Nora Kaitis admits there’s really only one thing she misses from her pre-vegan life.
Pulled pork? “Gross!”
No, the mouthwatering snacks the 29-year-old Groupon.com sales rep from Lake View occasionally hungers for are gummy bears — made with gelatin.
A small sacrifice for all the extra energy she has and, now, for being selected as a finalist for PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door competition.
Kaitis is one of two Chicago finalists. The other is Shane Devins, a 27-year-old attorney who lives in Bridgeport.
“All of PETA’s finalists are as attractive on the inside as they are on the outside, thanks to their decision to chose meals that are kind to animals, the planet and their health,” PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said.
Kaitis and Devins are two of 20 finalists, beating out “hundreds” of other entries, according to PETA.
“I’m a pinup model,” said Kaitis, explaining why she entered the competition. “The only thing I like more is animal rights. I thought it would be a great way to combine the two.”
Kaitis’ role models include actresses Alicia Silverstone and Pamela Anderson.
Shane Devins decided to enter the competition as a “great way to promote veganism.” While some other contestants chose a more risqué pose to try to win votes — “Avi” from Toluca Lake, Calif., posed in boxers and holding a bunch of green bananas — Devins opted for a slightly rumpled winter coat.
“Just because I’m in Chicago, and it was too cold,” Devins said of his choice. “I guess that made me go for the more modest look.”
Two winners — one male, one female — will be announced May 6. The prize? A vacation to Maui.
To vote, go to www.peta.org