While the ad’s message is to “eat your veggies to help stop cruelty to animals and save the environment one bite at a time,” the 44-year-old vegetarian star’s toned physique speaks for itself.
The ad was shot by top photographer Jack Guy.
“Vegetarianism is a really important part of what we need to do to help the environment,” explains Edelstein in an exclusive PETA interview. “The meat industry is really toxic to the environment. The cattle industry—besides the fact that there’s a lot of cruel things happening—the manure is extremely toxic.”
The meat industry is responsible for an enormous amount of water pollution and land degradation. What’s more, a recent United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change, as raising animals for food is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of both methane and nitrous-oxide emissions.
Not only does going vegetarian help the environment, it can also give your health a boost, as vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters are. And of course, it spares animals from extreme suffering on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats.
“I like to encourage people to be a vegetarian once a week and then maybe twice a week,” concludes Edelstein, “because that makes such an enormous impact for the whole world that it’s really valuable for everyone. So I’m just trying to push that campaign forward—with my body, apparently.”
Edelstein is part of a growing list of celebrities—including Alicia Silverstone, Casey Affleck, Sir Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Nealon, Emily Deschanel, and many more—who have teamed up with PETA to promote vegetarian eating.