Local IT Manager Is a Finalist in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan’ Contest

Former 4-H Participant Who Became an Animal Rescuer Battles It Out in an Attempt to Take Top Honors—and a Tropical Vacation

For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Lehigh Acres, Fla. – PETA is preparing to crown this year’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door—and Fort Myers native Daniela Habermehl has beaten out hundreds of other entrants from across the nation to advance to the final round of 20 contestants. Visitors to PETA.org can now help PETA select the two winners, who will each receive a free vacation for two to Hawaii, courtesy of Humane Travel.

Habermehl once raised pigs for slaughter in a 4-H program—but now, she’s a dedicated vegan and advocate for animals who hits the ground running after natural disasters. She’s traveled to Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas to hop in a boat and rescue animals stranded by hurricane floodwaters. After Hurricane Florence, her photographs of drowned animals floating in the water raised awareness of the fact that many meat producers refused to evacuate pigs, cows, and other animals before the storm. She frequently participates in animal rights protests and other events, and she loves to share delicious vegan dishes at potlucks at her office, where she works as an IT manager.

“Daniela Habermehl is a real-life superhero to animals in danger across the country,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “All the finalists in PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door contest prove that there’s nothing sexier than striving to make the world a kinder place.”

Voting to help PETA determine which finalists it should select as the winners ends at 12 noon EDT on May 13. The winners—who will be selected based on several factors, including vote count—will be announced on May 20. This is the first year that the contest is gender neutral. See the full contest details here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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