For Immediate Release:

18 September 2018

Finalists in PETA Contest Will Battle for Top Honours and Prize Package Worth Hundreds of Dollars

Newcastle – What does Newcastle local Kelly Benson have in common with Joaquin Phoenix, Liam Hemsworth, and David Campbell? They’re all sizzling, sexy vegans! The semi-pro rugby player beat out numerous other entrants to become one of four male finalists in PETA’s Australia’s Hottest Vegan Competition 2018.

The photo is available here.

Benson transformed his health and appearance when he started eating vegan to cure his sleep apnoea, inflammation, and skin problems. “It has been vital for my performance and recovery [while] playing rugby league semi-professionally. But primarily it’s best for the animals, the environment, and for people’s health,” he says. “I’ve planted many seeds in minds of footy mates in my team about [the] benefits of a plant-based diet. I get asked a lot of questions about what I consume to maintain muscle and strength.”

“There’s nothing more attractive than someone who is committed to helping animals and the environment, and it doesn’t hurt that vegans are, on average, healthier and more energetic than their meat-eating peers,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Each one of the finalists in PETA’s contest is a living example of the strength and vitality that can come from vegan eating.”

To see photographs and biographies of all the belles and beaux selected as finalists, click here. The two winners of the annual contest – modelled, in part, after PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Celebrities contest, which has honoured actor Liam Hemsworth, Today Extra host David Campbell, Olympian Morgan Mitchell, and reality star Courtney Act – will each receive a total prize package valued at over $600. The package includes a three-month Vegan Mystery Box subscription from The Cruelty Free Shop, a 12-month subscription to The Australian Vegan Magazine, and either a six-week online vegan wellness course with health coach Paige Renshaw of The Whole Connection or a Luna & Soul Active yoga set and a Holster shoe voucher.

This year’s winners will be chosen based on several factors, including their activism for animals, and will be announced by 13 October. See the full contest details here.

Benson is available for interviews. For more information, please visit