Parkville resident, Coppin State University officer is finalist in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan Next Door’ contest

PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals nonprofit organization, is hoping to identify the country’s sexiest vegan, and one Parkville resident is in the running.

Michael Baysmore, a Baltimore native and member of the Coppin State University Police Department, entered the “Sexiest Vegan Next Door” contest last month in hopes of winning the grand prize — a trip to Maui, H.I. — and beat out hundreds of other entrants from across the nation for a spot in the top 20, according to a recent press release.

“Michael strives to have a positive impact both in his approach to vegan eating and in his role as a police officer, and he succeeds mightily,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a statement.

Baysmore, who applied and was interviewed by PETA employees for the contest about a month ago, said he’s surprised he made it this far.

“I was relatively apprehensive at first. I’m not necessarily the most confident guy when it comes to my looks … but I thought I’d give it a try,” he said, adding that he first learned about the contest after looking at PETA’s Instagram page.

The 31-year-old, known for his Buzzfeed article about his experience being an African-American police officer in Baltimore, said he became vegan “cold turkey” nearly six years ago for health reasons. He said while driving home, he encountered a bump and felt his stomach jiggle.

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