Ricky Martin has started living la vida vegetariana, and PETA couldn’t be prouder. Now, just in time for Meatout 2013, PETA is honoring Martin for choosing meat-free meals—and for tweeting about how “amazing” the switch has made him feel—by sponsoring a rescued chicken named Olivia in his name.
Olivia was rescued by Florida’s Kindred Spirits Sanctuary, where she is now thriving. She spends her days taking dust baths, roosting in trees, and basking in the sun.
“PETA is delighted that Ricky is sharing with his millions of fans how increíble he feels as a vegetarian,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “He’s not alone: People who go vegetarian boost their energy and cut their risk of heart disease, cancer, and obesity—and they help save animals like Olivia, too.”
Not all chickens are as lucky as Olivia. Chickens raised and killed for their flesh are bred to grow so large so fast that many become crippled from the weight of their massive upper bodies. They have their throats slit while they are still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.
Meatout, which began in 1985, occurs every year on March 20, the first day of spring. It encourages people to see for themselves how easy, delicious, and healthful meat-free meals can be. Many people who try eating vegetarian decide to stick with it—just as Martin has.
PETA is proud to recognize Martin’s compassion. He has joined a long list of celebrities — including Anne Hathaway, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Silverstone, Joaquin Phoenix, Jessica Chastain, and former President Bill Clinton — who enjoy healthy, humane, eco-friendly meat-free meals.