Meet Stephanie Frankel for Animal Advocacy
Animal Advocacy on your mind? Take a peek into a day in the life of professional Director of the Human League; Stephanie Frankle.
We first met Stephanie when she was vegucating the country while working on The 10 Billion Lives Tour as a staff member of FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement). The number “10 billion” refers to the number of animals killed every year for food in the US alone and the tour involves attending festivals, music concerts and college campuses in a van that is retrofitted with 8 video/audio screens. This outreach effort, known as “Pay Per View”, encourages attendees with a $1 enticement to watch a 4 minute video that shows a glimpse into where our food comes from and the common and legal practices involved in animal agriculture. To date over 150,000 people have viewed the video. No doubt there are immeasurable positive rippling effects for our planet, our animal friends and people’s health with this form of education and outreach. The tour is exhausting and non-stop and it is the dedication and passion of folks like Stephanie who make this kind of education and outreach so successful.
Stephanie has recently embarked on a new path as the San Francisco Director at the well respected The Humane League. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy day to do this interview with Talking Tofurky.
Stephanie is our first interview in our new series “A Day in the Life”. Let us know in the comments who else you would like to see featured in this series. We’ll be choosing 5 of your comments randomly to win free Tofurky products. Read on…
Tell us a little bit about how you came to be a passionate animal lover and dedicate yourself to be a voice for animals?
I first went vegetarian when I was eight; I was in Hawaii with my family and I saw a pig being prepared for a Luau, laid out on a platter with an apple in his/her mouth. It was the first time I was really confronted with the fact that I was eating animals, and it was deeply upsetting to me. When I was 15, I started to think more about factory farming and wanted to learn more. I found PETA’s video Meet Your Meat on their website, cried through the entire thing, and I’ve been vegan ever since.
Tell us about your typical day at The Humane League . What kinds of activities are you planning?
Stephanie: Can’t say I’ve had a typical day yet! So far my days have been a mix of leafleting, scheduling and prepping for upcoming humane education presentations, meeting with university dining directors and campus groups, networking with other local activists, and organizing volunteers. And sampling all of the amazing vegan food in the Bay Area!
We know The Humane League is very keen on doing humane education in our schools. Can you tell us a bit about Humane Education and why you think this is important?
Stephanie: Our humane education presentations cover the modern agricultural system and its impact on the environment, animals, and human health. They’re designed to foster critical thinking and encourage students to value compassion and sustainability in their own lives. I think humane education, which we focus on high school students, is so effective and important because it helps us reach people at an age where they are still very open minded, and have an entire lifetime of food choices to make ahead of them.
Do you feel like one outreach effort works more effectively than another?
Stephanie: I think that all of our programs complement each other well, but the part that I believe has the greatest impact over the long-term is inspiring and training new activists, which we do through all of our programs. Someone who comes out and leaflets with us for the first time, goes vegan after seeing one of our humane ed presentations, or feels empowered to do more after winning a cage-free victory at their school might end up as one of the next leaders of the movement.
What advice would you give someone who would like to work in the animal advocacy field?
Stephanie: Volunteer! I also highly recommend interning with an organization if you have the time. All of the jobs I’ve gotten in the movement have been a result of the connections I’ve made while volunteering and interning at various animal advocacy organizations. Volunteering and interning are also a great way to figure out what types of advocacy you enjoy and where you feel like you can be the most effective.
Anything else you would like our readers to know about?
Stephanie: Join us on Facebook! You can find us at facebook.com/thehumaneleaguesanfrancisco. You can also contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to get involved in one of our other cities (Seattle, Dallas, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and New York City), email email@example.com to get in touch. We always love meeting new volunteers!
Outside of my work with The Humane League, I’m also a photographer and love sharing my photos with others. You can find those at fineartamerica.com/profiles/stephanie-frankle-.html.
Lastly, do you have a favorite Tofurky product and recipe you would like to share with our community?
Stephanie: The Italian Sausages! I love to sauté them and add one to a salad for a bit of a kick and some extra protein. When I was living on the 10 Billion Lives Tour truck we made most of our meals in a rice cooker, so it was great to have something precooked that I could just mix in with quinoa and veggies for a super yummy and filling dish. They were definitely a staple on the tour!
Thank you Stephanie for taking the time out of your day to speak with us about your work and passion. We are filled with hope for our animal friends knowing you are out there in the world doing such life saving work for our animal friends, and all of us!
Let us know if you have any questions for Stephanie and/or leave us a comment and we’ll be choosing 5 of your comments to win VIP coupons for your favorite Tofurky products. Also, be on the look out for our very exciting announcement about how you can win an all expense paid trip to the National Animal Rights conference in LA this coming July!