Maywood-Area Resident 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

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

Maywood, Calif. – The first-ever Coolest Vegan Alive contest is underway—courtesy of peta2, PETA’s youth division—and 20-year-old Maywood resident Alan Portillo could take home top honors. The college freshman 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.

Alan went vegetarian in eighth grade because of health concerns, and after learning how animals suffer in the meat, dairy, and egg industries, he made the switch to all vegan foods—and lost more than 110 pounds altogether. His plant-fueled health gives him the energy he needs as a busy part-time dancer and full-time college student. When he’s not performing in drag shows or volunteering at his local animal shelter, he’s encouraging friends and family to follow his kind example—including his mom, who recently went vegetarian.

“Alan is an unstoppable force for compassion for animals, whether he’s helping others try delicious vegan meals or pitching in at his local shelter,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “By going vegan and encouraging others to make kind choices, Alan 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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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