EDGEWATER — The country's sexiest vegan could be living right next door.
Annie Fosnacht, 35, of Edgewater, beat out hundreds of other vegans across the country to make the finals of PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door contest.
"It’s a little hard competing against other vegans," said Fosnacht, who has been a vegan since 2008. "We’re all on the same side, we’re all winners."
She submitted a photo and answered a questionnaire to enter the contest. And when the first round of voting ended, she had garnered 1,956 votes, putting her into the final 10, according to PETA's website.
This isn't the first time Fosnacht competed. But last year, she didn't even make the finals.
So she said she upped the ante by submitting a photo taken by her boyfriend that showed off a body made by veganism: topless, back to the camera, dressed in a red plaid skirt.
"I’ve reached a level of health and fitness I never thought was possible," she said about losing 35 pounds since going vegan while training for the 2008 Chicago Marathon. "I want to show off the level of health" you can achieve by going vegan.
She hopes her enthusiasm and good looks are enough to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Maui.
"I've never had enough money to travel like that," she said.
Fosnacht works for the University of Illinois at Chicago as a public health professional and does personal training on the side.
She said her friends and co-workers weren't surprised she was competing to be PETA's sexiest vegan. Even an old friend from grammar school tweeted out a link to encourage people to vote.
Voting for all 20 finalists — 10 men and 10 women — ends 12 p.m. Friday. Then PETA will consider total votes, enthusiasm and attractiveness before it announces the two winners by May 9, according to its website.