Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler have more in common than 'American Idol' fame and soaring country music careers. They also share their distaste in eating meat, now that Pickler has decided to become a vegetarian.

"One night I couldn't sleep and I was up and just Googling random stuff and I'm like, 'Hmmm, PETA,' she tells PEOPLE magazine. "I saw all the videos and I just thought it was horrible. 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."

Underwood was one of the first people Pickler shared her decision with. "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 admits it was a hard habit to break.

"Most country girls do like their meat!" she says. "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!' "

But Pickler stuck to it, and two weeks later, she sent Underwood another text: "She was like, 'Wow, I'm so proud of you! You're doing better than I thought!'," she says of Underwood's return text. "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 joins Shania Twain and Emmylou Harris on a short list of country artists who shun meat. And, like her predecessors, she understands that it is a personal choice for her and not one she chooses to be outspoken about.

"It's not like I'm not going to go to dinner with someone if they're going to order a chicken," she says. "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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