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  • Bulent Guneralp

In 2020 I was graciously given the title of “PETA Prime’s Most Beautiful Vegan Over 50.” for that year. I had almost not applied. I don’t seek attention in life, but I felt it was my duty to show up and share my experiences with the world, aiming to shatter myths and advocate for animals. I sent my application to PETA at the last minute and was honored to be selected as the winner—although I believe all vegans are winners!

When I started this journey in 2011, I never would have imagined that I’d be looking back on these major milestones:

In 1996, my mother gave me a book about vegetarianism, which immediately led me to stop eating meat and move away from my unconsciously speciesist lifestyle.

I moved from Türkiye (Turkey) to the U.S. in 1998, after singing as a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Istanbul, under the direction of American conductor William Thomas.

In 2004, I discovered my true baritone voice after training as a tenor for years at three different conservatories, which began my transformational journey.

I confidently and joyfully went vegan in 2011 after reading vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier’s Thrive. This decision dramatically fueled every aspect of my life.

It 2012, I began functional bodyweight training at home, which initiated my surprising physical transformation.

I formulated my vocal method, The Vocathletic System, in 2019 and added “athlete” to my credentials.

In 2020, shortly after the PETA Prime contest, I removed all oil from my diet and soon after started a whole food vegan diet.

In 2021, I became fully raw vegan.

And then I was the guest in three great interviews:
1- “Opera Singer Goes Vegan, Gets Massive Muscles” with Chuck Carroll on The Exam Room Podcast by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), founded by Dr. Neal Barnard.

2- “Bülent Güneralp’s Transformation Debunks Vocal, Athletic, Nutritional Myths” with Chef AJ.

3- “An Update on Food Is Climate” with Glen Merzer, hosted by Climate Healers, founded by Dr. Sailesh Rao.

Today I am an activist and an opera singer who ended up looking like a bodybuilder—solely as the result of eating plants, maintaining daily full-body functional training (no lifting weights or going to a gym), and as the byproduct of my extraordinary vocal journey.