For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Hillsdale, N.J. – Hillsdale Public Schools students Leilani Hefa, 10, and Daylan Hefa, 7, have marched for animal rights in New York City, protested against Nike for using leather, hosted their birthday parties at animal sanctuaries, and encouraged classmates and friends to leave animals off their plates. Now the siblings’ compassion and determination have won them top honors in PETA Kids’ 2023 All-Star for Animals Contest—the first duo win in the contest’s history.
The Hefa siblings have been vegan since birth and seize every opportunity to speak out against speciesism—the human-supremacist belief that other animals exist for our benefit. Leilani founded the local Kids Animal Club and loves to lead chants through a megaphone during protests. She knows that all animals have feelings—no matter their size or species—and passionately speaks out against raising cows and pigs for food, using sheep for their wool, and stealing honey from bees. Daylan, who wishes for all animals “to be happy,” has marched with his family on Earth Day to call for everyone to help save the planet by going vegan. Both kids love their mom’s cooking, especially when she makes minestrone soup, vegan lasagna, and vegan mac and cheese.
“Whether they’re marching for animal rights or explaining why they’re vegan to classmates and friends, Leilani and Daylan are setting a heroic example for young people everywhere,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Animals have remarkable allies in the Hefa siblings, and PETA Kids is delighted to honor them for leading us all toward a kinder future.”
Leilani and Daylan will receive an award, a new megaphone to use in their marches and protests, a year’s supply of vegan cookies from San Diego–based Maya’s Cookies, and an assortment of merchandise from PETA Kids. Their work on behalf of animals will be shared across the country to help inspire kind kids everywhere, including future All-Star contestants! See the full contest details here.
PETA Kids’ motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit PETAKids.com, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.