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Ontario Teen 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 12, 2013

Contact:
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Ontario, Calif. — Ontario could soon be the home of a national star. That’s because 17-year-old Chaffey High School student Maria Mireles has beaten out hundreds of entrants from across the country to be named one of 10 female 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 kids 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 female and one male—will also win a professional photo shoot and star in their own peta2 ad.

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

Maria went vegan in sixth grade. In addition to her other animal rights activities, she enjoys giving talks at various community centers about factory farming and the many health, environmental, and animal-related benefits of going vegan. Gifted artistically, she says that she loves school because she loves learning. If you still don’t think this Mexican-American cutie has her priorities straight, just check out this declaration from her bio: “My family is everything.”

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 females and five males as finalists, and peta2 chose another five girls and five boys 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.