Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Iraq War Vet Wins peta2's 'Cutest Vegetarian Alive' Contest

Vermont Man Beats Out More Than 1,500 Contenders Worldwide

After more than 13,000 votes were tallied, 22-year-old Jed Martin, a Hinesburg native who spent a year in Iraq with the U.S. Army, has been chosen from among 10 male finalists—and more than 1,500 nominees—as the winner of the second annual "Cutest Vegetarian Alive" contest. The contest was organized by peta2, the world's largest youth animal rights organization. Martin's photo and bio are available online at peta2.com.

Martin became a vegetarian after playing in bands in the punk and metal music scenes, where animal rights is a popular issue. Currently living in a military barracks in Germany, Martin is unfazed by being surrounded by meat-eaters. He keeps his fridge stocked with vegan Boca Burgers, which taste so much like the "real" thing that even his buddies who haven't kicked the meat habit can't tell the difference! When he's not in uniform, you can spot Martin wearing one of his peta2 T-shirts around the base in order to promote awareness of animal rights. He says that no matter where he's sent, companies like Vegan Essentials make it possible for him to enjoy his favorite foods while serving in the Army.

The "Cutest Vegetarian Alive" contest is a spin-off of peta2's wildly popular "Sexiest Vegetarian Alive" contest, in which visitors to the group's Web site vote for their favorite vegetarian celebrities. Last year's winners were actor Natalie Portman and Good Charlotte star Benji Madden. Also featured on peta2.com are celebrity interviews, message boards, merchandise, downloadable voice-mail recordings, and chances to win great prizes like free concert tickets, iPods, and more.

"More and more young people are choosing a meat-free lifestyle. Martin is living proof that on average, vegetarians are slimmer, trimmer, and generally healthier than meat-eaters, so they're bound to be a lot cuter too," says peta2 Street Team coordinator Pulin Modi. "And of course, nothing's more attractive than a compassionate heart."

For more information, please visit peta2.com or click here.

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