CHICAGO
05/25/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door Contest: Best Of The Midwest (PHOTOS)

If the sometimes graphic PETA brochures have not convinced you to go vegetarian, the organization has taken another approach: showing people how hot vegetarians can be.

PETA's annual "Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door" online contest rounds up the sexiest vegetarians and vegans around, and your vote determines which animal lover wins a trip to Hawaii.

This year, four Midwesterners are in the final round, and the winners (a man and a woman) will be announced on April 14.

In Chicago, 23-year-old Kristin Gerhart is hoping she will win for the ladies.

"The trip is secondary," Gerhart told NBC Chicago of the Hawaii prize. "The important [thing] is that I'm passionate about the cause and excited about having the opportunity to spread the word."

Gerhart, a Columbia College grad and film editor, already beat out dozens of other women in the first round of voting, and is now competing against nine others, NBC reports.

Gerhart became a vegetarian five years ago and made the leap to a full vegan lifestyle this year--cutting out dairy, honey and the use of products made with animals.

"I have a really big heart for animals," she told NBC. "I actually gave up beef as a kid because my aunt and uncle were dairy farmers and the cows were like pets."

Three other Midwesterners--one woman from Michigan and two men from Ohio and Wisconsin--are also up for the grand prize. Check them out below, and vote for your favorite here.