Military Members Are Finalists in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan’ Contest

Military Police Officer, Army Chemist, and Navy Veteran Battle It Out to Take Home Top Honors—and a Tropical Vacation

For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – PETA is preparing to crown this year’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door—and three members of the military are all vying for the title. They beat out hundreds of other entrants from across the nation to advance to the final round of 10 male and 10 female contestants. Visitors to can now help PETA select the two lucky winners—one man and one woman—who will each receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of Humane Travel.

  • Navy veteran and San Antonio firefighter Aaron Gaunt (left) went vegan after watching the hard-hitting documentary Forks Over Knives while stationed overseas. When not fighting fires, he can be found cooking delicious, animal-free meals for his colleagues.
  • Darren Canfield (center) is a military police officer in Raleigh, North Carolina, who went vegan two years ago to stop animal suffering and help prevent cancer, and he recently became an affiliate for the vegan supplement company Clean Machine.
  • Vegetarian since pre-K and vegan for two years, Atlanta army chemist Arnisha Keaton (right) always takes stray animals to a shelter, avoids circuses that use animals, and never wears fur or leather—plus, she led efforts to prompt her chain of command to serve animal-free ready-to-eat meals while on pre-deployment training.

“These compassionate contenders show that nutrient-packed plant-based meals provide all the energy that our service members need in order to thrive,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Each one of the finalists in PETA’s contest is a testament to how sexy vegans are, inside and out.”

Voting for the finalists to help PETA determine whom it should select as the winners ends at 12 noon EDT on June 21. PETA will select the winners based on several factors, including vote count. See the full contest details here. Winners will be notified and announced on June 28.

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