San Diego County Woman Is a Finalist in PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door Contest

Mother of Two and Fitness Enthusiast Says Vegan Meals Are the Ticket to Good Health

For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

San Diego, Calif. — PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door 2013 contest is down to the wire, and 29-year-old Nastasha Rassel, a lifelong San Diego County resident, 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 male and one female) will each receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of Although the annual contest dates back to 2004, this is the first year that participants must be vegan.

“Going vegan can help make you feel better on the inside, look better on the outside, and save more than 100 animals a year from the violence of factory farms, slaughterhouses, and fishing nets,” says PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Lindsay Rajt. “On average, vegans are fitter and trimmer than meat-eaters are, and that makes them sexier, too.”

Rassel, a proud mother of two, is a passionate fitness and nutrition enthusiast who was inspired to go vegan two years ago after watching Earthlings and Forks Over Knives, two documentaries that tackle the meat industry’s impact on animal welfare and human health. Now, she is a plant-based nutrition consultant who raises her own kids on vegan meals and teaches Mommy and Me vegan cooking classes in San Diego. Although she loves all sports—from football and soccer to wakeboarding and snowboarding—she says that she is “obsessed” with surfing and CrossFit workouts, which she does six times a week. And she credits vegan meals with keeping her energy up: “Being a healthy vegan has helped me perform at optimal levels for longer periods of time over and over again,” she says.

Voting for the finalists to help PETA determine the winners ends at 12 noon EDT on May 3. PETA will select winners based on several factors, including vote count. See full contest details here. Winners will be notified and announced by May 9.

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