Las Vegas almost missed its bragging rights to housing PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door. David Anthony had never heard of the contest until a friend brought it up to him last year. Thankfully, the friend did because now the burgeoning vegan city has another notch on its vegan belt.
The police officer (he was a first responder and helped save lives in the 10/1 shooting) grew up in Spain and Hawaii. He lived in Las Vegas from 2001 – 2004 before moving to LA and then returned in 2007.
On the force for eight years, Anthony went vegan in October 2016, the day surgery was performed on his knee to replace his tendon with a cadaver tendon.
“I knew my recovery was going to be challenging so I researched ways to help heal fast and eating plant-based came up,” he explains. “I did a lot of research from reading to watching documentaries to listening to those who have already adopted a vegan lifestyle. The amount of knowledge was eye-opening, yet common sense. Oddly enough, I was also given the results to my yearly physical and my cholesterol and blood pressure was high. This was six years in a row I was told by a doctor I need to do something about this or start taking medication. That did it for me because my dad took medication and some of my family members on his side were dependent on medication and even died from having high cholesterol and blood pressure.”
Within four months of adopting a vegan lifestyle, his cholesterol plummeted from 222 to 145 and he “never looked back.”
What challenges did you face when you first made transition?
To be honest, there weren’t any challenges I had to face because I prepared myself by reading and researching. On top of that I have a good support system with my family and co workers. Most importantly, I knew the “why” going in and living a quality life so I can be there for my family is one hell of a reason. Plus, we live in a time where there is a vegan alternative for every non vegan food out there. Vegan restaurants are popping up everywhere, grocery stores are stocking their shelves with vegan food and even your non vegan restaurants are creating vegan options. I can eat pizza, burgers, ice cream, cake, donuts, etc., all without cholesterol and not a single animal was killed in order to do so.
What does it feel like to be named PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door?
Being voted PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door is a very humbling experience. Everyone has been supportive throughout this entire process. I am overwhelmed with the positive vibes pouring in from all over the world, both in person and social media. I competed against nine other gentlemen who continue to positively impact society through the vegan lifestyle. Despite our original reasons for going vegan, you ultimately end up being vegan for all reasons. This is a lifestyle where the ultimate goal is to save lives.
Being recognized by such a huge organization such as PETA has opened many doors for me to continue spreading awareness on veganism in a positive manner. Congratulations to Dani, the winner in the female category. One thing I would like to make clear is all the finalists are winners. Each person brings a unique take on spreading compassion through veganism. It was an honor to even be in the running with these beautiful people.
What advice would you give others to feel sexy?
I would say feeling sexy is more than physical attributes. Sexiness derives from your inner self and how you can express that. The biggest way is through compassion. Ask yourself, are you living or are you existing? Living is waking up every morning asking yourself, “how can I help,” instead of existing and asking yourself, “how can you help me.” So if you really want to be sexy be part of something that’s bigger than yourself. Animals, the environment and people around us are dying sooner than nature intended. By going vegan you are creating a positive change, not only for us but for future generations. Now, that’s sexy.
What is your favorite meal?
Pancakes! And it needs to be accompanied with maple syrup and a little bit of vegan butter. If PETA were to change my prize to a lifetime supply of pancakes, I wouldn’t even be mad. Editor’s Note: The prize is a trip for two to Hawaii. Score.
For people who are interested in going vegan, what are some of your tips to make the leap?
Educate yourself. The more knowledge you have the more likely it will be a successful transition. I’m an avid gym goer so I started researching vegan bodybuilders like Torre Washington, who is now coaching my wife and I, and Robert Cheek, who is the founder of Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness.
Also, find your “why” and embrace it. Create a strong support system filled with friends and family. If you don’t have one then look towards social media for support. Major cities across the world now have vegan communities where you can mingle with other vegans.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I really enjoy working out, spending time with my wife and son and video games to unwind. I’m a homebody so my idea of fun is Netflix and Eat.
What are your favorite vegan spots in Vegas and beyond?
My ultimate favorite restaurant is VegeNation because they bring the whole package from damn good food, great customer service and hosting fun, loving community events. And in no particular order, you’ll catch me in Veggie House for their vegan Orange Chick’n, Cinnaholic for their gourmet cinnamon rolls, Ronald’s Donuts because, well, let’s face it, I have a stereotype to uphold, and last but not least, Go Vegan Cafe and Simply Pure for that raw vegan food experience. All of these can be found in Las Vegas.
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