It's official: Ask Ausiello readers are a powerful bunch. PETA just announced the results of its 2006 World's Sexiest Vegetarian poll and, thanks in no small part to all of you, Kristen Bell won top female honors! But that's not the big news. No, the real story is in the male category, where a certain someone near and dear to all of our hearts finished in third place, surpassed only by Prince and INXS lead singer J.D. Fortune! I'm talking about me!! This is, like, the 43rd most exciting thing that's ever happened to me! You guys rock! Veggie burgers on me tonight!

The official press release is below:


Thousands of Votes Cast at for Celebrities Who Exude Both Passion and Compassion

New York - The veggie voters have spoken, and PETA is pleased to announce that Grammy-winning rock royal Prince and the "veggie Venus" of Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell, have been selected the 2006 winners of PETA's "World's Sexiest Vegetarians" poll. Red-carpet runners-up include V for Vendetta star Natalie Portman (proof that "V" is also for "veggie vixen"), desperately hot housewife Nicollette Sheridan, Brokeback Mountain beauty Anne Hathaway, INXS lead singer J.D. Fortune, TV Guide hottie Michael Ausiello, and Walk the Line's dashing "Johnny Cash," Joaquin Phoenix. More than 40,000 people voted in the poll on

Both of this year's winners are more than just sexy vegetarians - they're also active animal lovers. Going vegetarian was an easy choice for brainy beauty Kristin Bell, who says, "I have always been an animal lover. I had a hard time disassociating the animals I cuddled with - dogs and cats, for example - from the animals on my plate, and I never really cared for the taste of meat. I always loved my Brussels sprouts!"

A symbol of humanity and an artist of compassion, Prince is a "prince" of a guy to animals. He says he won't eat "anything with parents" because "'Thou shalt not kill' means just that!" The strict vegan - whose critically acclaimed new album, 3121, just debuted at No. 1 - was praised by animal lovers everywhere for giving fans the lowdown on wool in the liner notes of his CD Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic. He closed the CD with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "2 my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being."

Previous "sexiest vegetarians" include Carrie Underwood, Chris Martin, Andre 3000, Tobey Maguire, Josh Hartnett, Alicia Silverstone, Lauren Bush, Shania Twain and Natalie Portman.

Why are so many in Tinseltown shunning meat quicker than you can say "veggie burger"? Celebrities cite many reasons for foregoing flesh, from avoiding the cruelty that is inherent in all meat production to improving their health and energy levels and helping the environment by not contributing to factory-farm pollution.

The complete list of vegetarian celebs who were in the running in this year's poll is available on