Word of Mouth

Reader: PETA's "Sexiest Vegan" Contest Isn't About Looks

Veggie Girl Amber Taufen wasn't surprised when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched yet another campaign that, at its core, was based on objectifying human beings. This time, though, the organization isn't posting billboards with naked supermodels on them or staging "protests" that involved nude women in cages. Instead, it's hosting a "Sexiest Vegan Over 50" contest, and 67-year-old Boulder chef Ron Pickarski was one of five male finalists. (Voting is over, but you can find out how Pickarski placed when results are announced on the PETA site November 23.) But one reader thinks Taufen missed the point. Says Heather:
The contest isn’t about looks. Yes, vegans tend to be fit, but as the contest entry blog states, “sex appeal” is about more than washboard abs and a firm tush. Altruism, integrity, determination, and enthusiasm are all sexy — and vegans tend to embody these qualities and more. Most contestants enter to help animals by promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle. I admire them for that — the contest is essentially a vehicle for them to talk about healthy, humane living. The men and women in the contest are mature enough to make their own decisions, and wise enough to know that the contest is more than a beauty pageant. All beings deserve compassion and respect, and by sharing their stories with others, the contestants are encouraging them to be kind, green and healthy.
What do you think of PETA's stunts? This contest?