The veggie voters have spoken, and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin have been selected as PETA’s 2005 “World’s Sexiest Vegetarians”, narrowly edging out a host of other veggie Valentinos and Venuses, including David Duchovny, Reese Witherspoon, Joss Stone, Avril Lavigne, Joaquin Phoenix and Prince, as well as previous winners Tobey Maguire, Andre 3000, Josh Hartnett, Alicia Silverstone, Natalie Portman and Shania Twain.
Going green is all the rage among the red carpet set. Celebrities cite many reasons for forgoing flesh foods, from avoiding the cruelty that is inherent in all meat production to improving their health and energy levels to helping the environment by not contributing to factory-farm pollution.
Country crooner Carrie Underwood – whose single “Inside Your Heaven” debuted at number one on the Billboard charts – wore a “V Is for Vegetarian” T-shirt on American Idol, sending her popularity soaring among animal lovers everywhere.
Chris Martin and his band, Coldplay, have also gone to number one on the Billboard charts with their album X & Y, which topped the music mag’s “Hot 200” albums list. Martin and his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, are known for their love of vegan cuisine, and they made international headlines recently when they gave their daughter, Apple, a vegan birthday cake from Moby’s New York eatery called “teany”.
In India, Bollywood’s monopoly of PETA India’s most recent “hottest” poll found that the “Hottest Male Vegetarian” was the venerable Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, who continues to rule the Indian film industry. But he faced stiff competition from formidable opponents such as President Abdul Kalam, wealthy industrialist Anil Ambani, hot actor Shahid Kapoor, cricketer Anil Kumble and Simpoo, the Channel [V] mascot who kicked the meat habit and is now a vegetarian!
Long-time PETA pal Alicia Silverstone, best known for her starring roles in the films Clueless and Batman & Robin, as well as the TV series Miss Match and Braceface, made a “debut” of a different sort in India. Thousands of postcards featuring her in a curve-hugging pleather “Batgirl” suit – like the one she wore in Batman & Robin – along with a plea not to support the cruel leather trade were placed in the finest restaurants and cafés in Delhi and Mumbai by PETA India. The blonde beauty captured the title of “Hottest Female Vegetarian”, marking the first time that an international celebrity beat out competitors of the likes of Pamela Anderson.
Other top finishers in the PETA India poll included the evergreen Dev Anand, “Bond” man Pierce Brosnan and Lord of the Rings star Orlando Bloom in the men’s category and Amrita Rao, Victoria Beckham and Avanti Birla in the women’s category. Simpoo finished in the top five.
Contenders for Hottest Male Vegetarian
Benji Madden (Good Charlotte)
Brian Bell (Weezer)
Chris Martin (Coldplay)
Ian Grushka (New Found Glory)
Jeru the Damaja
Mickey Madden (Maroon 5)
Rikki Rockett (Poison)
Steve Jocz (Sum 41)
Contenders for Hottest Female Vegetarian
Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre)
Naima Mora (America’s Next Top Model winner)
T’Keyah “Crystal” Keymáh
All of PETA’s nominees are super-hot, exuding vegetarian vitality. They get their zest from aubergines and their passion from potatoes. More and more celebrities want to avoid supporting the suffering inflicted on the billions of animals who are raised and killed for food each year – and they also know that vegetarians are typically healthier than meat-eaters. Consumption of meat and other animal products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer, as well as infection by salmonella and other bacteria. Vegetarians are also hotter: On average, vegetarians are thinner and trimmer than meat-eaters and less prone to impotence – the cholesterol and saturated fat in animal-derived protein clog arteries leading to all major organs, not just the heart.
From Bollywood to Hollywood and all places in between, both famous and not-so-famous people are realising that the best thing they can do for animals – and themselves – is to adopt a healthy, humane and delicious vegetarian diet.