What does Ripley local Matthew Oakes have in common with Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto and even former US President Bill Clinton?
They are all sizzlingly sexy vegans! Oakes, 26, beat other entrants to become one of four male finalists in PETA’s Sexiest Vegan in the UK and Ireland competition for 2014.
A vegan for the last nine months, he ditched animal products after watching the documentary film Earthlings, which tells the story of how the meat industry confines billions of animals to severely crowded spaces and subjects them to mutilations, injuries and a terrifying death.
Now a proud animal rights advocate, he tries to inspire others to adopt a healthy and compassionate diet by posting vegan recipe ideas on a special Facebook page he set up.
“The point of the page is to share vegan meals that could be a healthy and ethical alternative to meals that people enjoy on a day-to-day basis”, he says.
When he’s not busy advocating a vegan lifestyle, Oakes dreams about opening a sanctuary for animals who have been given a reprieve from slaughter.
“A lot of people from my background don’t really understand what it means to be vegan, so they ask me a lot of questions about it, which I’m obviously always ready to answer”, he says.
“Compassion for others is not only a sign of strength but also a big turn-on”, says PETA’s Yvonne Taylor. “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.
To see Oakes’ photo and bio – as well as pictures of the other beaux and belles selected as finalists follow this link http://features.peta.org.uk/sexiest-vegan-2014/Finalists.aspx