Vegan of the Year / What's New

The Vegan of the Year Awards 2013 Announcement


The Vegan of the Year Awards belong to the quiet achievers this year. Several people were nominated without their knowledge as they are too humble to ever consider nominating themselves. Luckily, they have friends, fans and admirers who want to share their work with a wider audience. We have included a brief introduction about the Vegan of the Year winners and their websites so you can discover more about these vegan champions.

It is also the year of very young recipients of the Young Vegan of the Year Award: the youngest being four years old and the oldest a mere twelve years old.

The purpose of the Vegan of the Year Awards is to give due recognition to vegans who are doing extraordinary work to promote veganism in the wider community – whether through activities such as activism, running a vegan restaurant or through the media and arts. We also hope the work of the Award winners will inspire others to follow in their brilliant footsteps.

Introducing the Vegan of the Year 2013 winners:

Vegan of the Year 2013

Amanda Benham and Ari Nessel

Amanda Benham is Australia’s leading vegan Accredited Practising Dietician. With over 20 years experience, she has helped countless numbers of people adopt a vegan diet. In addition, she has tirelessly lobbied the Australian government and its agencies to officially recognise the vegan diet as a healthy diet. Her ongoing efforts and submissions met success in 2013 with the release of the Australian government’s updated Australian Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines have recognised well-planned vegan and vegetarian diets as healthy options for all Australians, and plant-food choices are now included in all of the food groups. She is also a founding board member of Vegan Australia. In addition, Amanda has started several vegan businesses such as “The Green Edge” grocery store and “The Banana Lounge” cafe in Brisbane, Australia.

Her website is:

Ari Nessel is the Founder and President of The Pollination Project. This innovative project gives $1000 grants every day of the year to individual change makers whose work is focused on animal protection, social justice, environmental sustainability and related areas. The Pollination Project is funded entirely by Ari. So far he has given away approximately $275,000. Ari has been vegan since 1997 and since then he has been devoted to helping many animal rights organisations. Wanting to do more, Ari started The Pollination Project to help new projects grow and flourish to create a kinder, more compassionate world.

To find out more about Ari and The Pollination Project please see

Young Vegan of the Year 2013

Genesis Butler, Isabelle Ellul, Kevin Storm and Thomas Ponce

Genesis Butler is a six-year-old vegan activist who considers herself an ethical vegan. She documents her vegan journey on her Facebook page:

Isabelle Ellul is four years old and already speaking up for animals wherever she goes. She also helps out at Freedom Hill Sanctuary – an animal rescue run by her grandmother and mother.

Kevin Storm is twelve years old and hosts and produces his own radio program called The Kevin Storm Show. His radio program is focused on animal rights and is a youth-focused program.

Connect with Kevin:

Thomas Ponce is also twelve years old. He went vegetarian at four years old and vegan when he was nine. His first activism project was completed when he was in kindergarten. After years of activism,Thomas has started his own organisation called Lobby For Animals. His website is:

Outstanding Vegan Website:

Outstanding Animal Activist: Catherine Smith (Australia) and Mesfin Hailemariam (Ethiopia)

Outstanding Animal Rescue/Animal Rights Organisation: NSW Hen Rescue

NSW Hen Rescue will receive a cheque for $350 as part of their award.

Outstanding Vegan Business:

Alternative Outfitters

Vegan Online/Everything Vegan

Jill Milan

Outstanding Vegan Restaurant:

Millennium, San Francisco, U.S.A

Karma Waters, Hoi Ann, Vietnam

Carrots, The Healthy Kitchen, Bangalore, India

Loving Hut, Brisbane, Australia

Loving Hut, Menton, France

Outstanding Vegan Athlete:

Josh Garrett

Fiona Oakes

Alan Murray

Janette Murray-Wakelin

Outstanding Vegan Author:

Rip Esselstyn for My Beef With Meat

Billie Dean for Secret Animal Business

Outstanding Vegan Musician/Entertainer: Vegan Smythe

Outstanding Vegan Media Outlet:

Vegan Health and Fitness magazine

Animal Effect App

Outstanding Vegan Non-Profit Organisation: SHARAN

Our sincere thanks to everyone who sent in nominations and congratulations to the winners.

We look forward to presenting interviews with some of our winners soon here on

Have a vegantastic day!

The Vegans Are Cool Team

9 thoughts on “The Vegan of the Year Awards 2013 Announcement

  1. What an honour to be placed amongst the most amazing people on the planet who are truly making a difference to the world for animals and humans. Thank you Vegans are Cool for this initiative which further brings us together to create change for all sentient bengs.

    Clare Mann
    Animal Effect

  2. Thank you so much for including Jill Milan as your Vegan Business of the Year! We are so delighted to be included with such an outstanding group of people who are improving conditions for animals.

  3. It is such a thrill to see Catherine Smith win the award for Outstanding Animal Activist & for NSW Hen Rescue to win the award for Outstanding Animal Rescue/Animal Rights Organisation. Catherine’s commitment to the hens (& now ducks) is truly amazing & she works tirelessly rescuing & rehoming hens that, without her, would have continued to have endured a life of suffering & misery then a horrific brutal death. I am privileged to be sharing this journey with Catherine & know that no-one deserves these awards more than she.

  4. Pingback: Vegan of the Year Awards 2013 : Nutritional Empire

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  6. Pingback: Jill Milan Named Vegan Business of the Year for 2013 – painandpapermagazine

  7. Pingback: SHARAN won the award for 2013 for Outstanding Vegan Non-Profit Organization | SHARAN

  8. Pingback: Jill Milan Named Vegan Business of the Year for 2013 | Blessed Today

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