Standing six feet tall with intricate tattoos, including the titular character of the Roald Dahl classic, “The BFG” (The Big Friendly Giant), U student Natalie Blanton is full of unique personal and academic determination. Raised around animals in Heber City, Natalie has used her time as an undergraduate and now graduate student in sociology to focus on the intersections between gender theory, animal studies and justice. Her work includes founding an animal rights activism group, You for Animal Liberation, that is creating greater vegan awareness on campus; speaking at various city-wide protests for animal activism; being a volunteer at Ching Farm Rescue & Animal Sanctuary; and sitting on the board of Sage Mountain: An Advocate for Farm Animals. Additionally, Natalie organized a campus event for food justice, attended by about 150 people. Recently, she was awarded a fellowship in foreign language studies to learn Hindi to further her research surrounding the treatment of animals, globally. “Our globalized world is built on the backs of animals and marginalized communities of people,” Blanton said. “Every meal, every purchase, every decision can be made to honor, respect and not harm living beings.”
Find this article and a lot more in the 2016 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.