Animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is in the process of determining who will be crowned 2018’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door. Teacher Melissa Faulisi, who identifies as a gay woman, and drag queen Honey LaBronx, are both in the running to win the title.
Each year, PETA holds contests to discover the best of the best in the vegan world. Awards for the best vegan fashion, food, innovation, athlete, and influencer are among the titles given out annually.
Among other criteria, contestants in the “Sexiest Vegan Next Door” category are judged on their “enthusiasm for vegan living.” Participants must submit images, complete an entry questionnaire, and advertise the promotion online to secure public votes.
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Faulisi and her wife went vegan on Earth Day two years ago, PETA reported. She is a health and physical education teacher at Baltimore City Public School, where she includes information on “healthy vegan eating” in her lesson plans. Faulisi also offers services which assist those interested in the lifestyle with vegan meal-planning. Further, she submitted a grant that supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to her students, “many of whom live in inner-city food desserts,” PETA noted.
Faulisi said: “I pride myself in being a positive role model. As a gay woman I understand the power structures and inequalities that exist in our world. Animals face even greater oppression and I want to be their voice in this fight for freedom.”
Labronx shifted to a vegan lifestyle shortly after she began doing drag eight years ago, “a move that shocked her Wisconsin dairy-farming family,” PETA said.
LaBronx hosts the “Big Fat Vegan Radio” podcast as well as “The Vegan Drag Queen Cooking Show” on YouTube. She has promoted plant-based eating at NYC Pride and RuPaul’s DragCon, while her touring show donates funds toward animal rights organizations. “I love bringing my animal rights message to places where people aren’t necessarily expecting it,” LaBronx explained. “The novelty of watching a drag queen lead a cooking demo can spark a great conversation that otherwise might never happen.”
“Both of these dedicated vegans are passionate about standing up for justice – for everyone,” Tracy Reiman, PETA’s executive vice-president said. “Like all the finalists in PETA’s Sexiest Vegan contest, they prove that a clear conscience and a compassionate heart are the secret ingredients to sexiness.”
The final winners will be announced on May 21.
Image Credit: Davide Laffe