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Comedian Jamie Kilstein Stands Up for Veganism

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jamie kilstein promo imageJamie Kilstein is a vegan mixed martial arts athlete, a stand-up comedian, a political activist, and cohost of the progressive Internet podcast Citizen Radio. Kilstein—who has been seen on Conan, MSNBC, and Showtime—often uses his comedy to shine a spotlight on animal rights. PETA U.K. recently caught up with the rabble-rouser ahead of his upcoming U.K. tour. Check out the interview below!

Congratulations on winning bronze in a world jiu-jitsu championship in November. Even though so many top athletes have turned to a vegan diet, do you face any challenges with the perception of veganism in sports?

My jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts friends have been some of the most intellectually curious about the way I eat. I think it’s because these are high-level athletes who actually care about what they put in their bodies. Nowadays, there is so much research put out from sources that aren’t seen as “hippy,” like the U.N., that it’s started to pique the interest of people who care about their health.

I love the fact that more athletes are becoming vegan. I’ve always been small, even when I ate dead things, but it sure shuts up the meathead in the Tapout shirt when you can point to the Diaz brothers!

Animal rights features regularly in both your stand-up comedy and your political radio show. What drives you to speak up for animals in your daily life?

The whole premise of Citizen Radio was to speak out for people who don’t have the opportunity to defend themselves to a large audience. In the U.S. media, you only get a shot to defend yourself if you are an old-ass rich white dude who helped bankrupt the country. But who is more voiceless than animals?

A lot of people who eat animals aren’t the monsters we like to imagine. Many of them are ignorant like we once were. They don’t think of a McNugget as a baby chick. They think of it as a McNugget, whatever the f*** that is. Most people love animals. We treat our dogs and cats like members of the family, but the cognitive dissonance is unbelievable when it comes to the dead animals we put in our mouths.

My partner and I have found a way to talk about veganism without making people feel like assholes right away. We are honest, then we inform them, and we try to be funny about it. We’ve had thousands of people e-mail us who hated vegans and are now 100 percent vegan. They feel better when they are healthier, and a bunch have even started jiu-jitsu. The key is not telling them right away that we are better than them.

You’ve toured much of the U.S., and you’re coming back to the U.K. with gigs in February. Do you have any tips for eating well on the road?

Google! I try to only go to all-vegan places, and it’s getting easier and easier. The best veggie burger I’ve had is in Texas, a place where I thought they hate-crimed vegans. It’s made travel much more fun—when you go to all-vegan places and see the tattoos, the indie-rock T-shirts, the political activists, you just want to be best friends with everyone.

What’s one thing that your fans can do right now to help animals, even in a small way?

Stop eating them!

Win MINDSET’s New LP

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MINDSET are just a couple of “upstanding gentlemen ready to buck the system” one basement show at a time. Recalling the hardcore scene of the early 2000s, the Baltimore five-piece is keeping the dream alive with anthems reminiscent of Bane and Carry On. We recently caught up with guitarist Mike Clarke to discuss his personal animal rights convictions and how MINDSET hope to influence others to lead by example. Check it out, and enter to win the band’s new LP, out now on REACT! Records.

mindset photoFrederik Malthe

1. What prompted you to go vegetarian? Were there any bands, books, etc., that influenced your decision?

Mostly a guilty conscience. At the time, a lot of bands and a lot of my friends were into vegetarianism. It was sort of like my eyes were forced open. I didn’t become vegetarian right away, but once my eyes were open, I really couldn’t turn away from what I consider to be an immoral, unethical, and uncivilized way to live. It’s weird because I would try and justify eating meat, the way I think a lot of people do—hiding behind apathy, jokes, etc.—but the truth is I was scared, scared of missing out on traditions, breaking away from what I had done the first 18 years of my life, etc. The initial step was really scary. I think a lot of people experience that and then somehow totally forget it and lack empathy for people who haven’t made the leap yet.

Bands influenced me more than anything—The First Step, in particular, but also Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Insted, The Nerve Agents. I remember seeing The First Step and thinking, “These dudes are just like me.” They weren’t granola heads, they weren’t having bongo jam sessions, and they definitely didn’t have sandals on. They were a badass hardcore band that went off with the most intensity every set. It was never a message of “You better stop eating meat.” It was way more like, “Here we are. This is what we are all about. Join the parade, man.” I think MINDSET continues that vibe. We certainly strive to be inclusive. I think it’s all too easy for a straight-edge band or a vegetarian band to come off as exclusive, but that’s the opposite of what we’re all about.    

2. What are some of your favorite vegetarian foods?

I’ll just give my top five vegetarian restaurants rather than foods in particular:

1. Shandel’s in Bridgeport, Connecticut

2. Golden Era in San Francisco

3. The Chicago Diner in Chicago

4. Great Sage in Clarksville, Maryland

5. Harvey’s in Canada (Harvey’s is not strictly veg, but they get major nostalgia points for creating a classic, greasy, fast-food vegetarian burger and fries.)

3. Of all the major animal rights issues, are there any that are particularly close to your heart?

This isn’t so much an animal rights issue, but it bugs me when you meet “animal people.” You know, their thing is they are “animal lovers,” and yet despite their “love” of animals, they have no problem wolfing down a chicken sandwich. It just seems backwards to me.

4. If a fan or friend were to approach you with questions about how to get involved with animal rights, what advice would you give him or her?

I’m not really into clubs and organizations or some sort of movement. I’d tell that kid to “be the change.” Set the example through your actions—that sort of stuff is infectious. The dinner table discussions are inevitable. You don’t have to go out and try and convert people. Your friends and family will see what you are doing, and they’ll want to know why. And I think that’s the most effective way to turn people on to vegetarianism. Let them hash it out in their own mind and come to their own conclusions. Nobody likes being preached at. In the end, it’s just casting stones in glass houses.

5. What does MINDSET have coming up that we can be looking forward to?

MINDSET just released our first LP, Leave No Doubt, on REACT! Records. We’ll be heading out to California in March.

For your chance to win a copy of MINDSET’s Leave No Doubt LP, leave a comment below telling us which bands have influenced your opinions on animal rights.*

*Three winners will be chosen at random from submitted animal-friendly comments in which the commenters tell us which bands have influenced their opinions on animal rights. One grand-prize winner will receive a copy of “Leave No Doubt” on vinyl. Two runners-up will receive a “Leave No Doubt” digital download. Entries must be received by February 11, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random and notified on February 12, 2013. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Queen Bey’s Cruelest Outfit Yet

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Beyoncé’s lights-out performance at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans this past Sunday left the Internet ablaze. No blog has gone Bey-free since the electrifying halftime show. Although plenty of attention has been paid to Mrs. Carter for her performance, let’s take a moment to recognize those who truly helped make Beyoncé the center of attention:

Beyoncé’s gruesome leather bodysuit would not have been possible without the help of animals like these being electrocuted, beaten to death, or skinned alive:

Before Beyoncé takes center stage again, I suggest that she take a look at whose skin she’s in and remember that being beautiful means being compassionate.

FREE MIXTAPE: New Music From Never Shout Never

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Never ones to stay out of the studio or off the road for long, Never Shout Never is back only a few months after the release of Indigo with a new mixtape and the announcement of a co-headlining U.K. tour with We Are The In Crowd. If a trip across the pond isn’t in your immediate future, you can catch Never Shout Never on the main stage of the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer.

Download the free Never Shout Never mixtape!

 

Win New Music From Alcoa!

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We here at peta2 have been longtime fans of the Bridge Nine Records roster. With bands like Paint It Black, Strike Anywhere, and Crime In Stereo, how could you not look forward to each new release? We recently sat down with Derek Archambault—lead singer of Defeater and new solo endeavor Alcoa—to discuss his vegan lifestyle. Watch the video below and enter to win Alcoa’s debut LP:  

 

For your chance to win a prize pack from Bridge Nine Records containing the new Alcoa LP along with an Alcoa 7-inch record and T-shirt, leave a comment below telling us your favorite record that you’ve bought this year.*

*Three winners will be chosen at random from submitted animal-friendly comments in which the commenters tell us their favorite record that they’ve bought this year. One grand-prize winner will receive a copy of Alcoa’s Bone and Marrow on vinyl, an Alcoa Drowned 7-inch, and an Alcoa T-shirt. Two runners-up will receive a copy of Alcoa’s Bone and Marrow on CD. Entries must be received by March 5, 2013. The winners will be notified on March 6, 2013. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Look Good in Green in 2013!

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Being environmentally friendly should be something we all strive for, right? Obviously! The good news is that if you’re eating a vegan diet, you’re already well on your way to going green. With the announcement of Pantone’s 2013 color of the year, now you can be green inside and out by looking lovely in emerald while helping animals, the environment, and yourself!

nyx cosmetics eye shadow stick glistening emerald green

Glam Shadow Stick in Glistening Emerald, NYX Cosmetics, $4.50

nyx cosmetics eye shadow exotic green

Single Eye Shadow in Exotic Green, NYX Cosmetics, $5.00

jesse's girl cosmetics mermaids lagoon nail polish

Nail Color in Mermaids Lagoon, Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics, $3.99

forever 21 emerald ring set

Lacquered Ring Set, Forever 21, $4.80

target merona green crossbody bag

Crossbody Bag in Green, Merona, $19.99

lulus teal skinny belt

Teal Bow Skinny Belt, LuLu’s, $11.00

How will you be “going green” this spring?

Vegan Band Architects Tour with Enter Shikari

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A smattering of the hottest metal bands is touring the States! Vans Warped Tour veterans Enter Shikari is in the midst of a U.S. tour with Architects, Heartist, and Crossfaith. Check out all the tour dates here and pick up tickets to support our friends in Architects, who happen to all be vegan and helped us create one of my all-time favorite peta2 ads!

architects go vegan peta2 ad

Who are you most excited to see on tour this spring?

 

You’ll ‘Drop Dead’ for These Vegan Recipes

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The peta2 site is loaded with enough vegan recipes to keep you cooking for months! There’s no harm in enlisting a little outside help, though, which is why I was so excited to see one of my favorite clothing companies start a vegan recipe section on its blog.

Our friends over at badass clothing company Drop Dead Clothing are posting some seriously drool-worthy recipes perfect for your next hang sesh. Check ‘em out and share your faves with Drop Dead on Twitter and Facebook!

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drop-dead-vegan-pesto-pizza

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After you try these recipes, try some of ours! Sign up for FREE vegan recipes here:

 

A Rocket to the Moon Giveaway!

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We’re partnering up with one of my favorite bands and one of my favorite labels to celebrate the release of A Rocket to the Moon‘s new album, Wild & Free, out March 26 on Fueled By Ramen Records.

To help hype the long-awaited release of the band’s sophomore album, we’re letting the boys take over the peta2 Twitter feed, so you can chitchat your little hearts out with Nick Santino and crew. Join us on Twitter today at 5 p.m. for your chance to talk to A Rocket to the Moon!

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Enter below* for your chance to win a prize pack containing a drumstick and drum head signed by A Rocket to the Moon as well as a Wild & Free patch.

ARTTM Prize PackWild and FreeARTTM Drumstick

To enter, leave a comment telling us why animals deserve to be wild and free and not kept in cages on factory farms or in zoos or circuses.

*One winner will be chosen at random from submitted animal-friendly comments in which the commenters tell us why animals deserve to be wild and free. Entries must be received by March 26, 2013. The winner will be notified on March 27, 2013. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

She’s Just Bein’ Miley

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Miley Cyrus is no stranger to saving animals. We’ve been giving her shout-outs for years for her commitment to animal adoption and for being totally rad!

Miley Cyrus at VMAs© StarMaxInc.com

Last night, Miley used her celebrity status to ask her 11 million Twitter followers to take action for animals. The organization NYCLASS is hard at work asking citizens to sign a petition in support of horses who are being enslaved by the horse-drawn carriage industry. The organization needed help gathering 100,000 signatures to support the critical New York City Council bill, Intro. 86A, which would allow working carriage horses to retire.

Miley came to the rescue, tweeting:

Fans responded big time, and the number of signatures grew by almost 5,000 in less than a day!

Now it’s your turn to take action:

 

peta2 Celebs Win Big at the People’s Choice Awards

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For those who missed it, last night’s People’s Choice Awards were once again the talk of the town for the pop culture obsessed. Blogs are buzzing today with news of the star-studded event. From “Best Dressed” lists to nominees who got snubbed, there’s enough juice to satisfy the most gossip-hungry readers.

Here are a few of my personal highlights, including the biggest animal-friendly winners of the night:

Favorite Network TV Comedy: The Big Bang Theory

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Co-starring the always lovely (and vegan!) Mayim Bialik

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show: Supernatural

jared-padalecki-peta2-psaStarring Jared Padalecki

Favorite Comedic TV Actress: Lea Michele

We love, love, love her!

Favorite Daytime TV Host: Ellen DeGeneres

Photo:Quasar/Starmaxinc.com

 PETA’s Person of the Year 2009, Ellen seriously rocks for everything she does for animals!

Favorite Band: Maroon 5

 Featuring sexy vegan bassist Mickey Madden

I guess nice guys—and girls—don’t finish last after all!

Vegetarian TV Takeover

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I don’t know about you, but living in a culture of the bacon-obsessed sometimes makes me feel crazy for being vegan! But I’m not the only person who doesn’t want to contribute to the suffering of animals by eating their flesh … right? Right! Even Hollywood has taken note of how popular it is to be compassionately meat-free. Here are a few of my favorite fictional vegetarians: 

Leading lady Rachel Berry on Glee is played by real-life animal activist Lea Michele.

My favorite cat enthusiast is Angela Martin on The Office. RIP, Sprinkles.

At only 8 years old, Lisa Simpson has mastered Buddhism and jazz saxophone and hung out with fellow vegetarian Paul McCartney. Coolest kid ever? Probably.

©starmaxinc.com 

She might not be one on TV, but in the original Pretty Little Liars book series that the ABC Family mega-hit is based on, queen bee Aria Montgomery is a vegetarian.

An honorable mention goes to a fellow member of the ABC Family roster, Daphne Vasquez of the series Switched at Birth, who claims to be vegetarian in one episode but later eats shrimp. Huh? Aside from it being totally gross to eat them, someone needs to remind Daphne that fish (and crustaceans) are friends, not food!

Technically she isn’t fictional, seeing as she’s a “reality” star, but for anyone hooked on this season of The Bachelor (don’t lie), contestant and vegan food blogger Catherine Giudici is showing bachelor Sean Lowe that vegans have the biggest hearts!

Which animal-friendly celebs do you tune in to watch every week?

Rescue Dog on Tour with Senses Fail

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Hey, everybody! My name is Rick, and I’m a 3-year-old long-haired dachshund.

The peta2 team has spent the last week on the road with the boys of Senses Fail as they kicked off the Renacer tour (to which we’re giving away tickets!). We’ve been working hard to educate each person at every show about the horrors of the meat industry and why everyone should consider switching to a cruelty-free vegan diet. It’s not all work and no play, though, and we’ve got a special guest to update you with stories from the road!

*****

Hey, everybody! My name is Rick, and I’m a 3-year-old long-haired dachshund. My dad is Dan Trapp, and he plays drums for Senses Fail. I’m very excited to share my experiences from my first ever tour. http://instagram.com/p/Q3XbPsrgVf/ It all started a few days ago when I noticed some of my toys and food being packed up at home. I knew we were going somewhere fun but didn’t know what I was in for. So I said “Goodbye” to my mom and sister and got into a big black truck, and we started driving. I laid in my comfy bed while we made our way to some place called Lancaster. We were there before I knew it, and I was walking with my dad up and down the street. So many new smells!

rick-rescue-dog-senses-fail-driving-v2 Everybody started moving all these big boxes inside and putting them on the big stage. I got to sit with my dad while he set up his sparkly drums. They’re pretty, but they’re really loud. I went in the other room while they played a couple of songs, and then we all played fetch!

rick-rescue-dog-senses-fail-at-show-v2 After a few hours of that, it was show time, so I hung out in my bed while they played. I needed a nap from all the playing we did. It sounded like the show went well, and I was so excited to see my dad when he came back for me afterward!

rick-rescue-dog-dan-senses-fail-after-show-v2 It was a long but exciting day. This experience so far has been very fun. Everyone is so nice and loves to play with me and give me attention (I love attention!). There’s so much fun stuff always happening. Thanks for reading! I’ll have plenty more stories to tell, so keep checking back. Maybe next time I’ll show you my bunk. ;)

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The Coolest 12-Year-Old Ever

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I’m not sure about you guys, but when I was 12 years old, I wasn’t winning any major awards. If there had been an award for “Consecutive Friday Nights Spent Watching Titanic,” I would have been a champion, but that’s another story.

Before even turning 13, vegan activist Rose McCoy has already started an animal rights club in her school, encouraged her teacher to go vegan, and spoken out in behalf of chickens at one of McDonald’s annual meetings. And just this weekend, Rose was given the prestigious Nanci Alexander Activist Award at a star-studded event in Florida.

rose mccoy and daniella monet with nancu alexander

Daniella Monet poses with Nanci Alexander and Rose McCoy

The Nanci Alexander Activist Award has been presented to some of PETA’s greatest supporters, such as punk rocker Joan Jett, and the event this weekend did not disappoint, with appearances from some of my favorite animal-loving celebs, including Ami James and Daniella Monet!

daniella money ad unveiling

Daniella Monet unveils her new ad

ami james ad unveiling

Ami James poses with his new “Never Be Silent” ad

daniella monet at sublime event

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk looks on as Daniella Monet presents the award

If you’ve been inspired by Rose, take the next step to get active for animals by joining the peta2 Street Team!

Join the peta2 Street Team and Get Free Stuff! button

Jude Law Says, ‘The World Is Watching’

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Every year, tens of thousands of seals are killed for their skins in the annual Canadian seal slaughter. The good news is that we are making progress! Opposition to the slaughter continues to grow every year, and major markets all over the world, including Mexico, Taiwan, the United States, the European Union (EU), and even Russia—which had been importing 95 percent of Canadian seal pelts—have all banned seal fur.

In a last ditch effort to try to save the sealing industry, the Canadian government is challenging the EU ban in hopes that the World Trade Organization (WTO) will lift the ban, allowing more baby seals to be bludgeoned to death on the ice.

But that won’t happen if we can help it!

jude law approved starmax photo© StarMaxInc.com

Speaking out on behalf of PETA UK, actor Jude Law penned a letter to the WTO urging panelists to uphold the EU-wide ban on seal fur in advance of its upcoming hearing on the issue. With the closure of all major seal-fur markets, there is no justification for keeping this cruel industry alive.

Rather than using the WTO to prop up a dying industry, Canada should pursue a buyout of the commercial sealing industry – a move that would help both seals and sealers. The world is watching and waiting – please uphold the EU ban.

 

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Confessions of a Tour Dog

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peta2 is having a grand old time on tour with Senses Fail, Such Gold, Major League, and Real Friends. Our hardworking crew is going show to show asking everyone to make the connection between eating animals and saving the planet. You don’t have to wait until Earth Day to be environmentally friendly. You can do it every day with every meal you eat just by going vegan!

Check out our latest tour update from a very special guest reporter!

*****

Hey, everyone! Rick here again. Another week down and way more fun stuff under my belt.

We went to a lot of cool places: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas. I never thought I’d see that many places. I didn’t even know they existed!

When we were in Virginia, we had a really big dressing room that I got to run around and play fetch in. It was super-fun. There was also a great big window that I laid by and looked at all the people outside.

senses fail dog windowWe stayed by some place called Walmart that night, and I got to take care of some business in their bushes, if you know what I mean … ;)

senses fail dog walmartWe made our way down through North Carolina and Georgia and then into Florida. Florida was very warm and sunny, and my dad and I did lots of walking. I even chased a couple of lizards in the street!

We had a day off and stayed at some placed called Baton Rouge. The hotel wouldn’t let me come inside though! They said something about not being “pet-friendly.” That was very hurtful, but we had a slumber party on the bus instead and my dad made it up to me by playing frisbee in a big field! That was so fun. It was great to run free.

senses-fail-tour-dog-frisbeeAnyway, this is still so much fun, even though I am starting to miss my mom and sister dog. I think I’m going to see them again soon, though. I can’t wait!

senses fail dog busThanks for reading!

*****

There are only a few weeks left to catch Senses Fail on tour. Enter now to win tickets!

The Horror of UW-Madison

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We all know that “honey badger don’t care,” but you know who does? Randall! And he’s back with a new video to shine light on the nasty-ass truth about the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s (UW-Madison) history of torturing animals.

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A huge animal lover, Randall has used his comedic voice to rally against the archaic horse-drawn carriage industry and recently attended peta2′s Blankets for Shelters Drive in Los Angeles.

Randall "Honey Badger Don't Care"

Honey Badger do care!

In his new video, Randall says he thinks it’s just crazy that UW-Madison is getting away with tormenting cats like Double Trouble in its sicko experiments. After starving Double Trouble, intentionally causing her to go deaf, and drilling holes in her brain, experimenters at UW-Madison decided the project was a failure, and they killed and decapitated Double Trouble. What a bunch of assholes!

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Want to Party With Anti-Flag?

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It’s no secret how much we love Anti-Flag. These guys have been standing up for animals, raising awareness about social injustice, and being advocates for peace for longer than peta2 has been in existence.

We’re partnering up with Anti-Flag to host a special meet and greet with the band and the chance for 50 lucky fans to attend an intimate pre-show party!

peta2 Anti-Flag NBS PSA

This year marks Anti-Flag’s 20th anniversary as a band, and the boys in black are hitting the road to celebrate with some very special anniversary shows. These shows provide a unique opportunity to see the band in an intimate venue playing their signature sing-along anthems, as well as the deep cuts only the A-F diehards can brag about knowing. ;)

anti-flag admat may 19 showFor the same price as admission, the next 50 people to purchase tickets to the New York City show at The Studio at Webster Hall on May 19th will gain entry to the pre-show soundcheck party and meet and greet!

Purchase tickets here and enter the promo code “peta2″ upon checkout.

Don’t miss this chance to party with one of peta2′s favorite bands and help celebrate 20 years of power to the peaceful!

Win the New Daylight LP!

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“I like an animal with a little character, you know? Give him a few years, build up a little character—adopt him.”

We recently caught up with Run For Cover Records artist Daylight ahead of the release of their impressive new album, Jar. You can check out a new video premiere on the MTV Buzzworthy blog and catch the Pennsylvania alt-rock quartet on the road this summer with The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Pity Sex, and Dads.

daylight jar LP

To win the new Daylight LP, comment below telling us your favorite new album.*

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*One winner will be chosen at random from submitted animal-friendly comments in which the commenters tell us their favorite new album. This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Entries must be received by May 15, 2013. The winner will be notified on May 17, 2013. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Win a Kitty V-Neck!

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After Arizona fan favorites The Format hung it up, the core musicians Sam Means and Nate Ruess (FUN.) went their separate ways. Means laid his instruments to rest for the time being to focus on starting a family and creating a merchandise empire, complete with ridiculously cute cat shirts.

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Get to know musician and Hello Apparel creator Sam Means and enter to win this painfully adorable “Kitten” v-neck!

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hello apparel kitty v-neck

1. What inspired the creation of Hello Merch and Hello Apparel? 

My band split up about five years ago, and I suddenly found myself with tons of free time and nothing to do with it. I didn’t want to start another full-time music project then, so it just made the most sense. I was always heavily involved in the music business side of things anyway. The band actually had a little merch store set up for a couple years prior, after getting burned on a couple deals, so it was a natural and easy transition for me.

The apparel stuff, not so much. I launched a small line in 2008, but the timing was bad, or it was just terrible … Either way, it took a back seat until late last year. My wife stepped in to add a kid’s line to go with it, and we’ve been going strong for about six months now. We’re definitely having a lot of fun with it this time around, and working together is awesome.

Did you just fall asleep?

2. Is it challenging to be part business owner and part creative graphic designer? Do those responsibilities ever seem at odds with one another? 

It’s all the same for me, honestly. Both require the same amount of creativity. It’s hard to juggle everything, but I’ve somehow managed to keep a pretty good system of keeping it organized.

3. When was the first moment you realized you didn’t want to continue eating animals?

It was in NYC on tour sometime in 2003, and my friend more or less dared me to give it a shot. I figured it would last a couple weeks, but it’s been 10 years now, and I have absolutely no desire to go back.

4. After going vegetarian did you discover any foods you hadn’t thought to try before? Any necessities you would recommend we purchase immediately? 

Yes, everything! I wouldn’t go near tofu or seitan before, or even a lot of vegetables, but it’s all so good now. Being vegetarian forces you to sometimes be creative with your meals. I think Quorn makes my favorite “chicken” patty for sandwiches. Actually, everything they make is pretty great. My sister and I had their Turk’y Roast last Thanksgiving and loved it!

5. What’s your go-to vegan dish that you bust out to impress friends? 

There’s a vegan place down the street from my house that makes a fake Big Mac, called the Big Wac. I’ve been telling everyone about it. It’s seriously so good. If anyone is in Arizona, I highly suggest Green New American Vegetarian!

6. What’s your favorite “dumb question that you get asked about being vegetarian?

Man, there are so many, it’s crazy. I’m definitely not judgmental about other people’s diets, so I wouldn’t expect anyone to be about mine. But sometimes people really get in your face about it. There’s this mind-boggling defensiveness that kicks in with people occasionally. I think they assume I’m looking down on them or something, so they feel the need to belittle my personal decision for some weird reason. It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure a lot of people feel me on this one. I’m not bitter about it at all.

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Want to win this tee?*

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Good luck!

*The winner will be chosen at random from submitted animal-friendly comments in which the commenters tell us about the moment they realized they wanted to stop eating animals. This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Entries must be received by May 21, 2013. The winner will be notified on May 24, 2013. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.