Vegan race-car driver and environmental activist Leilani Münter recently retired from professional driving after 18 years. Münter—who is known for wrapping her race car in bold vegan messages—made history in 2014 when she became the first driver to get to all her races oil-free by driving her Tesla Model S more than 2,600 miles roundtrip from her home to the race track. The campaign carried on for a total of 11 ARCA races starting at Daytona in February 2017 and ending at Daytona in February 2019. Her race team also became the first team to power their pit box off of 100-percent solar power. Shortly after receiving the Vegan Athlete of the Year Award at the Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles, Münter announced her partnership with nonprofit group A Well-Fed World to drive the first-ever vegan-themed race car at Daytona International Speedway in 2017. The campaign carried on for a total of 11 races at Daytona until February 2019. “I am proud that I was able to raise awareness among millions of race fans for the issues I care about,” Münter told VegNews. “I had two great documentaries [depicted] on my race car, The Cove and Blackfish, and our Vegan Powered and Vegan Strong race-car campaigns were very impactful.” Münter has launched several programs to introduce vegan food to race fans, which resulted in more than 30,000 vegan Impossible Burgers being sampled in 2018. “I’ve had many race fans tell me they went vegan after trying the food at our vegan tent at the racetrack,” Münter said. The athlete plans to focus her retirement on vegan and environmental outreach, including creating documentaries about how human activity impacts the planet, sitting on the boards of nonprofit organizations such as the Oceanic Preservation Society, Empowered by Light, and EarthXFilm, and being an ambassador for Ric O-Barry’s Dolphin Project. “I will continue to fight for animals and the planet, which is far more important to me than racing a car,” Munter said. “I may not be climbing out of a race car, but I’m not slowing down.”
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