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Pork, rat, crocodile: not sexy, thinks Taiwan’s Barbie Hsu

June 11, 2009

barbie-hsuAn animal rights group’s annual contest to root out the sexiest female vegetarian in Asia has pounced on its first prey in Taiwan, offering the winner dubious publicity in her rabidly carniverous homeland.

Taiwan TV and film actress Barbie Hsu, 32, beat 200 other contestants in the fifth online voter poll by People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a U.S.-based advoacy group also known for shocking socially conservative Asian cities with anti-meat or anti-fur street protests starring nearly naked activists in lettuce-leaf loincloths or covered up by little more than a protest sign (see below for a photo of Mia Gray, Miss Eurasia 2008).

Hsu, best known for her roles in TV series such as Mars and Meteor Garden, got 1,346 votes in the female category. Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor was voted Asia’s sexiest vegetarian man.

“I think we should respect the life of all species, a dog, a person,” PETA quoted Hsu as saying. “Lives are equal, eating meat is like eating corpses to me, and it makes me feel sick and sad.”

She should know. Her western Pacific island of 23 million people is known for scooping all manner of wildlife off the ocean floor and putting pork in everything from sushi to baked bread. Some ruralbarbie21 Taiwanese speak proudly of eating field mice. One restaurant in Taiwan serves crocodile.

The sexy part of her contest win may earn Hsu favor at home in Taiwan, but probably not the veggie part.

“I don’t know how people will take to that,” said Isabella Ho, who works for a film company in Taipei. “I don’t think Taiwan people will take the distinction that seriously. ”

But, Ho said, “I’d see it as a PR stunt, and her PR stunts are very effective.”

PETA is more optimistic.

“Sex sells, and PETA will do anything to draw attention to cruelty to animals,” said Ashley Fruno, senior campaigner with the group’s Hong Kong center.


Sexy vegetarian contest details:

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