PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two local men are finalists in a national competition to determine the sexiest vegans over the age of 50.
The contest is organized by PETA Prime and voters will choose two winners to receive a three-night stay at Balance for Life Florida, an all-inclusive wellness retreat.
But 54-year-old Tim Medearis, a special education teacher at Laurin Middle School in the Battle Ground school district, didn’t know about the prize when he first applied. He is a member of numerous animal activism groups including Vancouver Anonymous for the Voiceless and said someone online suggested he apply. With some encouragement from his wife, he did. For Tim, the whole thing is just a fun way to raise awareness.
“A big issue right now is the rain forest, it’s on fire, we’re destroying the rain forest,” he said. “Well the number one destruction of the rain forest is animal agriculture. And 80% of the beef that’s grown in Brazil is shipped to America and sold to McDonald’s. We are affecting this. Every time we go and we buy a hamburger, a steak, a chicken sandwich, we’re paying for the rain forest to be cut down.”
Tim has been vegetarian for about 18 years and went fully vegan four years ago when he and his wife watched the documentary “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.”
“The reasons that we went vegan was for the animals, for compassion,” he said. “But also, when you start looking into the health issues, dairy is terrible for us.”
He added, “We’re destroying the planet, we’re killing ourselves and we’re torturing beautiful sentient beings that deserve to live.”
Omar Ordonez, 50, is more reserved in his advocacy.
“I don’t go out telling people to become vegan,” Omar said. “The one thing that I do ask is that they expand their curiosity.”
He and his wife live in Gresham. They became vegan 10 years ago, after doing some research and watching some PETA videos. They committed to an animal-free diet “just right there on the spot that afternoon.”
It’s clear how much Omar loves animals. He has several dogs that he rescued from his travels abroad. He found Suri while riding his motorcycle to the tip of South America in 2016. She almost got run over by a truck right in front of him.
“I saw her go in between the wheels and she escaped,” he said. “She adopted me, and she traveled the rest of the way.”
Vote for Tim or Omar!
The rules for the contest are pretty simple: Are you more than 50 years old? Do you advocate for animals? Are you attractive? And PETA doesn’t necessarily mean in the traditional way. They’re looking for compassion, enthusiasm and other virtuous personality traits.
Even though there are two winners, Tim and Omar can’t both be the sexiest. Only one sexy vegan woman and one sexy vegan man can win.
Make your choice and vote by September 27.