Where in the World is Animal Hero Kids Author/Founder Now?
At Vegan World 2026 of course!
You just never know where I will be next in this four decade long mission to prevent animal cruelty through humane education and activism.
My next stop is Mesa, Arizona, where a conference to turn the world vegan by 2026 will be mobilizing Arizona State University students and compassionate environmentalists. I am so excited to be joining co-panelists Hope Bohanec, Renee King-Sonnen, and Jane Velez-Mitchell.
The World Premiere of the documentary “Prayer for Compassion “ will also be screened during the conference on October 27.
I was invited as part of the cast for the premiere and it will be the first time I will be seeing the film, filmmaker, Thomas Jackson interviewed me at the Animal Hero Kids Great Vegan Cookie Challenge, hopefully there weren’t any tell tale cookie crumbs around my face.
Kimaya has a wish for a VeganWorld by 2026 and her grandfather, Sailesh Rao is determined to make it happen, a wish to benefit the well-being of the entire earth.
I had the occasion to ask Sailesh about his determined goal. Here’s our conversation.
What is the wish of your granddaughter, Kimaya, and why is it so important?
We wish the world to be Vegan by 2026! This is important to me because at the current rate of decline, wild animals will virtually disappear in the wild by Year ZERO : 2026. I feel that we have to do everything we can to Prevent Year ZERO from ever occurring.
This wish is important to Kimaya as well. One day, about two years ago, I was reading Kimaya a story to put her to bed. At the end of the story, she asked me:
“Grandpa, who were the first humans?”
I tried to explain to her about evolution. I said,
“Imagine that you are standing on the street, holding your mom by your hand. Then you ask your mom to get her mom to stand by her side and so on to form a long line of mothers on this side of the street. On the other side of the street, you ask a chimpanzee to do the same thing with her mother. As these two lines go from Phoenix to Tucson, they would merge. There will be only one line as both sides will say, “Hey, that’s my mother too!””
She immediately sat up in bed and said, “What?? Are you telling me that Animals are my FAMILY?”
“Yes, they are your family.”
“Then why are people eating my family? Grandpa, please make them stop! They are eating my FAMILY!”
She started bawling and to try and console her, I said, “Kimaya, it’s my job to get people to stop eating animals.”
She paused. She had not heard this job description before. She said, “Then Grandpa, you haven’t done your job! When will you do your job?”
“We have to do it by 2026, before your 16th birthday.”
“Yes, I promise.”
“Will you give me a pinky promise?”
“Yes, I will give you a pinky promise.”
“OK, you can NEVER break a pinky promise!”
Then she went to sleep.
Since that day, she is convinced that the world will go Vegan by 2026!
How do you envision the wish coming true?
I envision the wish coming true just as President Kennedy’s 1962 wish of a moon-landing by 1970 came true. Then NASA engineers envisioned what a man landing on the moon entailed – oxygen suits, a lunar module and a space craft capable of traveling to the moon and back – and went about identifying knowledge gaps, doing the necessary research and creating the requisite components for a cohesive moon landing system. Likewise, in the Vegan World 2026 Conference, we intend to envision what a Vegan world would entail – eco-governance, decentralized decision making processes, ecological currency systems, gift economy, ethical corporations, etc., – identify our knowledge gaps, form study groups to do the necessary research and create task forces to recommend “best practices” for a cohesive system of normalized nonviolence.
What is your answer to others who say it is pie in the sky-vegan pie, of course?
So did many conservative commentators deride the Apollo space program in the 1960s and the World Wide Web in the 1990s as pie in the sky. Naysaying is to be expected from those who are afraid of change, but courageous people make progress in spite of the negativity around them. As the old Chinese saying goes, “The one who says it cannot be done must not interrupt the one who is doing it.”
Do the other children at Kamiya’s school know what vegan is and what are her fave vegan foods?
Yes, they do know what vegan is. The children in Kimaya’s class have been taught not to share their food and to respect others’ choices. Kimaya’s favorite vegan foods are Dosas and Dragon Fruits.
How did the collaboration between ASU and this event occur? Do you think students will be receptive? What do you hope to accomplish?
The collaboration with ASU occurred through the courage of Prof. Lisa Barca at the Barrett Honors College, who decided that it was important for ASU students and faculty to participate in this event. Students have been very receptive to the idea of the conference. In fact, ASU’s Veg Out club will be hosting a panel discussion on preventing Year ZERO on Sunday evening after the conference at Vista del Sol theater on the Tempe Campus. We hope to induce the students and faculty at ASU to actively participate in the realization of the Vegan World 2026 vision.
Later after our conversation, I had occasion with friends to toast over a vegan afternoon tea, I found myself gleefully toasting to a Vegan World 2026, as this is a mission many people can get behind, no matter how long it has been since you have realized the suffering of other animals, or the impact animal based agriculture has on the planet.A Vegan World 2026 is a goal we all want to believe in and effectively focus and unite to realize.
Please, see more details here. http://www.climatehealers.org.
Preventing animal cruelty and promoting empathy programs can be booked here https://animalherokids.org/educate/
Help the “Animal Hero Kids” book goal of a book in each school library here. http://animalherokids.org/ellen-show-info/