Model, Firefighter Capture Crowns in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan Next Door’ Contest

Kindness Pays Off for Female and Male Victors—Each Is Going to Hawaii

For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382 

Norfolk, Va. — What do Yerika Sojo from suburban Chicago and John Halloran from South Kingston, R.I., have in common? They’ve each been chosen as winners in PETA’s 2013 Sexiest Vegan Next Door Contest—the first year that the annual contest was open to vegans only instead of all vegetarians because so many people are going vegan these days. Sojo and Halloran will each receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of

“Yerika and John are as attractive on the inside as they are on the outside because they’ve chosen a lifestyle that’s as kind to animals and the planet as it is to their own health,” says PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Lindsay Rajt. “The more people get to know these two winners, the more likely they are to say, ‘Yes, please!’ to delicious vegan pasta, faux-chicken nuggets, and veggie burgers.”

A model, a photographer, a substance-abuse counselor, and an aspiring psychologist, Sojo, a native of Puerto Rico, enjoys answering people’s questions about animal rights and going vegan. “‘How can I be vegan like you? What can I do to help animals?’ All questions that I love to hear,.” she says. What does this sultry, compassionate, and radiantly healthy woman 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!”

“I think it’s important for people to understand the number one cause of death year after year in the fire service is heart attacks,” says Halloran. “[I]f you move more toward the plant-based diet … you greatly [reduce] your chances of heart disease.” Halloran’s three children as well as several of his fellow firefighters have either gone vegan or are in the process of doing so. He credits going vegan with giving him a spike in energy and stamina—two vital assets in his line of work. “I feel as good as I’ve ever felt in my life,” he says. “I will never go back!”

Winners were selected based on several factors, including vote count. For more information, please visit

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.