Beauty queen defends PETA rights

Kara Willingham

Giving animals a voice in society is a job that Saddleback student and animal activist Jessica Metz, 19, business, has taken on despite a jam-packed class load, full time job and social life.

When crowned Miss Laguna Beach in 2006 she made a promise in her speech to help protect animals and through People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals she has successfully made a difference and been involved in eye-opening events.

“PETA is a non profit organization built to promote animal rights and inform the public about what they can do to save animals,” said Metz. “I feel it’s important to everyone because it simplifies how to save animal rights. Step by step things such as cutting open soda bottle rings to what makeup people buy can be animal friendly.”

Metz volunteers for PETA in her spare time, writing letters to companies and even congressmen in an effort to get animal saving bills passed.

“I get emails about new companies that use animals in their products,” she said. “For example, Ringling Bros, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Clinique makeup. I read up on these and pass out fliers from PETA informing them not to buy from them to anyone that walks by. I also use this opportunity to do any research projects and talk about them in every classroom.”

Over the years PETA has taken huge steps towards animal rights and safety.

“There was a KFC event where Pam Anderson (huge role model) sponsored it and stopped the purchase of millions of chickens,” said Metz.

When working alone, Metz tries to contact local businesses and make them aware of the pain and suffering they are causing animals.

“I go to local stores but I am very cautious about not giving animal rights a bad name. I do most of my work from home, gathering information and writing persuasive letters to head officials persuading them to discontinue animal products,” she said. “Such as Palm Tea who experiment on mice, forever 21 that uses fur linings and KFC who uses inhumane tactics to obtain chicken meat.”

When Metz is not crusading against animal cruelty and fighting for better treatment, she works at Washington Mutual and spends time with her boyfriend who is proud of her accomplishments.

“Jessica is very adamant about her stance on animal rights. At times, she’ll risk her image by just talking about it, because it is and can be very controversial,” said her boyfriend Johnny Flatley, 20, undecided. “But she sticks by it. I really admire that about her, because most people would back down with the fear of being chastised, but she stands up for herself.”

Metz’ manager, Lisa Brimhall, who is the Vice President of the Dana Point Washington Mutual, recognizes Metz ability to work well with people as well as animals.

“Jessica not only handles people with grace, but also portrays a voice for the speechless,” said Brimhall. “[She] helps not only hundreds of people a day in the banking world, but hundreds of animals at night on her free time.”