Lisa thought that John would be a perfect candidate for this award because he’s a young person who prefers to spend time educating the public about the benefits of veganism rather than hanging out with friends. She often commented that he could have been going out socializing, like so many other people his age. When she got sick, we talked a lot about the future of the Animal Rights movement and who she believed was going to have a significant impact. She listed a few up-and-coming vegan activists and John’s name was at the top of that list as a person who will make great strides for animals.
When his mother became sick, John returned home to be with her; and he spent time working in the background for Vegan Outreach. Lisa found this very moving because it was his mother who inspired him to leaflet and spread the word about animals raised as food. Lisa found it very encouraging that John accomplished so much both through leafleting, but also behind the scenes as a self-taught, social media guru. Because so many people, especially people John’s age, connect via social media, he capitalized on this trend and put it to use for animals. Lisa always said that although she felt John had a big social media presence, in person, he’s a very unassuming person and very approachable. She found that to be one of the reasons that he’s so compelling — people can relate to him on a very genuine and personal level, especially people in his age group. They don’t feel like he’s someone who knows it all and is going to criticize or argue with them. Lisa always said that she believed the lives of many animals were spared because of John’s deep passion for animals.
John Oberg was handpicked by Lisa Shapiro prior to her passing earlier this year, as an Unsung Vegan Hero winner. Lisa’s close friend, Donna Marino, shared Lisa’s input about John.