Ohio High School Student Nabs peta2 Award for Rallying His Peers to Go Vegan

17-Year-Old Wyoming Resident Lauded for Encouraging Shoppers to Try Plant-Based Milks, Speaking Up for Animals at School, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Wyoming, Ohio – He has stood outside a grocery store to encourage shoppers to choose almond or soy milk instead of cow’s milk, hosted an all-vegan brunch to wrap up a “Fighting Hunger 5K,” and persuaded multiple classmates to go vegan with a speech in his oral communication class—and when it comes to 17-year-old Matt Lautner‘s activism for animals, those are just for starters. For his outstanding efforts, peta2, PETA’s youth division, is presenting Matt with its Hero to Animals Award.

Matt has opened classmates’ eyes to delicious vegan food, thanks to a special delivery of homemade vegan red velvet cupcakes, and he’s busy planning a screening of the hard-hitting documentary Cowspiracy at his school—which his peers will receive extra-credit in class for attending. Matt also serves on peta2’s Youth Advisory Board, offering his suggestions for ways to make peta2 campaigns bigger and better.

“Whether at school, at home, or in his community, Matt is quick to share how a delicious vegan meal can make the world a better place for animals,” says peta2 Senior Director Marta Holmberg. “peta2 is lucky to have Matt’s help in speaking up for animals who are used and abused in the meat, egg, and dairy industries.”

Anyone can be a hero to animals by choosing vegan meals, refusing to wear fur, and always adopting rather than buying companion animals. peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in anyway”—will feature Matt on its Heroes page. He’ll also receive a framed certificate.

For more information on ways that young people can help animals, please visit peta2.com.

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