I recently saw someone post on Facebook that her 86 year-old grandmother had just become vegetarian, proving that it’s never too late to change. My 60 year-old father is attempting to go vegetarian after eliminating fish from his diet, and my 59 year-old mother is about 90 percent vegan and 10 percent vegetarian. She has made such a shift that she even leaflets and tables with me when I do public outreach to promote vegetarian eating. All three of these amazing individuals are eligible for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) 2010 Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 Contest.
Never one to shy away from controversy, PETA is challenging the American myth that only youth can be celebrated. "Vegetarians—of any age—are, on average, healthier, fitter, and trimmer than meat-eaters are," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "And because the fat and cholesterol in animal-derived products can slow the flow of blood to all the body's organs, vegetarians' love lives can go full throttle for years—even decades—longer."
The American Dietetic Association concurs, noting that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, all commonly associated with an aging population. New research shows that even arthritis and osteoporosis can be prevented or alleviated with a vegetarian diet.
The contest, hosted by PETA Prime, is accepting nominations until October 29, and voting will commence on November 2 and conclude on November 16. Voting for the finalists will occur from November 19 to December 3. One male and one female winner will be named on PETA Prime on December 10, and awarded a five-night experience at the luxurious eco-resort Laguna Lodge in Guatemala.
Photo credit: PETA