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Racing driver and eco-activist Leilani Münter becomes Population Matters patron

“Vegan hippy chick in a race car” joins the great and good of the green movement, alongside Sir David Attenborough, Dame Jane Goodall and TV wildlife expert Chris Packham.

Campaigning charity Population Matters is proud to announce that US racing car driver Leilani Münter has become our latest patron. Leilani combines her profession driving racing cars with a roll call of environmental activism, including promoting green energy, veganism and publicising threats to the oceans and species extinction. Carbon neutral in her racing since 2007, Leilani’s personal motto is, “Never underestimate a vegan hippy chick in a race car!”

Leilani says:

“The intelligence of our species will ultimately be determined by whether we face our population issue and get it under control, or continue to sweep it under the rug because it’s an uncomfortable conversation. The future of life on Earth depends on us doing the former.


“Climate change, ocean acidification, species extinction, loss of biodiversity – all of these are due to human impact on the planet – overpopulation compounds every single one of them. Technology can help us reduce our impact: electric cars, solar power, plant-based diets, green buildings – bring it all on! But if we do not address the main factor here – population – we are ignoring the root cause of all these other issues.

“ am honoured to become a patron of Population Matters. They have been doing incredible work in this space since 1991. It is vitally important to tell the population story and I look forward to working with the experts in this field to bring this story to the world.

Leilani first became interested in population when studying for her biology degree at the University of California. In the same period, she first drove a racing car and trained as a driver on the proceeds of her work acting as a stunt double for the actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Racing in Indy Pro, NASCAR and ARCA divisions, since 2007, Leilani has been adopting an acre of rainforest for every race she runs.

Leilani uses her race car as “a 200mph billboard” to get environmental message in front of the 75 million race fans in the USA.  Her race cars have carried messages about veganism, renewable energy from wind and solar power, in addition to clean energy legislation. She sits on the board of the Oceanic Preservation Society, a non-profit that creates film, photography and media, inspiring people to save the oceans, including the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove.

Leilani is vegan, drives an all-electric Tesla and is child-free by choice, saying:

“I have chosen to not contribute to population growth and I am happily child-free. The only babies in our house have four legs. My husband and I had this discussion early on when we were dating. I wish more people would look at the bigger picture and make the same decision.”

Population Matters director, Robin Maynard, says:

“Leilani is a pole-position campaigner and an ideal ambassador for Population Matters. She lives according to her principles and uses her status as a top sportswoman to bring environmental messages to places other campaigners can’t reach. She embodies female empowerment and has the courage to speak up on this very controversial subject. Like her fellow patron, David Attenborough, Leilani recognises that you can’t fix our environmental problems while adding ever more people to the planet’s population. That’s the vital message she’ll help us to spread and we’re delighted to have her on board.”

Population Matters is a UK-based campaigning charity that addresses population size and environmental sustainability. It spreads awareness of the contribution of unsustainable population and consumption to environmental degradation, resource depletion, poverty and inequality. Population Matters advocates for ethical, effective measures to reduce family size and end population growth across the world, to achieve a healthy planet and a decent standard of living for all.




Alistair Currie, Head of Campaigns and Communications


T: +44 (0)208 123 9170


Notes for editors

Leilani Münter website

Leilani Münter bio

Hi res photographs of Leilani available from Population Matters.

Population Matters patrons include:

Population Matters

135-137 Station Road, London E4 6AG

Tel: 0208 123 9116

Charity No: 1114109


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