The results are in! It was a tight race, but our Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 winners are Dr. Barry Taylor and Carlyn Montes De Oca.
Life may begin at 50, but compassion for animals can start at any age, as Carlyn and Barry, who have a combined 52 years of not eating animals, can attest.
Carlyn’s path to becoming to a vegetarian was set as a child when her family visited friends in her father’s native Mexico. The friends insisted on slaughtering a pig in honor of their arrival, and despite Carlyn’s desperate pleas to spare the pig’s life, she was soon presented with a plate of pork rinds, which she tearfully refused. Years later, as a college student, she went vegetarian for good.
For Barry, it was a “meats” course that was required for his veterinary degree that pushed him over the edge. “[T]he cold stark reality of looking into the eyes and souls of animals which were about to be killed for no other reason than a human’s pleasure was more than I could handle,” he recalls.
Now, besides saving animals each time they sit down to eat, Carlyn and Barry are both ambassadors for animals in other areas of their lives. Carlyn donates a percentage of her earnings from her acupuncture company, Modern Alchemy, to animal rescue organizations. She also convinced her hair salon to use cruelty-free products and leaves PETA pamphlets in department store bathrooms. “I don’t wear wool, silk, or leather or use anything tested on animals, whether for cleaning, skin care, or beauty,” she says. “I don’t believe in laboratory testing in any form and instead would prefer to promote natural products, supplements, herbs, or using food as medicine to achieve optimal health.”
As a veterinarian, Barry also uses his practice to advocate for animals, including a self-funded, low-cost spay-and-neuter program. He says, “I do not work with breeders or with clients who refuse to have their animals altered. Our clinic displays only PETA … and other animal rights literature and eschews the free literature sent out by breed clubs, [American Kennel Club] publications, and purebred magazines. … I think it is also very important that I maintain high visibility as a vegan veterinarian. There are surprisingly few veterinarians who choose a non-violent diet. Honestly, this disappoints me greatly, and I am hoping that the next generation of vets will see this as more important than the current one does.”
For constantly striving to end cruelty to animals and for their sexiness resulting from a cruelty-free diet, Carlyn and Barry have certainly earned the title of Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50. And how do they feel about the win? Carlyn says, “Today sexy goes beyond appearance. Sexy is an attitude that embodies a passion for life and living. Sexy exudes vitality and optimal health, not just on a physical level, but in mind and spirit as well. Sexy is walking into a room and having heads turn to look at you not just because you look great but because your energy is intoxicating and magnetic. Sexy is owning your own power and speaking your truth. And ultimately, sexy is doing something great for the world with your time and with the resources you have been given.” She concludes, “I may not be able to save every animal, I won’t be able to change every human heart towards a more compassionate way of living, but I’m willing to try. And that’s sexy.”
We couldn’t agree more.