Two Firefighters Are Finalists in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan’ Contest

Fire Chief and Navy Veteran Battle It Out to Take Home Top Honors—and a Tropical Vacation

For Immediate Release:
June 5, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – PETA is preparing to crown this year’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door, and two firefighters are 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.

Jay Steiner, a fire battalion chief in Florida, credits his 15 years of vegan eating with giving him the energy, good health, and muscle mass that he needs to fight fires and save lives—including those of the numerous animals he rescues from roadways, even when he’s not on duty. He’s also posed for local dog rescue and wildlife rehabilitation charity calendars—so he’s no stranger to the camera!

Aaron Gaunt served in the Navy from 2008 to 2016, primarily as a firefighter. The documentary Forks Over Knives inspired him to go vegan during his deployment, and now he shares his passion for vegan cooking with his fellow firefighters in San Antonio—his specialties include Beyond Meat veggie burgers and enchiladas—and challenges them to make the connection between the dogs and cats they save from house fires and the pigs and cows who are killed for food.

“With their plant-fueled strength and their dedication to saving animals’ lives both on- and off-duty, these vegan firefighters are smoking hot,” 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