Ever since Angelique Jacques was a child, she knew she loved animals. Now, as a teenager, she has the opportunity to advocate for their rights on a national scale.
“Growing up, I always knew that I really cared about animals. My first word was actually ‘Haida’ which is the name of my first dog,” Jacques said.
Jacques was crowned Miss Teenage Rocky View County in February and is set to head to Miss Teenage Canada to represent Alberta among other crowned Alberta teens.
The two-day province-wide pageant included participating in a swimsuit competition, evening gown competition, an opening number and an interview segment. The Grade 11 student said her passion for animals is what led her to dedicate her platform to animal rights.
“My mom was wanting to be a vet so I was kind of raised in her shadow of wanting to be a vet, so I was exposed to all that kind of stuff,” Jacques said.
The teen is currently volunteering with the Cochrane and Area Humane Society and is in the process of raising funds for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“So far I’ve fundraised $120 but I’m still working on organizing more events to raise money,” Jacques said.
Jacques said her activism begins with her own personal choices including using cruelty-free make up products.
“I wear a lot of make up and in the pageant world it’s a huge thing and seeing the testing methods that they were using like on some huge makeup companies that I myself used to really like using,” Jacques said. “I was kind of moved by seeing how easy it is to stop supporting that just by watching what you buy and just doing some research and anyone can really help with that.”
The Miss Teenage Canada competition is set to take place in Toronto in August. Jacques said what she looks forward to most is speaking about what she learned from advocating for animal rights.
“It’s kind of just a bigger platform to express what I care about because it’s kind of not a very common thing for pageant girls to talk about … animal testing and cruelty. So I’m excited to openly speak about that and raise awareness.”