San Antonio Firefighter Is PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan’

Navy Veteran Takes Home Top Honors—Along With a Tropical Vacation

For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

San Antonio – He’s a firefighter, a Navy veteran, and an avid line dancer—and now, San Antonio resident Aaron Gaunt is PETA’s 2017 Sexiest Vegan Next Door. He beat out contestants from across the U.S. to nab the title, which comes with a vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of Humane Travel.

The documentary Forks Over Knives inspired Gaunt to go vegan during his Navy service. After serving from 2008 to 2016—primarily as a firefighter, with three deployments with the USS Carl Vinson—he returned to San Antonio, where he can be found enjoying the outdoors or country music when he’s not busy fighting fires. His favorite meal is cauliflower barbecue wings with vegan ranch dipping sauce, and he loves sharing vegan meals with his coworkers at the fire station.

“When it comes to pain and suffering, there’s no difference between the dogs and cats we firefighters rescue on duty and the cows and pigs who are chopped up and killed for food,” says Gaunt. “I’m living proof that a firefighter can save animals while both on and off duty—and stay strong through healthy vegan meals.”

“Aaron Gaunt may fight fires by trade, but he’s setting hearts on fire with his compassion for all animals,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA encourages anyone who’s inspired by his strength, energy, and kindness to give vegan eating a try.”

Atlanta-based Army Reserve chemist Arnisha Keaton snagged this year’s female title. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—selected the winners based on several factors, including vote count. See the full contest details here.

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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