Throughout the week, we saw her open up more, and in the years since then, as well as when she attended YEA Camp again in 2015, we have been blown away by the amount of activism she has done. In fact, PETA2 named her the “Coolest Vegan Alive“(!!) when she was just 16! She also recently was given a grant by The Pollination Project to expand her microsanctuary!
Phoebe agreed to let us interview her to learn more about her activism efforts.
1. Tell us about the activism you’ve been doing.
I have a microsanctuary, called Phoebe’s Friends Microsanctuary, which is a small sanctuary for rescued farmed animals. I currently care for three pigs who were rescued from a laboratory, two goats whose guardians were unable to care for them, and chickens who were raised by a cockfighting breeder and saved from slaughter. We host groups of children and teach them compassion for all animals. I also do outreach, art activism, and volunteer work with various organizations, such as serving on peta2‘s Youth Advisory Board for three years.
2. How did you get involved with activism and what you’re currently working on?
I first got involved with activism when I got a PETA Kids book when I was 11. Early on I mostly wrote letters to companies who exploit animals and talked to my friends about going vegan. My family had already been caring for goats and chickens when we found out about the Microsanctuary Movement in 2015. We began identifying as a microsanctuary, and since then we have been rescuing more animals and educating children about them.
3. What challenges have you faced as an activist and how have you dealt with them?
My biggest challenge is being very shy. During my first few years of activism I wasn’t very comfortable talking to people. Instead of being too afraid to do anything, I just found something I did feel comfortable doing: art activism and animal care. After a while I decided that I wanted to be able to do outreach, so I knew I would have to start trying. I volunteered with peta2 at Warped Tour for the first time in 2015. Going up to people and talking to them about SeaWorld was so scary. I would freeze up and forget my talking points. It started to get a little easier though, and now I’ve volunteered with them for the past three summers. Each time it got easier and more fun.
Find an organization and/or a mentor to work with. If you don’t feel comfortable with a certain type of activism, find what works for you. Educate yourself on your issue and be prepared to answer people’s questions.
6. What activist goals do you have in the future?
When I transfer to a four-year university, I want to apply to be a peta2 Campus Rep. After that, I think I either want to either work at a full-scale farm sanctuary or run my own.
Phoebe Collver-Freeland is an eighteen-year-old animal rights advocate and YEA Camp Alumni from Fremont, California, who attended YEA Camp Oregon in 2013 and YEA Camp New York in 2015.