Two Sets of Siblings Earn National Recognition for Animal Activism

For Immediate Release:
August 2, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

The results are in for PETA Kids’ 2023 All-Star for Animals Contest—and for the first time in the contest’s history, two sets of siblings have won, for the grand prize and the second-place finish.

Top honors went to sister and brother Leilani Hefa, 10, and Daylan Hefa, 7, who have been raised vegan from birth and seize every opportunity to speak out against speciesism—the human-supremacist belief that other animals exist for our benefit. The siblings from Hillsdale, New Jersey, have marched for animal rights in New York City, protested against Nike for using leather, hosted their birthday parties at animal sanctuaries, and encouraged friends and classmates to leave animals off their plates.

Hailing from Eastham, Massachusetts, runners-up Dani Chianciola, 12, and her 7-year-old sister, Lana, are both vegan, and they’ve spent their lives advocating for animals to their friends and family members and even their family’s followers on social media. Dani—who wrote an article for PETA Kids’ website about why everyone should believe in animal rights—is particularly passionate about encouraging others to let animals keep their eggs, wool, feathers, and anything else that belongs to them. Lana is especially concerned about the plight of orcas held in captivity and talks to her friends about avoiding marine parks and watching aquatic animals in their natural habitats instead. Video of Dani and Lana collaborating on a poetry and art project about orcas is available here.

“Whether they’re marching for animal rights, encouraging their classmates to choose animal-friendly entertainment, or creating pro-animal poetry and artwork, these four activists 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 and Chianciola siblings, and PETA Kids is delighted to honor them for leading us all toward a kinder future.”

The four honorees will receive delicious vegan cookies from San Diego–based Maya’s Cookies plus personalized megaphones and T-shirts from PETA Kids. Their work in behalf of animals will be shared across the country to help inspire kind kids everywhere, including future All-Star for Animals 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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

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