GREAT FALLS, Va. (WDVM) — 13-year-old Josephine DeBellis sits on her living room sofa Thursday morning. Her dog is keeping her company, and so is her rescue pig, Franny.
“She’s just the best,” said DeBellis. “I love her more than anything or anyone.”
DeBellis and her mom were returning from a trip in southwest Virginia when they say they spotted one-and-a-half-year-old Frannie in a box on the side of the road. The box said “Free Bacon.” After her rescue, Josephine and Franny became fast friends.
“She loves butternut squash, she loves bananas, she loves belly rubs, she loves playing outside, she loves cuddles; she’s obsessed with music,” said DeBellis, who tells Franny’s story through her nonprofit, The Franny Project.
DeBellis says her organization is a way of showing people pigs are smart; smarter than dogs, cats, and four-year-old children.
“In the U.S., for example, we’d be appalled if someone had a dog in their fridge. But when someone has a pig in their fridge, it’s just considered normal. It’s just food. And Million Dollar Vegan is trying to challenge that,” said DeBellis.
Million Dollar Vegan is an organization that spreads the word about the positive impacts going vegan has, especially on the environment and on your health. They’ve paired with Animal Hero Kids, an organization of kids encouraging other kids to go vegan, to challenge high profile people to do the same.
DeBellis is co-president of Animal Hero Kids, and she’s joined both organizations in challenging President Donald Trump to go vegan for the month of January. If he accepts, Million Dollar Vegan will donate $1 million to a veterans’ charity of his choice.
“We want a healthy person leading this country. We don’t want someone who’s at risk of a heart attack or who has extremely high cholesterol and veganism can help reduce those risks,” DeBellis said.
DeBellis says Trump is expected to travel to Florida in a few weeks. Million Dollar Vegan has posted billboards along the road immediately outside the airport. There are also billboards around the White House.
If the president doesn’t accept the challenge, DeBellis says it’s not a wash. “The main point is not just to get this one person to go vegan; it’s to get all their followers to follow their lead and go vegan with them. It’s causing people to think about veganism more; even if they don’t know what veganism is.”
Last time around, Million Dollar Vegan challenged Pope Francis to go vegan. He declined its offer.