Ashley Frohnert

Friendship resident and Wexford native Ashley Frohnert beat out hundreds of entrants to land the Top 10 in PETA’s Sexy Vegan Next Door contest. Frohnert has been vegetarian since 2008 and went vegan in 2013 after she learned about how it is common practice in factory farms that process eggs to kill male chicks and how female cows are treated in industrial milk production.

“I learned that if I reach the finals in the contest, PETA would contact local media,” she says. “I saw this as the best opportunity for me to raise awareness for animal welfare in Pittsburgh.”

Another message that Frohnert wants to get out is the fact that it is not difficult to find vegan food in Pittsburgh. She cites the local resource,, which vets and lists restaurants that offer good vegan options. Currently, they have 50 restaurants in their listing and the list is growing fast.

Her favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh? Eden in Shadyside has healthy (not just vegan) options that also please omnivores and Spak Brothers in Garfield has options for vegans – such as their famous vegan pizzas and amazing seitan cheesesteak sandwich.

She is also campaigning for the Mayor’s office to support Meatless Monday in Pittsburgh – an initiative that has been adopted by many communities from Los Angeles, to Aspen, CO and Boone, NC.

After she made the news, she started to get questions not only from her peers but also from her parents and their friends who have become curious about her diet philosophy and ethics. “I know my goal is being achieved which makes me happy,” she says.

Voting for PETA’s Sexy Vegan Next Door ends on May 2. Vote for Ashley here.

Leah Lizarondo

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment....