Irvine Woman Is a Finalist in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan Next Door’ Contest

Vet Tech Student Thanks Her Healthy Diet for Energy Burst, Weight Control

For Immediate Release:
April 16, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Irvine, Calif. – PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door 2014 contest is down to the wire, and 23-year-old Irvine resident Ava Crittenden 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.”

Crittenden—who was born to a military family on Clark Air Base in the Philippines—lived in Hawaii and Japan before settling in Irvine. She works at an animal shelter and an exotic-animal hospital—where she has cared for everyone from birds of prey to bobcats—and she expects to get her California certification as a veterinary technician this year. She went vegan nearly two years ago and immediately noticed a boost in energy, and she shed a whopping 20 unwanted pounds. Crittenden is always on the move and enjoys cycling, hiking, and traveling. She has three rescued animals—all of whom have been “fixed,” of course—including a cat she found in a dumpster who loves to play fetch. Her motivation in going vegan had a lot to do with her work: “I’ve always felt that as an animal welfare advocate, my decisions that affect animals should be on and off the job,” she says.

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