This weekend, Miss Mexico Andrea Meza won the 69th annual Miss Universe pageant, becoming the first vegan contestant to take the crown. The 26-year-old entrepreneur grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico, and completed her software engineering degree at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. Meza claims that she went vegan for both environmental and animal rights reasons, using her platform to share the benefits of a plant-based diet.

The newly crowned Miss Universe is also a vocal advocate for women’s rights and frequently draws attention to the unfair standards of beauty to emphasize how society should redefine its definition to go beyond physical appearance.

“We live a society that is increasingly advanced and just as we have advanced as a society we have also advanced in stereotypes,” Meza said. “Today beauty does not only lie in how we see ourselves, for me the beauty lies in our spirit, soul, and the values as we handle ourselves. Never allow someone to tell you that you have no value.”

The previously crowned Miss World Americas and Mexicana Universal works to promote tourism in her hometown. Meza also works with charities throughout Mexico and other countries to help engage communities facing hardship.

“It is a dream come true to wear the Miss Universe crown,” Meza released in a statement. “And, I hope to serve the world through my advocacy for equality in the year to come and beyond.”

Meza takes to her Instagram to spread her love of plant-based foods, sharing several vegan recipes including vegetables with quinoa and tofu as well as a watermelon ceviche to her 1.7 million followers. The vegan model encourages her fans to adopt a plant-based diet for individual and environmental health and wellness.

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