A UTTOXETER barman has reached the final of a contest that could crown him the sexiest vegan in the UK and Ireland.
Matt Oakes, who pulls pints in the Old Swan, is in the running for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Sexiest Vegan in the UK and Ireland crown.
The former Thomas Alleyne’s pupil has been chosen by judges as one of the four most attractive entrants in the competition.
Now he needs Uttoxeter to get behind him in a public vote in order to win.
The 26-year-old said he aims to raise awareness about veganism as a ‘viable alternative’ for people in town.
He said: “A friend told me about this competition and, after seeing some of the past winners, told me she thought I had a shot.
“So I sent in my pictures and details, just for a laugh initially, but now want to promote the vegan diet as it’s something I strongly believe in.
“I’ve only been a vegan for nine months and I’m really feeling the health benefits, despite it initially being an ethical decision to change my lifestyle.
“I’m not trying to force people to become vegan, but I want to highlight that it is a viable alternative to a regular diet.
“And I strongly believe we shouldn’t kill animals for our own sustainance - there’s absolutely no need to do so.
“There are so many foods we can eat to get what we need in our diets.”
Mr Oakes said he eats a lot of green vegetables like cale, beans and spinach.
PETA’s Yvonne Taylor said: “Compassion for others is not only a sign of strength but also a big turn-on.
“Everyone who entered this contest is a winner because they know that the best thing that people can do for animals, the planet and their own health is to go vegan.”
The winners of the male and female categories will win a night for two and lunch at the Lancrigg Vegetarian Country House Hotel, in Grasmere, Cumbria, and a vegan dinner for two at Cumbria’s elegant Zeffirellis restaurant.
Voting for the competition closes on April 11.
People can vote for Mr Oakes by going online and visiting http://features.peta.org.uk/sexiest-vegan-2014/Finalists.aspx.
More information on PETA is available at www.peta.org.uk.