A Bar Mitzvah Celebration for Animals!

Advocating for animals can be a celebration. Just ask Evan Star-Erdman, the son of PETA Vanguard Society members Darren Star and Dennis Erdman—his bar mitzvah promoted vegan living and animal rights. The festivities included an all-vegan menu, and instead of giving out gift bags to his guests, Evan opted for a chocolate bar shaped like a bone that read, “Bone voyage,” and included a message saying the money that would have gone toward goodie bags instead went to PETA! We sat down with Evan to hear the details about his personal party for animals.

What inspired you to choose compassion for animals at your bar mitzvah?

My dad has been involved with animal rights and welfare, and I was raised to believe that humans should be advocates for animals since there are so many ways that they are abused and suffering.

Why was PETA your organization of choice?

My dad has been involved with PETA for many, many years. He’s even taken me to PETA events before.

What was served at the party?

Different kinds of pasta, vegetable dishes, grains, salads, and fruit desserts.

What part of the celebration was your favorite?

I liked dancing with my friends and playing games. After the party, it was especially nice to see the gift baskets asking people to support PETA and then to see people supporting animals days after the party.

What was the response from your nonvegan friends and family?

It actually never came up. Everyone just accepted what was served, especially because it tasted so good!

Tell us more about how your bar mitzvah helped animals.

Everyone was sent home with a goody bag, and the only thing in the bag was an acknowledgment of PETA’s good work.

Any advice for other young people who want to incorporate animal rights into their big celebrations?

Pick an animal organization where you live or really just anywhere, and when you invite your friends and family, tell them that, rather than gifts, they should make a donation to that organization.

Do you have more plans for activism as you get older?

I don’t have a specific plan, but of course, I plan to be a supporter of animal rights and welfare as I get older.

What is your favorite vegan treat?

There’s an açaí bowl from a place near my house that I get all the time!