All the entrants in PETA’s Australia’s Hottest Vegan Competition 2018 are already winners for choosing to be kind to animals.
It was a tough choice, but we’ve narrowed it down to eight finalists – four men and four women – who dazzled with their fabulous photos and compassionate hearts.
Abdullah is a Melbourne-based electrician who grew up in Afghanistan. Two years ago, he had a nightmare about being a cow at an abattoir and immediately adopted a vegan lifestyle. The sparky is now a shining light for animals and is constantly involved in activism, organising weekly outreach events, rallies, and marches. He also tried fostering cats but says he “failed miserably and adopted them [him]self”.
“As a kid growing up in Afghanistan, I remember when my uncle slaughtered a chicken in front of me, I ran to my mum crying. … As an adult, the more I looked into veganism, the less reasons I had to not be a vegan.”
As an environmental engineer, Brad initially went vegan to do his part to protectthe planet, and he now also sees the huge benefits for animals and his own health. He is the current Queensland long-course triathlon champion for his age group and recently won national titles in sprint and Olympic-distance triathlon.
“I use my athletic achievements in triathlon to demonstrate to friends, family, and followers that a plant-based (vegan) diet can maximise your health and performance.”
The minute that Adelaide cabaret performer and voice coach Deanna found out that she was still contributing to animal suffering as a vegetarian, she went vegan. Now, she says she’s never been more passionate about anything in her life.
“I now do outreach at every opportunity and have become an organiser of activism events in Adelaide. I am also on track to run in the next election for the Animal Justice Party ….Once I started speaking to people about veganism publicly, I couldn’t stop. There is nothing more satisfying than helping someone make a connection they’ve never made before and giving them the support they need to make better choices.”
Edyn went looking for romance on Love Island, but she’s always loved animals. The sizzling-hot reality TV star provides her tens of thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube with vegan inspiration.
“I have helped hundreds of people go vegan by informing them of what they can eat [and about] the truth behind the meat and dairy industry.”
Veterinary nurse Kaz has made a career out of caring for animals and has never met a dog she couldn’t be friends with. She describes her many tattoos of animals as “conversationstarters”that give her the opportunity to explain why she loves cows, pigs, and chickens and why we should keep them off our plates.
“I’ll speak to anyone who will listen about animals and their rights ….”
This semi-pro rugby player is scoring tries and saving lives! Hailing from Newcastle, Benson transformed his health and appearance when he started eating vegan to cure his sleep apnoea, inflammation, and skin problems.
“[Eating vegan] 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 …. 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.”
This coffee connoisseur from Hervey Bay is getting the animal rights message out in rural Queensland. He recently organised a screening of Dominion in his hometown of Stanthorpe and raised money for a local farmed-animal sanctuary. When he isn’t brewing the town’s best coffee, you can find him playing the saxophone or ukulele or hitting the gym for an intense workout.
“Many people have become vegan since meeting me, and I am starting a mobile vegan coffee van to promote veganism, too.”
Portia was raised on a cattle station in central Queensland and became vegetarian at the age of 11 after being exposed to the horrors of an abattoir. Later, while at medical school, she adopted a vegan lifestyle after she “learnt the terrible health risks of meat, dairy, and saturated fat”. Now, she’s not only a doctor but also a nutritionist and a personal trainer. Based in Hobart, she’s the Tasmanian ambassador for Doctors for Nutrition – a group of medical professionals who inform patients about using diet to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
“I also looked more into the dairy and battery-hen industries and decided that I didn’t want to contribute to the industrialised torture of defenceless, sentient, beautiful animals. I became vegan and have never looked back.”