Homer Teen May Be the ‘Coolest Vegan Alive’

peta2's Contest Seeks Two Special Young Animal Advocates for Trophies, National Spotlight

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2015

Contact:
Catie Cryar 202-483-7382

Gainesville, Ga. – The first-ever Coolest Vegan Alive contest is underway—courtesy of peta2, PETA’s youth division—and 18-year-old Homer resident Astheris “Tyler” Miller could take home top honors. The high school senior beat out entrants from across the country to be named one of 12 finalists, and voters will now help peta2 decide which two finalists it should select for the top prize—which includes a personalized Web feature, a prize pack containing cruelty-free goodies, and a Coolest Vegan Alive trophy.

Inspired by vegan ultrarunner Scott Jurek, Tyler went vegetarian on his 10th birthday—and after learning how animals suffer in the meat, egg, and dairy industries, he went vegan. Since then, he’s spread the word about animal rights to his friends, family members, and classmates both through social media and in person, setting up debates at school about factory farming, spaying and neutering, and more. After he shared with his anatomy class that he would be opting out of animal dissection because many of the animals killed by biological supply companies are removed from their natural environments or taken from backyards, animal shelters, or pet stores, half of his classmates joined him in choosing not to dissect. And as a competitive wrestler and practitioner of Brazilian jujitsu, Tyler is proof of the vitality that comes from being a plant-fueled athlete.

“Tyler never stops letting his friends and family members know how they can help animals, whether it’s choosing a delicious vegan sandwich for lunch or refusing to attend a circus that uses animals,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “By going vegan and encouraging others to make kind choices, Tyler and peta2’s other entrants are already winners.”

Voting to help peta2 determine whom it should choose as the winners ends on July 28, and the winners will be featured on the website on August 4. peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—will consider three factors when selecting the winners: contestants’ actions for animals, their enthusiasm, and their total number of votes.

For more information and for a link to full contest details, please visit peta2.com/CoolestVegan.

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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