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Vegetarian Celebrities Highlighted On World Vegetarian Day (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 10/01/2011 1:00 pm   Updated: 12/01/2011 4:12 am

Whether you're a hardcore vegan or a "weekday vegetarian," it's time to celebrate all things animal product-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month, which kicks off with World Vegetarian Day on October 1.

The North American Vegetarian Society sponsors the month to help inform people about the benefits of vegetarianism. Their site writes: "You will be helping to create a better world because vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) writes vegetarianism can help save the planet by reducing human contribution to climate change. "Forests are being bulldozed to make more room for factory farms and feed crops to feed farmed animals, and this destruction causes soil erosion and contributes to species extinction and habitat loss. Raising animals for food also requires massive amounts of food and raw materials," the site says.

HuffPost's Lynne Peeples writes that a report this year "estimates that if each American cuts meat and cheese from their diet for one day a week it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road."

Not to mention the animal cruelty which comes with factory farming. PETA writes: "On today's factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems … The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories."

Even if you can't imagine life without meat, check out Meatless Monday, a campaign that introduces people to the health and environmental benefits of going meat-free one day a week.

Be inspired by these celebrities who (according to various reports) opt for meat-free diets, and add any additional celebs you admire as vegetarians in the comments below:

Russell Brand
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PETA has crowned comedian Russell Brand Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2011 alongside actress Kristen Wiig. Brand, who has been vegetarian since he was 14-years-old, said, "You shouldn't eat animals, it's mean to them," PETA wrote. According to the Daily Mail he said: "Even as a junkie I stayed true to vegetarianism." He added, "I shall have heroin, but I shan't have a hamburger." According to the report, Brand's wife, singer Katy Perry, gave up eating meat two years ago to keep him happy but has found it difficult to stick to the diet.

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