Santa Cruz resident, 21-year-old Christian Garcia, has beaten out dozens of entrants from across the country to be named one of 10 male finalists vying for the title of 2014 Cutest Vegan Alive in the ninth annual contest sponsored by peta2—PETA's youth division.
The final pool consists of 20 finalists—the 10 finalists (five male and five female) who received the highest number of votes, plus 10 finalists (five male and five female) who were selected by peta2. ( Click here and select "Dude.")
The two winners—one male and one female—will win a professional photo shoot and a chance to star in their own peta2 ad.
"Christian is determined to make the world a kinder place," says peta2 Director Marta Holmberg. "People who go vegan show respect for animals, the planet, and their own bodies, and that makes all of them cute in our book."
Fit and trim, Garcia is a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz and vegan bodybuilder who relies exclusively on plant-based foods to bulk up.
Since going vegan two years ago, he's noticed that he has a lot more energy and stamina during his workouts, and he lost a lot of the aches and pains that used to nag him.
He also competes on a team called PlantBuilt to raise money for animal sanctuaries and other animal rights charities. So how does this vegan powerhouse power himself? "Lasagne, pizza, and coconut curry with chickpeas and brown rice," he says. "Oh, and I can't forget loads and loads of Sriracha!"
peta2 will select the two winners based on several factors, including vote count.
See the full contest details here.
To view photos of and read more about the finalists, please click here.
For more information, please visit peta2.com.