6-Year-Old Jacksonville Boy Is Finalist in PETA’s ‘Cutest Vegan Kid’ Contest

Pint-Size Protester Speaks Out for Animals Across the Country

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2017

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Jacksonville, Fla. – Six-year-old Jacksonville resident Khendall Lester has just been named one of the top four male finalists in PETA Kids’ 2017 Cutest Vegan Kids contest—and now, it’s up to voters to help PETA Kids decide if he’ll take home the top prize. Two winners—one boy and one girl—will each receive a trophy, an animal-friendly prize pack, and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Khendall went vegan more than a year ago. He says, “I don’t want to hurt animals. I can eat yummy vegan food without harming animals.” Since he was a toddler, he’s attended protests in several different states against hunting, dog racing, the exploitation of orcas at the Miami Seaquarium and SeaWorld, and the abuse of animals at Ringling Bros. and UniverSoul circuses. When asked if he’d ever been to the circus, he replied, “Yeah, but not inside. I only stay outside and protest.” He also recycles and picks up trash so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean, where it can harm marine life. “I believe in being kind to all animals,” he says. “All animals’ lives matter, even the little ones.”

“He may be only 6 years old, but Khendall Lester advocates for animals every chance he gets, from holding protest signs to filling trash bags,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “All of PETA Kids’ finalists prove that even the littlest person can make a big difference for animals.”

PETA Kids—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that every year, more people are drawn to the benefits of vegan meals, including better health and a smaller carbon footprint. In addition, each vegan saves the lives of more than 100 animals each year.

Voting on the finalists to help PETA Kids decide whom it should choose as the winners runs until March 17, with the two winners announced on March 20. The decision will be based on several factors, including vote count. See the full contest details here and the main contest page at PETAKids.com/CutestVegan.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind