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And The Winners Are ...

For Immediate Release:

16 April 2014

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

'Sexiest Vegan in UK and Ireland' Competition Won by Scottish Woman and English Man

London – What do Glasgow native Jenna McGuinness and Northampton-born Gareth Lloyd have in common with Ellie Goulding, Natalie Portman, Jared Leto and even former US President Bill Clinton? They are all sizzlingly sexy vegans! McGuinness, 23, and Lloyd, 27, beat out other finalists to be crowned PETA's Sexiest Vegans in the UK and Ireland in 2014.

McGuinness stopped eating meat at age 5 after watching the film Babe and ditched all animal products nine months ago. "My mum found it easy changing all of our diets, as she grew up next to a slaughterhouse so didn't feel comfortable eating meat anyway", she says. Now a proud animal rights advocate, McGuinness encourages those close to her to adopt a healthy and compassionate diet. "I'm happy with a bowl of mango, strawberries and figs, but if I want comfort food, I go with salt and chilli tofu and broccoli stir-fried with garlic", she says. When she is not busy advocating a vegan lifestyle, McGuinness might be found playing with her cat or travelling. "I have an acrobatic cat called Harvey", she says. "My exercise bike is basically a climbing frame/chew toy for him now. I love going for big walks exploring the beautiful hills and lochs of Scotland."

A vegan since last April, Lloyd adopted a completely plant-based diet after he started to feel that it was hypocritical to continue raising awareness for lions and elephants through his artwork while ignoring the suffering of farmed animals. "The sheer number of animals suffering for our stomachs is far greater than any other cause I've supported, and as such, I feel it deserves the most urgent attention", he says. He tries to inspire others to adopt a vegan diet by posting about animal rights issues on social media, where he has a large following. Lloyd, a veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, can often be found making his own cheese out of nuts, seeds and vegetables. "Seeing the violence humans inflict upon each other is yet another reason I've chosen to live as peacefully as I can by being vegan", he says.

"On average, vegans are healthier and have more energy than meat-eaters do – and that makes them sexier, too", says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. "Congratulations to our two winners. But in our book, all the entrants are winners. They are enjoying all the health benefits of vegan food while living compassionately every day."

To see McGuinness' and Lloyd's photos and bios – as well as pictures of the other belles and beaux selected as finalists – please click here. The two winners will each receive a night for two and lunch at the beautiful Lancrigg Vegetarian Country House Hotel in Grasmere, Cumbria, plus a vegan dinner for two at Cumbria's elegant Zeffirellis restaurant.

McGuinness and Lloyd are both available for interviews. Photos of McGuinness are available here, here, here and here. Photos of Lloyd are available here, here, here and here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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