Chicagoland Baker Captures Crown in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan Next Door’ Contest

Puerto Rico Native Is on Her Way to Maui

For Immediate Release:
May 10, 2013

Kaitlynn Kelly 202-483-7382

Bolingbrook, Ill. –– Model, substance-abuse counselor, and professional baker Yerika Sojo can now add Sexiest Vegan Next Door to her titles. That’s because she beat out nine other female finalists in PETA’s annual contest that was limited to vegans only this year for the first time. The Bolingbrook resident, who spent her childhood in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico and also lived in Chicago for 10 years, will receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of

“Yerika is as attractive on the inside as she is on the outside because she has chosen a lifestyle that’s kind to animals, the planet, and her own health,” says PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Lindsay Rajt. “The more people get to know her, the more likely they are to say, ‘No, thanks,’ to the chicken nuggets and cow’s milk, and that’s a good thing for everyone.”

An aspiring psychologist whose Azucar Vegan Bakery is known for its creative line of vegan cupcakes in Latin tropical flavors, Sojo enjoys defending animals: “I like when people … come to me and ask me, ‘How can I be vegan like you? What can I do to help animals? Can you help me become vegetarian?’ All questions that I love to hear.” And she isn’t shy about her commitment—she once went naked at a high-profile PETA protest. Sojo says that after she went vegetarian, she had more energy and fewer colds. She also says that she sleeps better at night because “My body and my conscience are clean.” What does this sultry and compassionate woman, who tries to visit Puerto Rico every year to see her mother and other relatives, look for in a man? “A gentleman, and in my book that means a guy who respects all sentient beings. By doing that, he respects himself, too. To me, that is hot!”

Winners were selected based on several factors, including vote count. See full contest details here.

For more information, 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