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Former 'American Idol' finalist Kellie Pickler becoming a vegetarian

By John Bracchitta, 10/29/2008 

Carrie Underwood may have some new competition for PETA's 2009 "world's sexiest female celebrity vegetarian" title -- fellow former American Idol finalist and country singer Kellie Pickler, who has revealed that she also became a vegetarian recently.

"Most country girls do like their meat!" Pickler, who finished in sixth place on Idol's fifth season, told People in a Tuesday report. "I used to eat steak rare all the time. I'd just throw it on the grill for two seconds, flip it over and it was done and everyone was like, 'That's so gross - that thing is still moving!'"

Pickler told People that while she had intially become intrigued by vegetarianism because of its health benefits, it was a late-night online review of some information from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that made up her mind.

"One night I couldn't sleep and I was up and just Googling random stuff and I'm like, 'Hmmm, PETA.' I saw all the videos and I just thought it was horrible," Pickler told People. "It's animal cruelty. A lot of it has to do with knowing what happens to the animals and it really bothered me and so I will not eat meat."

Pickler said her decision was met with initial skepticism from Underwood, a longtime vegetarian who has been crowned PETA's "world's sexiest female celebrity vegetarian" twice in the last four years.

"I texted Carrie and was like, 'You're never going to believe this!' And she was like, 'No way! I'll give you three days!'" Pickler told People of the fourth-season American Idol champion's initial reaction.

Underwood became less skeptical when Pickler sent her a second text message update two weeks into her new all-veggie diet.

"She was like, 'Wow, I'm so proud of you! You're doing better than I thought!'" Pickler told People. "So we have this little vegetarian thing going on. I'll text her and be like, 'Is fish considered a meat?' And she'll be like, 'Well, different people look at it differently.'"

Pickler said she's now been a vegetarian for five months and her body has felt better since making the switch. Still, she added she hasn't become preachy about converting people away from meat and said it was simply a choice that was good for her.

"It's not like I'm not going to go to dinner with someone if they're going to order a chicken," she told People. "It's just a personal thing to me and I'm not preaching about it to anyone. But I feel more healthy."

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