Alicia Mayer has "bared"

Manila — Filipina actor Alicia Mayer has "bared" the truth behind the cruel meat industry in more ways than one. That's because Mayer didn't pull any punches when she agreed to shoot a brand-new pro-vegetarian ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia. In the ad, Mayer is lying completely naked—seemingly lifeless—on a steel table and next to the caption "Meat Belongs in the Morgue, Not on Your Table. Go Vegetarian!" The stunning ad was shot by ace photographer Raymund Isaac for Portfolio Studio and takes direct aim at the meat industry.

"I'm challenging Filipinos to really think about what 'meat' is," says Mayer. "Eating flesh means eating the corpse of a tortured animal who did not want to die. I'm encouraging kind consumers to give vegetarianism a try."

Mayer gained widespread adoration for her part in the cast of the comedy show Lagot Ka … Isusumbong Kita and for her roles on the soap opera Saang Sulok ng Langit and First Time. She has played the role of Rhea on the Filipino-Malaysian soap opera Muli; served as one of the hosts of Eat Bulaga, the longest-running noontime variety show in Philippine TV history; and graced the cover of FHM magazine.

Animals who are raised and killed for meat, dairy products, and eggs endure immeasurable cruelty and are denied everything that is natural and important to them. More than 750 million animals are slaughtered for their flesh every year in the Philippines. On factory farms, cows, pigs, and chickens are kept in crowded, filthy enclosures, which are often so small that the animals are unable to lie down comfortably. Many animals are forced to stand amid their own urine and feces.

Cows are routinely branded, dehorned, and castrated without being given any painkillers. Pigs are castrated, and their tails and teeth are cut or broken off—also without any pain relief. Chickens are drugged and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under their own weight. Birds' throats are cut while they are still conscious, and many birds are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

In addition to being cruelty-free, a diet that excludes meat, eggs, and dairy products can lower the risk of heart disease (one of the Philippines' top killers), cancer, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and acne in adults as well as allergies, ear infections, and juvenile-onset diabetes in children. Ninety percent of Filipinos are lactose-intolerant, and avoiding dairy products can help people's bodies work more efficiently. Numerous physicians and nutritionists agree that the best way to prevent heart disease as well as multiple other conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer, is to eat a diet high in fiber, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A healthy vegetarian diet can also help anyone stay slim.

The production of meat and dairy products also contaminates the water and soil with animal waste. Worldwide, farmed animals produce 13 billion metric tons of excrement a year—that's 48 times as much as the world's human population produces. Each day, animal agriculture consumes 2.5 trillion liters of water—enough for every person in the world to take eight showers.

Animal grazing has been responsible for loss of topsoil and eventual desertification in many parts of the world. The animals destroy the land's protective vegetation. Then wind removes the soil and converts formerly productive rangeland into desert. Forest lands in China and South America are being destroyed to clear space for grazing or to grow food for farmed animals.

A recent United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.

"The evidence is clear," says Jason Baker, PETA Asia's vice president of international operations. "The best thing that people can do for animals, the planet, and themselves is go vegetarian."

Mayer joins a host of international stars—including Pamela Anderson, Natalie Portman, Sir Paul McCartney, Maggie Q, and Barbie Hsu—who have kicked the meat habit.

For more information, please visit PETAAsiaPacific.com.

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