Vegans Jared Leto and Ellen Page have been named the sexiest vegetarians for 2014 by PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced.
In crowning Leto and Page their hottest vegetarians, PETA praised Jared's age-defying good looks and Ellen's animal-rights activism. Both Leto and Page are vegans, meaning they do not eat or use animal products (like leather).
Leto, 42, beat out fellow vegans Samuel L. Jackson, Joaquin Phoenix, Ricky Martin and Woody Harrelson. Page triumphed over Carrie Underwood and Christie Brinkley.
Ageless Jared Credits Vegan Diet For Boyish Looks
Leto, who has been hailed for his unbelievably youthful looks, said the vegan diet and yoga are his anti-aging secrets. "Twenty solid years of eating vegetarian/vegan and taking care of myself," Jared told GQ. "That probably helps the preservation process."
The equally ageless Page, 27, said she's vegan not only for health reasons, but because she loves animals too much to eat meat. The age-defying effects of a vegan diet are no surprise to Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center.
“If you shift to a diet more about plant-based foods, you are likelier to live healthier and experience less chronic disease," said Katz, author of Disease-Proof.
Dr. Neal Barnard agrees. "Studies suggest that free radicals [toxic molecules that form in the body] contribute to aging," Barnard wrote in his book, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. "A vegan diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is full of antioxidants which help protect the body from damage by free radicals."
For exercise, Leto does yoga workouts, hikes, and cycles. "I'm a pretty adventurous hiker, so I like to crawl through the brush," he said. "I like to be outdoors. I never use an iPod. I like to hear the sounds of nature."
Jared, the frontman for the band Thirty Seconds To Mars, fasted for a month to play a transsexual woman battling AIDs in the drama "Dallas Buyers Club." The 5-foot-9 Leto starved himself down to a scrawny 116 pounds, and won an Academy Award for best supporting actor.
Samuel L. Jackson Credits Vegan Diet for 40-Pound Weight Loss
Ellen and Jared join a long list of celebrity vegans, including Samuel L. Jackson, Pamela Anderson, Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, and Michelle Pfeiffer. They have all credited the plant-based diet for giving them more energy, helping them lose weight, and staying youthful-looking.
Jackson, 65, said the vegan diet was responsible for his recent 40-pound weight loss and dramatically improved energy. Samuel L. said he was inspired to go vegan after reading Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and speaking with the renowned vegan cardiologist.
“Going to [Dr. Esselstyn’s] house and talking to him and his wife Ann [convinced me to adopt a vegan diet]," said Jackson. Jackson said watching Esselstyn's ground-breaking film, Forks Over Knives, put him over the edge. Since going vegan, Samuel L. said he has never felt or looked better.
"I feel great," he told reporters at a recent press event. "I have a lot more energy than I used to have. I sleep better. I like the way I look in my clothes better. I don’t cramp as much. I exercise better. I think my circulation has gotten better.”