Atlanta-Area Woman Is a Finalist in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan Next Door’ Contest

Air Force Veteran Dreams of Rescuing Animals in Her Native Peru

For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Ellenwood, Ga. – PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door 2014 contest is down to the wire, and 28-year-old Ellenwood resident Carmen “Gissella” Smith could take home the grand prize. That’s because she has beaten out hundreds of other entrants from across the U.S. to become one of 10 female contestants to advance to the final round. Two lucky winners—one female and one male—will each receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of

“Going vegan can help make you feel better on the inside, look better on the outside, and save the lives of more than 100 animals a year,” says PETA Special Projects Manager Alicia Woempner. “On average, vegans are fitter and trimmer than meat-eaters are, and that makes them sexier, too.”

Smith is a native of Peru and was deployed to Iraq after joining the Air Force. Along with her husband, she stopped eating meat in 2012 after watching several documentaries, including Food, Inc., which takes a critical look at today’s factory farms. She went vegan on the final day of 2013 and now describes her overall health as “great.” Smith is a health-care technician at a local elementary school, and she expects to receive her degree in business from Georgia State University next year. Despite her hectic schedule, she still finds time to volunteer at animal shelters and sign online petitions aimed at stopping animal abuse.

Voting for the finalists to help PETA determine the winners ends at noon EDT on May 2. PETA will select the winners based on several factors, including vote count. See the full contest details here. Winners will be notified and announced by May 6.

For more information and to cast your vote, please click here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind