not to dissect animals because I feel that no animals should be hurt, injured, harmed, or treated badly in any way, and especially in this case when we have other assignments that give you the same information and while doing so, we’re saving thousands of harmless animals’ lives.
How has your daily life at school changed since your teacher laughed at you and put a baggie of frogs on your desk?
My daily life has changed dramatically. I hadn’t expected anything like this to happen. I felt it was something that I just had to tell about, and I told one person and now half of the world knows! A lot more people know who I am, and some teachers are proud of me, and some teachers despise me—but I’m proud of myself and what I believe in.
Tell me about the impact that you’ve had on your fellow students for standing up for animals.
Lots of students are telling me how they are proud of what I did, and wish they could have stood up for their beliefs like I did. I’ve set a different vibe at my school. But it’s a good vibe that I’m proud of.
Are your parents supportive of your involvement with animal rights?
My parents are the only reason I’m where I am today! When I had first become vegetarian they all thought it was a phase. My mom was going along with it, but didn’t think it would last, and my dad … well, my dad wasn’t so happy! As time went on and I came to prove my reasoning for my place as an animal rights activist they’ve come to understand it. They now support me more than I would ever imagine they would! They are helping me figure out new ways to stay healthy, and more ways to save animals. They are always there to back me up when a time comes that other people don’t understand. And I couldn’t thank them enough for all the love, and support they have given me through this wonderful journey.
Why did you go vegetarian?
My friend is a vegetarian and at first I thought she was crazy. When I saw “Meet Your Meat,” I was terrified! I never realized how animals were being treated. I was referred to peta2 and that’s how this wonderful life changing journey began.
You’re such an inspiration (to peta2 staff, and to your fellow Street Teamers). What advice do you have for other Street Teamers that want to make a difference at their school?
Why thank you! I’m glad that I’ve made a great impact on so many people! The best advice I can give is that you can’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to go around school with peta2 pins on your shirt, and stickers covering your binder! Don’t be afraid of the little people who spend their time making fun of you. Be proud of who you are, and what you do!
Is your class dissecting animals this semester?
Remember, your voice can help millions of animals that are killed each year for dissection!