Veg­e­tar­ian diet makes you sexy, say ac­tivists in China

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

BEI­JING: Want to be sexy? Don’t eat meat – that’s the mes­sage be­hind a cam­paign to pro­mote veg­e­tar­i­an­ism in China, where meat con­sump­tion is boom­ing on the back of rapid eco­nomic growth.

An­i­mal rights group Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals (Peta) un­veiled the cam­paign on Thurs­day, fronted by sul­try Tai­wanese ac­tress and singer, Bar­bie Hsu.

Hsu, bet­ter known in the Chi­nese-speak­ing world as “Big S”, will ap­pear in ad­verts in fash­ion mag­a­zines and web­sites in China, Tai­wan and Hong Kong to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of giv­ing up meat.

Veg­e­tar­i­an­ism is not a widely pop­u­lar con­cept in China, where un­til fairly re­cently many peo­ple strug­gled to feed them­selves and where all sorts of crea­tures – some of them en­dan­gered – are con­sid­ered food, to the cha­grin of en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

Peta’s China cam­paign fol­lows on other global ef­forts in­volv­ing celebri­ties – such as its an­nual “sex­i­est veg­e­tar­ian alive” awards – which last year were given to per­form­ers, An­thony Kiedis and Leona Lewis.

In the China ad­verts, a smil­ing Hsu holds a lit­tle yel­low chick up to her face above the slo­gan “veg­e­tar­i­ans make chicks happy”, though the word­ing in Chi­nese lit­er­ally trans­lates as “love her, love veg­e­tar­i­an­ism”.

“My health has im­proved a lot since I be­came a veg­e­tar­ian,” said Hsu, who said she had not touched meat for a decade. “I want to tell this good news to all of my friends, to tell them the ad­van­tages… so this cam­paign is per­fect for me.”

Peta pro­motes veg­e­tar­i­an­ism not only for its health ben­e­fits, but as a way of im­prov­ing the lot of farm­yard an­i­mals, that it says are of­ten bru­tally treated by fac­tory farms.

But Peta is hop­ing that us­ing Hsu, who shot to fame in the hit Tai­wanese soap opera Me­teor Gar­den, will ap­peal to younger Chi­nese, who are be­com­ing more health-con­scious in the wake of sev­eral scan­dals in­volv­ing tainted food.

“Healthy veg­e­tar­ian di­ets sup­port a life­time of good health and pro­tect against heart dis­ease, can­cer and strokes,” the group said. “A veg­e­tar­ian diet is also the eas­i­est way to stay slim and sexy.” – Reuters

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