Las Vegas police officer named PETA’s sexiest vegan

Vegas Voices is a weekly series highlighting notable Las Vegans.

Sure, that whole “sexiest” thing is flattering, but David Anthony adds compassion and concern for living things and the environment to his definition of that word.

And, by that more expansive definition, Anthony is fine with being chosen as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Sexiest Vegan Next Door for 2018.

“I’m absolutely humbled,” says Anthony, 34, a Las Vegas police officer for more than eight years.

Anthony entered the contest at the urging of a co-worker. “A police officer was a finalist last year, and he said, ‘If he can do it, you can do it. You should give it a shot,’ ” Anthony says.

Anthony was born in California, but the family traveled a good deal because his dad was in the Air Force. His family moved to Spain when Anthony was 1 year old, and he lived in Hawaii for several years before coming to Las Vegas for his senior year at Bishop Gorman High School.

Anthony has been a vegan since the day of his knee surgery, for a ligament injury, in October 2016. He hoped going vegan would promote faster healing — that happened, he adds — and discovered that four months after making the change, his cholesterol level had fallen from 222 to 145 and he’d dropped 40 pounds.

Anthony says he now feels better than ever. “I’m not tired now as I used to be, and my knee doesn’t hurt.”

Anthony and his wife of seven years, Claudia, have one son, Triton, 4. (All three are vegan.) For winning the contest, Anthony and his family received a vacation in Maui.

Review-Journal: What do your co-workers think about your being named America’s sexiest male vegan next door?

They get a laugh out of it. But it’s one of those things where they’ll laugh, but they’ll immediately say they respect the fact I gave it a shot. And (about) being vegan, people laugh and don’t understand the lifestyle, but at the end of the day, people respect the fact that I chose that lifestyle.

Why did you decide to enter the contest?

The fact that I can bring the vegan lifestyle more to light and bring it to the public. PETA told me I’d be interviewed if I ended up winning, so I said, ‘Know what? I can spread more awareness of the vegan lifestyle and how healing it is.”

Why do people go vegan?

There are probably three reasons why people become vegan. One is health, two is for the animals, and three is for the environment. Some people do all three, and I think health is a strong motivator.

What do you suggest to people who might be interested in becoming vegan?

Read and research and gradually go into it, even if it means meatless Mondays. Then do it two days a week where you’re not eating meat, as opposed to just diving right into the deep end and you can’t crawl out. We are creatures of habit, and humans in general will be opposed to change. But just gradually get into it.

What might people not understand about being vegan?

It’s a lifestyle. You live it. It’s about compassion, it’s about healing, it’s about how you treat others and how you treat animals.

Have you always wanted to be a police officer?

I wanted to be a police officer when I was in Hawaii. I just never pursued it. Then after high school, I went to UNLV and studied acting. That’s where I met my wife, in acting class. Then we went out to L.A. to pursue acting, and when I got the news my dad was really sick, I moved back to Las Vegas to take care of him. I spent a couple of years doing that.

So why law enforcement?

It comes down to the stereotypical answer you always hear from cops: To help people. I was always that guy, even when I was in grade school, college and now, where you want to help. It’s one of those careers where … it chooses you, as opposed to you choosing it.

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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