Our 100th Grantee of 2013 is Thomas Ponce, a Florida 12 year old who recently launched Lobby for Animals.  Lobby for Animals is a website that provides timely, relevant, user-friendly tools and resources to animal rights activists of all ages to support them in lobbying their representatives and take action on issues affecting farmed animals, pets, animals used in entertainment, animal testing and more.  Lobby for Animals will offer video instruction on proposing bills, making convincing phone calls and writing highly effective letters.  Thomas has already created a video on Lobbying Tips and plans to produce several more to help animal supporters of all ages to be effective in their lobbying efforts.

With ten “Ag Gag” bills (making it illegal to blow the whistle on malicious and cruel practices inside of factory farms) coming before State Legislatures in 2013, it is more important than ever that people who care about animals speak up in the political system.

As Thomas says, “We have to remember, we are speaking up for those who can’t speak up for themselves; we are the voice of the voiceless and we need to be heard!”

Ingrid Newkirk and Thomas

Thomas started his career as an animal rights activist at age 4.  He attended his first protest at age 5, and now, at age 12, has won several awards and accolades from PETA, and his City Commissioner’s Office, and with support from his mentor, animal rights attorney Jessica Astrof, Thomas was named co-chair of the lobby day committee that will be speaking and training at the 2013 Animal Rights Conference in Washington DC.

A strong passion for Thomas is educating people on the horrors of shark finning- the practice of cruelly removing shark fins and then discarding the still living shark into the ocean to die slowly and painfully.  He is a Regional Coordinator for Fin Free Florida and also works with Shark Angels to shed light on this issue.

Thomas came to The Pollination Project thanks to Whitney Calk, Ingrid Newkirk and our friends at PETA.

Read the Huffington Post Article:  100 Days, 100 Grants to 100 Inspiring People.

Read the Our Hen House Article:  Pint Sized Visionary:  12 Year Old Activist Wants Us to Lobby for Animals.