After more than 4,800 votes were tallied, 51-year-old Julian Winter and Mimi Kirk beat out hundreds of other entrants to be crowned the winners of PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 contest.
Winter started questioning the morality of eating meat following a traumatic incident that occurred when he was a young teen. “The real epiphany for me was being somewhat forced to shoot a deer at age 13 as a rite of passage to adulthood,” he says. “[The deer] didn’t die immediately, and I watched [him] die. To this day, the memory disturbs me.”
That event–coupled with an incident in which Winter was accidentally shot by a hunter–helped lead to a day of reckoning for him. “Upon recovery, I told my father I’d no longer hunt animals, and when I turned legal age at 18, I became a vegetarian.”
“Julian is living proof that going vegan is a great way to protect your health, boost your energy, and ramp up your sex appeal at any age,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “After all, what’s sexier than someone who exudes passion and compassion?”
Winter is especially proud that his daughters and his mother have followed his example by going vegetarian. He even convinced a business colleague to switch from hamburgers to delicious veggie burgers. A financial adviser and part-time screenwriter who taught himself Korean, Winter enjoys spending time with his daughters and participating in winter sports (he’s an avid snowboarder). He also swims several miles a week.
This woman is 70 years old?! Yes! 70-year-old Ramona resident Mimi Kirk beat out hundreds of other finalists to be crowned the female winner of PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 contest.
Kirk–who went vegetarian at age 30 and is now vegan–is happy to share the “secret” of her great looks and high energy level. “[There’s] no doubt that I’m in such good shape for my age because of my diet,” she says. “I swear I feel like I’m in my 20s!” But protecting her health was only one of the reasons why Kirk kicked the meat habit four decades ago. “I know the cruelty that goes on when we don’t even have to eat meat to be healthy,” she says. “Most people are so far removed from how animals are treated and the terrible impact on the planet [that results from] farming these animals.”
Kirk’s dedication to her healthy diet and lifestyle is contagious. Her children are also vegetarian, and over the years she has convinced many of her friends to kick the meat habit. She worked as a stand-in for Mary Tyler Moore in the ’70s, and she designed clothes for Valerie Harper on Rhoda. Kirk enjoys working out, tending her award-winning garden, traveling, and spending time with her boyfriend, who’s 19 years her junior.
For more information, check out PETAPrime.org.