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Long Island Resident Named Finalist in peta2’s 2013 ‘Cutest Vegan Alive’ Contest

The Vegan Revolution Is Sweeping the Country, and Young People Are Leading the Charge

For Immediate Release:
June 11, 2013

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Deer Park, N.Y. — Deer Park on Long Island could soon be the home of a national star. That’s because 20-year-old Jay Astafa has beaten out hundreds of entrants from across the country to be named one of 10 male finalists vying for the title of Cutest Vegan Alive in a contest sponsored by peta2—PETA’s youth division. Because of the fast-growing number of young people ditching eggs and dairy products, in addition to meat, this is the first time in the contest’s eight-year history that it was limited to vegans, rather than also allowing vegetarian entrants. All finalists will receive a certificate, and the two winners—one male and one female—will also win a professional photo shoot and star in their own peta2 ad.

“Jay is a perfect example of a young person who’s determined to make the world a kinder place,” says peta2 Director Marta Holmberg. “Young people who go vegan show respect for animals, the environment, and their own bodies, and that makes all of them cute in our book.”

Jay is so adamant about his vegan lifestyle that he has turned pro, serving as the vegan chef at his family’s restaurant after graduating from the prestigious Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. He originally went vegetarian at 14 after watching the hard-hitting video “Meet Your Meat“—an up-close look at the abuse of animals on factory farms and in slaughterhouses—and he went vegan a few months later. Jay’s goal? To show the world that you don’t have to harm animals to create delicious gourmet food.

In addition to the health benefits, every vegan saves the lives of more than 100 animals every year. Raising animals for food is also a leading cause of water pollution, land degradation, and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Voters chose five males and five females as finalists, and peta2 chose another five boys and five girls based on enthusiasm (and cuteness, of course!). peta2 will select the two winners based on several factors, including vote count. See full contest details here. To view photos and read bios of all the finalists, please click here. For more information, please visit peta2.com.