A woman and her partner from Sussex have come top in PETA’s Hottest Vegan competition.
Casey Rider, 22, of Bexhill, and 34-year-old Mark Goodwin, a fitness instructor from Eastbourne, beat numerous other finalists in the competition, run by the the UK and Ireland animal charity.
Casey went vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings, and said she has been dedicated to speaking up for animals ever since.
Earthlings is a 2005 American documentary film about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research.
Casey said: “I decided to go vegan one-and-a-half years ago.
“I met Mark, who had been vegan for more than three years. He is an amazing athlete and when I met him I knew nothing about veganism.
“After watching a couple of documentaries, that was it for me. I decided I couldn’t justify contributing to animal cruelty any longer.
“I wanted to ensure I could maintain my strength and stamina. Since going vegan I’m stronger than I ever used to be.
“My recovery time is so much quicker and I have so much more energy.
“The health benefits of being vegan are incredible.”
Before Casey went vegan she was a pescetarian.
Pescetarians are those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish.
Casey added that sometimes veganism can be misunderstood.
She said there was a misconception that a vegan diet made people deficient in nutrients.
Casey said: “It’s not true at all. We want to show you that people can be very active and healthy with a vegan diet. It’s about breaking down the stereotypes.
“PETA loved the fact that Mark and I were a couple when they chose the winners.”
PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and is a UK-based charity dedicated to setting up and protecting the rights of animals.
Along with the Hottest Vegan title, both Casey and Mark will receive an eight-course vegan taster menu for two at top London restaurant Gauthier Soho.
To find out more about PETA log onto www.peta.org.uk.
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