When you’re a beloved comedian or one of England’s top models, you don’t have to take time out in interviews and on social media to speak up for animals, but that’s exactly what John Bishop and Lily Cole did in 2013.

And for the vegetarian stars’ efforts to promote compassion for animals – on top of demonstrating how fit plant-fed bodies can be – PETA UK has named the pair its Sexiest Vegetarians of 2013.

Bishop, who starred in one of PETA’s most popular pro-vegetarian campaigns, “Chicks Love a Vegetarian”, has been meat-free for nearly three decades, which may account for his unflappable energy, both on stage and when completing the strenuous 290-mile Sport Relief challenge. This year, he got his Twitter followers thinking when he posted a photo of part of a mangled, cooked chicken corpse with the comment “People ask why I am vegetarian … give me a carrot any day”.

Cole went vegan more recently after she dreamed about how great she would feel if she ditched meat, eggs and dairy products, and she decided to make her dream a reality. This summer, she used her prominent position in the fashion industry to speak out against manufacturers that use shark liver oil, or squalene, in moisturisers, conditioners and lipsticks without labelling where the squalene comes from. “When people are made aware of this and understand the issue they can then make informed choices”, she says, “and markets always follow consumers”.

Previous title-holders include Leona Lewis, Anthony Kiedis, Eliza Doolittle, Jay McGuiness and Russell Brand.

Bishop and Cole will each receive a framed certificate and a box of vegan chocolates. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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