Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #20 - Jared Leto


Jared Leto

Know him from: An array of movies such as Requiem for a Dream, Fight Club, Panic Room, American Psycho, The Thin Red Line, Girl Interrupted, Urban Legend, Prefontaine, and many others. He rose to considerable prominence in the mid-nineties for his part on the cult hit tv show My So-Called Life, as the object of a teenage Claire Danes' affections. You may also know him from his band 30 Seconds to Mars.

Why he's veg(eteri)an: Leto seems to be a bit cryptic on this matter (in fact, I can't even quite confirm that he is completely vegan or simply full-time vegetarian), but his meat-free choices appear to be at least partially due to his concern for the environment. While on tour in 2006, Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars traveled in a tour bus powered by vegetable oil, and worked to minimize their carbon footprint as often as possible. While filming a music video in Greenland, the band actively minimized energy use, and used renewable energy as often as possible. The band also launched abeautifullie.org to bring further awareness to environmental issues around the world, and to give people ideas about ways to help these causes. Leto also contributed the cover art for a compilation album called 97X Green Room, on which Leto's band appeared. Proceeds from this album benefitted the Nature Conservancy.

Why he's awesome: Whether you agree with the guy or not, he's got some ardent fans, steady credits in both the acting world and the music world, killer abs (more impressive when you don't kill anything to get them), he's received numerous accolades for his acting roles (many of which are NOT likable characters), and the guy still looks 20 at 40 years old. He may have been called "pretty" a time or two in various media outlets, and, yes, some people may have meant this in an insulting way, but you can insult me with the word "pretty" any time you want...

Also, the guy's a chameleon. Just Google his picture. You'll be hard-pressed to find him sporting the same look for too long. And, honestly, why only praise the ladies for changing their style? I don't even know what color Rihanna's hair is right now. She gets bored, she changes it, then people follow her lead. Most people don't tend to watch the Oscar red carpet for the men, but if the men switched it up more often, wouldn't you be a bit more curious to see what they were doing? If Russell Brand [or insert other male celebrity of choice] decided to dress as a peacock to attend the Golden Globes, tell me you wouldn't at least try to see a picture online...

One of the things I appreciate consistently in a performer is shamelessness in their performance...and I'll tell you why. Don't you sometimes wish you could get up in front of a crowd having NO idea if they'd like what you were doing, perform your heart out, and get off the stage feeling like the same person no matter what the crowd thought of you? If they like you, great, if they don't like you, you've lost nothing of yourself. I admire that. Especially if you wrote whatever it was you performed. Coincidentally, Jared Leto writes most of 30 Seconds to Mars' songs. He also directs most of their music videos.

So, whether or not you are going to start (or add to) a poster collection of Jared Leto on your walls now, just know that this guy hikes, paints (he studied it in college), writes music, travels the world, performs with his band, turns down jobs when he doesn't want them, supports political figures and charitable organizations that he believes in (see "philanthropy"), and still jumps around like an active kid at 40. Plant-based diets can't be all bad...

So Jared, you and whatever you bring to the party are welcome anytime in the Hot Vegan Army. If you happen to somehow see this post, your thoughts on veganism might inspire someone here, and would be greatly appreciated. And, given what we've seen above, we won't even require you to wear a uniform. ;-)

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