Annie: When I Was 15!

Profile photo of annie-l

Posted May 16, 2013 by Annie Leal

I had a pretty awesome time in high school—I met my very best friends there, the awkwardness from my middle school days finally started to fade away (kind of), I discovered my ultimate favorite show (Bones), and hello, it was then that I went vegan! 😀 But why tell when I can just show you?! Note: Yes, I was an awkward-looking child and didn’t discover makeup (or a mirror!) until later in life. Oh, well!

Before you get to know teenage Annie, you need to know child Annie. Like most people, I grew up saying that I loved animals, but I ate them anyway (makes no sense, I know!). Annie was sad. She didn’t want to eat cute animals, but she didn’t know any better! (Don’t you love listening to me talk in the third person—totally not annoying, right?)

Little Annie

Annie ashamed of eating meat as a little kid

Anyway, years went by, and I started high school. I was super-nervous because I didn’t know anybody at that school, but I quickly met the most amazing people ever (my besties!). It was all well and good except when it came time for me to study—I felt tired and sluggish all the time, and my stomach was always hurting (damn you, dairy!). Fun story: I puked on the bus the very first day of high school. How was I not the target of major bullying? The world will never know!

Oh, and knowing that I was eating animals I “loved” was still not cool.

High school Annie ashamed of eating meat.

But everything changed when I met my super-amazing teacher Ms. Lucia. She would talk about how she was vegetarian and how great she felt because she wasn’t supporting an industry that slaughters billions of animals every year. “Wait … I can say NO to eating animals?” I didn’t even know that was an option! I went home and that same day saw the peta2 video “Chew On This,” and it changed my life FOREVER.

I went vegan right away and felt super-happy that I was helping animals—plus, I felt way better, and my grades even improved! But I wanted to do more, so I joined the peta2 Street Team (BEST DECISION EVER)! 😀 The Street Team staff gave me super-amazing ideas on what I could do to help animals and sent me a ton of FREE stickers and leaflets! I started gathering petitions, decorating my school supplies with peta2 lit, organizing tablings, cooking yummy vegan food for my friends, and doing other super-fun peta2 missions to spread the word!

Annie as a Street Teamer

Annie pregnant.

And no, Dr. Drew, I wasn’t pregnant—I was acting for a video project for computer class, but you know I had to rock my peta2 stickers at all times! Can you spot the peta2 poster in the back? 😛

My friends also joined in on the fun and started helping me out with outreach, and many of them even went vegan!

Annie doing outreach with friend.

Yep, high school was awesome! I made a decision that improved my health, the environment, and the lives of hundreds of animals. Years later, I’m now part of the Street Team staff, which means that I get to help YOU do amazing things for animals! See? Dreams really do come true! 😀

peta2 staffers

Can you see me? :)

Want to make your high school (or college!) years life-changing for animals? Join the peta2 Street Team for FREE right now! We’ll send you ideas on what you can do to speak up for animals, and you can even get peta2 merchandise for FREE. 😀

sign up for the peta2 street team

How old were you when you started helping animals? :)

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  • Profile photo of stopthisanimalcruelty99

    896 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Awesome! :)

  • Profile photo of sandhia1

    913 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Luv u!

    • Profile photo of annie-l

      910 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


      <3 you back!

  • Profile photo of alexblue

    922 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Annie…you rock! :)

    • Profile photo of annie-l

      921 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


      Haha THANKS! 😀 😀

  • Profile photo of emiefluff

    923 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


    I can’t watch “chew on this” It makes me feel sick and sad.

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