Burnaby teen Kingston Z. Walters - a.k.a King Zoom the Vegan Kid - is a 15-year-old animal activist who is garnering international attention.
Walters is just back from a conference hosted in Florida by the group Animal Hero Kids, winning an award for his kindness towards animals and being asked to be the Canadian ambassador for the organization.
This only validates the work Walters has done to promote veganism and kindness to animals. He has his own website and posts videos on YouTube. He’s also written two books, King Zoom and the Great Seal Pup Rescue (2015) andKing Zoom the Vegan Kid (2018).
He recently waited for three hours at Vancouver City Hall chambers to speak for two minutes to ask that the new St. Paul’s Hospital use the latest technologies for research that don't use animals. He has also worked on the campaign to end cetaceans in captivity both at the Vancouver Aquarium and Canada wide (Bill S-203) by speaking to senators and local parks board government.
The NOW asked Walters how all of this started.
“I was born vegan,” he said. “So eating a whole food, plant-based diet was normal for me. I grew up drinking soy and almond milk, and vegan cheese. When I was young and was offered animals at birthday parties or with relatives our in school, that’s when I started to ask questions. To me it didn't make sense why people were eating animals. At an early age, I was educated on the realities of the lives of animals used for food and it was easy for me to maintain my veganism. Vegan food is so good and healthy and doesn't hurt animals it just seems the right thing to do.”
Most of his friends are vegan and they have bonded over the same healthy lifestyle, he said.
So, why is he so committed to spreading this message?
“Often people are just unaware of what is happening to animals,” Walters said. “Our North American society is very removed from our food system; everything is packaged in neat packages that do not reflect the truth of what happened to that animal. They say that animals are voiceless, but that is really not true. They cry and they scream - we just cannot hear them or we choose to ignore them. I feel that it is my duty to educate people about the truth behind animal exploitation and hope that they will see what I see. I love my dog just as much as any other species and I hope that the world will feel that someday.”