Kate Mara, Travon Free, and Tabitha Brown to be honored at star-studded gala benefiting Mercy For Animals

Mara, Free, and Brown will unite to promote positive and necessary shifts toward a compassionate food system

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 13, 2024) — Today Mercy For Animals announced the honorees for its 25th-anniversary gala to be held on Saturday, April 20, 2024: Kate Mara, Travon Free, and Tabitha Brown will be recognized for their contributions to eradicating our cruel food system and replacing it with one that is not just kind to animals but essential for the future of our planet and all who share it. Mercy For Animals is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to ending industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system.

Actress, producer, and activist Kate Mara and Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer, director, producer, and comedian Travon Free will be honored with the Community Changemaker Award for their work as executive producers of the documentary “The Smell of Money,” a story about the power of love for one’s family and community to triumph over even the largest forces of injustice. The film calls on viewers to see the people behind what’s on our plates—and to join the fight for a better future for all. 

Tabitha Brown, actress, New York Times bestselling author, vegan foodie, and winner of the Emmy Award and NAACP Image Award, will be presented with the esteemed Love & Light Award. The Love & Light Award recognizes the myriad ways Ms. Brown has used her social platforms and eclectic creative and business endeavors to uplift, inspire, and empower a global audience of millions to embrace plant-based living and love all beings. Ms. Brown has been a major collaborator of the organization since 2018, so this award also honors the many collective efforts that would not have been possible without her.  

“Mercy For Animals honors those boldly fighting injustices and cruelties in our food and farming systems,” said Leah Garcés, CEO and president of Mercy For Animals. “Tabitha Brown, Kate Mara, and Travon Free stand as champions in the creation of the compassionate and just world we envision. We call on all who share our vision of a kinder, more sustainable world to uplift these changemakers in recognition of their inspiring efforts at our 25th-anniversary gala.”

Join us for this milestone event as animal advocates, environmental leaders, and food-tech pioneers look to the next 25 years and more of creating a world where all animals are respected, protected, and free.

The star-studded program will also feature inspiring musical performances and additional celebrity appearances to be announced soon. 

Mercy For Animals is grateful for the generous partners who help make our vital work possible: Hero sponsors ASPCA and Carol House Furniture; Changemaker sponsor Breyer; Defender sponsor VegNews magazine; Advocate sponsors Bramble Pets, Joyful Ventures, Mobius, MUTTS Comics, Petrichor Vineyards, and VGAN Chocolate; and Protector sponsors Dr. Bronner’s All-One, Just Ice Tea, Konscious Foods, LEAP for Animals, Michelson Found Animals, New School Foods, Prime Roots, Pura Vita, Southern Roots Vegan Bakery, and Upton’s Naturals

Mercy For Animals is also thankful for the over 170 public figures worldwide who are supporting this landmark event and our organization as members of the Celebrity Honorary Committee

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact [email protected]

Mercy For Animals is a leading international nonprofit working to end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system. Active in Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, and the United States, the organization has conducted over 100 investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses, influenced over 500 corporate policies, and helped pass historic legislation to ban cages for farmed animals. Join us at The Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala to honor those who fight for compassionate alternatives to the status quo and a world where all animals are respected, protected, and free.


Kate Mara is an actor and a film producer known for her role in the Netflix political drama “House of Cards.” Most recently, Kate starred in and executive-produced the hit Hulu miniseries “A Teacher.”


Travon Free is an Academy, Emmy, and Peabody Award-winning writer, producer, director, and comedian from Compton, California. His writing credits include “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “The Daily Show,” and “Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons.” Travon produced the Emmy Award-winning “38 at the Garden” and directed “BS High,” which premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.


Tabitha Brown satisfies the hunger of millions with her unique approach to veganism and her comedic personality. Through sharing new recipes, offering words of wisdom, enjoying a good laugh, and more, she has become “America’s Mom” to her over 13 million followers. The North Carolina-born Emmy Award-winning actress, vegan food personality, mother, and wife is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and three-time winner of the NAACP Image Award. She received her honorary doctorate from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Tabitha has acted in notable theatrical features on major networks, such as “The Chi” on Showtime; executive-produced and hosted Food Network’s first vegan cooking competition, “It’s CompliPlated”; and co-created “Tab Time,” a children’s show that she hosts. 

Tabitha is co-founder and CEO of her own healthy haircare line, Donna’s Recipe, and she has launched product lines in multiple categories with major retailer Target. Of course, Tabitha never fails to bring sunshine to everyone’s kitchens with her signature McCormick seasoning blends and mixes—because that’s her business! 

Above all, Tabitha teaches us about having faith and perseverance, paving our unique paths to realizing dreams, and being our authentic selves.