Every year, the Sexiest Vegan Over 50 contest proves that the PETA Prime community includes many vegans who exude inner and outer beauty, with stories that inspire us all. However, two very special vegans stole voters’ hearts with their enthusiasm and dedication to animal rights. PETA Prime is excited to announce 2018’s Sexiest Vegans Over 50: Carlos Garcia and Darlene Howe!

Carlos lives and breathes animal rights. In an interview with PETA Prime, he explained, “My ‘job’ has become to take off the blinders that society has put on humans so they can’t think clearly and make their own decisions about what they should and shouldn’t be doing … It’s time to wake up, and I see many great signs that we’re building momentum.”

His vegan journey began with a screening of Earthlings, and right there, in the theater, he vowed to change his lifestyle. Today, he lives at an animal sanctuary and cares for the animals there.

Carlos also gives musical performances, and because of his activism, he’s been invited to speak at health conferences, spiritual events, VegFests, and other wellness-related festivals and events. He told PETA Prime that his goal for the upcoming year is to distribute his health magazine, which he publishes himself, to more cities around the country. “Our magazine has turned many people vegan, and the more copies I can get out, the more people we will turn vegan.” He’s got a tour of India to look forward to as well, thanks to VegVoyages—Vegan Adventure Tours. “The entire trip sounds exciting,” he said, “I’d like to see the natural sites … The food sounds great, too.”

As a labor and delivery nurse, Darlene brings (human) babies into the world, and she’s been dedicated to animal rights for decades. A vegetarian for 29 years, she went vegan last year and hasn’t looked back. Ditching dairy “products” lifted a huge weight off her shoulders, figuratively and literally—since going vegan, she’s lost 40 pounds!

But health goals aside, Darlene is in it for the animals. She protests cruel horse races at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racetrack in Southern California and often uses her social media accounts to open friends’ eyes to animal suffering and advocate for lasting change. For proof that her kind lifestyle leaves its mark, just look at the PETA bunny and the words “Live Cruelty-Free” tattooed on her calf.

Darlene is looking forward to using her “Sexiest Vegan Over 50” title to spread awareness of the way a vegan lifestyle reduces animal suffering and environmental damage. “I think many people block animal suffering from their minds and can’t or won’t educate themselves about the subject. I like to try different approaches to open their minds, such as discussing what their grandchildren may face if we don’t change our eating habits.” Animals have a wonderful ally in Darlene.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in 2018’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50 contest! Please continue to celebrate PETA Prime’s 10-year anniversary with us over the coming months. Follow us on Facebook, and subscribe to our e-news for a weekly update on the latest PETA Prime lifestyle and wellness tips, animal rescue stories, activism, inspiration, and more.