Being vegan and helping animals not only brings good karma your way but also apparently gives you sex appeal — and possibly a free trip to Maui.
Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has named the finalists in its annual contest, Sexiest Vegan Next Door — and three of the hottest veggie lovers hail from Miami-Dade. Even hotter is the fact that two of the three Miami-area finalists are both marine biologists who have fought for the release of Lolita the killer whale — and they're a couple.
Twenty-five-year-old Liz Mourar Jones and 25-year-old Matt James St. Clair have both protested Miami Seaquarium for its treatment of Lolita. The vegan power couple are both certified scuba divers and share a home with six rescue cats.
Jones, who has a master's degree in marine science from the University of Miami, apparently also has nerves of steel, because she frequently rescues sharks accidentally caught by fishermen. In addition, the fit vegan volunteers at adoption events for house-friendlier creatures such as cats and dogs, plus she's a member of several local conservation groups.
St. Clair, who also holds a master's in marine science from UM, works for the National Park Service, where he specializes in lobster-protection protocols. He is also involved in environmental preservation and works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey to help monitor and protect Florida. As for not eating meat, St. Clair simply says that vegan meals are "essential to keep this planet alive."
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Alberto Cassab is a fitness instructor and krav maga expert who splits his time between Mexico and Aventura. The 32-year-old bodybuilder also rescues dogs in his native Mexico, making this sexy vegan dog's best friend.
PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman says the contest highlights the fact that people who adhere to a plant-based diet can be healthy and sexy. "Nothing gets hearts racing like someone who's healthy, fit, energetic, and passionate about helping others, and that description fits vegans to a T."
Of course, there's also the trip to Hawaii. One man and one woman will win a free vacation for two to Maui — and, of course, the title of Sexiest Vegan Next Door.
To help Liz, Matt, or Alberto win and make sure Miami is home to the sexiest vegans on the planet, you can vote on the PETA website. Voting ends at noon Tuesday, June 7, and you can vote once every 24 hours. Winners will be announced June 14.