Save a cow, eat this dress instead

Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:34am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - The dress worn by Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan looked good enough to eat.

It was made of lettuce leaves, part of an effort by animal rights group PETA to encourage consumers to go vegetarian as meat consumption in China keeps on rising.

Draped in the dark green, form-hugging leaves, Gao also sported a necklace made of gleaming red chili peppers.

"After going vegetarian, I feel so much lighter," Gao told a media event.

"When I first started the vegetarian diet, I was not used to it and so I ate starchy foods in big amounts, and gained a little bit of weight. Still, I felt much more energetic."

Chinese, historically, had a vegetable-heavy diet, but as incomes and living standards have rising among the nation's growing middle-class, people are eating more meat.

On average, each person consumes 55 kilograms a year.

Jason Baker, from PETA, said that China's consumption of meat has quadrupled over the last four decades, resulting in a number of health problems.

"Per capital consumption is still lower compared to the Western world, but it's changing -- it's getting worse," he said, noting that factory farming of meat has begun in China as well.   Continued...

<p>Chinese movie star Gao Yuanyuan poses in a gown made of lettuce and cabbage leaves during an event organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia in Beijing, in this file photo taken June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/Files</p>