Kelly Prebish

Votes must be in by 3-31-06

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 3-1-06, By Julie A. Short

``Area woman competes for 'Sexiest Vegetarian Alive'

AVON -- What started out as an entry on a whim, has landed Avon resident Kelly Lynn Prebish as one of 10 female finalists in PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) "Sexiest Vegetarian Alive" contest. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood are the reigning king and queen of PETA's annual "Sexiest Vegetarian Alive" contest, in which visitors log onto PETA'S web site to vote for their favorite vegetarian celebrities.

Now, PETA has expanded the contest to include the vegetarian boy or girl next door. Prebish beat out hundreds of entrants from the United States and Canada to become one of 10 female finalists.

"I was looking online for a vegetarian recipe which happened to lead me to the PETA Web site," Prebish said. "I saw the contest and told my husband about it. We both jokingly thought I should enter. I did it on a whim never thinking I would make it this far. I sent in a regular-looking photo ..."

Prebish has been a vegetarian since the age of 12. Her parents were supportive of her decision and never thought it to be "just a phase." "I had a science teacher back in the seventh grade who told us that there were worms in meat," Prebish, 30, said. "He knew that I was really sensitive to animals. He picked on me all the time and would make me do crazy things like pass out sheep eyes that we were dissecting in class. He was strange. Eventually I heard he got fired."

As she got older, Prebish began to realize the health benefits of vegetarianism. "When you are young, you also don't realize where your food comes from," she said. "I can visualize the whole process. For me, it's always been a moral thing, but the health reasons play a huge role. There is so much other stuff out there to eat. The meat section of the grocery store is only a small part."

The stay-at-home mother has three children, Taylor, 8; Tommy Jr., 5 and Carter, 3, whom she is raising as vegetarians. "My kids have never had meat," she said. "They eat some dairy, including eggs, but I don't. We all drink soymilk. When I met my husband, he wasn't a vegetarian, but now he is. There are so many things you can make that don't include meat.

My children are exposed to so many other foods including a great Cuban dish my husband prepares. We've never thought that we limited in our cooking options. For anything that has meat, you can make it without or substitute something else."

In her spare time, when she's not running around with her kids or fund-raising for a number of local charities, Prebish works part-time as a model. She also volunteers at the Lorain County Animal Shelter with her daughter, Taylor.

Prebish's hero is fourth-generation cattle-rancher-turned-vegetarian-advocate Howard Lyman (a.k.a. "The Mad Cowboy") because of his conversion story.

"We look for people that have interesting lives," PETA spokesperson Reannon Peterson said regarding the contest. "We created the contest three years ago to give the average vegetarian the opportunity to show the world that being cruelty free is sexy and fun. Kelly truly embodies this spirit.

Vegetarians, on average, are much thinner and healthier than most people who eat meat. Studies show that people live longer on a vegetarian diet and have a lower risk of heart attacks and cancer." To vote for Prebish, log on to Winners will be announced in April [2006].

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 3-9-06, By Mary Davies, Staff Writer

``Beauty secret is vegan diet

Woman in PETA contest

AVON -- Thirty-year-old Kelly Prebish has a body most women idealize. Tell them she has three young children, and that wishful thinking can turn to sour envy. Kelly Prebish, of Avon, is among 10 finalists in the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' ''Sexiest Vegetarian Alive'' national contest. Prebish is holding a mango, an example of the type of food she eats on her vegan diet. Sun photo by Elizabeth Ferraro.

Prebish's diet, void of meat, fish or dairy products, certainly helps her stay trim, but it's hardly her secret to success.

"There are plenty of overweight vegetarians," she said.

Prebish is not one of them, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals took notice.

On March 31 [2006], Prebish will learn if she bested nine fellow finalists in PETA's third annual "Sexiest Vegetarian Alive" national contest. PETA also sponsors a separate celebrity contest.

The Avon resident wasn't serious about her candidacy when she entered the contest a few months ago. She saw an advertisement while searching online recipes, and her husband encouraged her to apply.

Prebish forgot she entered the contest until PETA sent her an e-mail with the good news ...''

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