Meet Sophie Barrett,  Europe’s sexiest vegetarian.

21-year-old Sophie, of Creffield Road, Colchester, was yesterday named the winner of the Europe’s Sexiest Vegetarian 2011 competition, organised by charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Sophie Barrett (Photo credit: GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY/The Sun)

The 21-year-old part-time glamour model walked away with the top prize after defeating a leaf-loving French student in the final. Her prize includes being a PETA ambassador, food, clothes and wine vouchers worth Ł725.

Sophie, a staunch animal rights campaigner, is currently studying beauty therapy.  She ditched meat when she was just seven and her favourite food is red peppers. She entered the contest to highlight the benefits of foregoing meat.

The Colchester girl said: “I thought it looked like fun and a great way to promote being a vegetarian and show that it is very good for you.

“There is a stigma that we don’t look very healthy, but I wanted to show we have a normal lifestyle.

“I was absolutely amazed when I won as there was a lot of good competition. It’s good to think an Essex girl has come first in Europe and beaten the French.”

You have to agree that this veggie truly has a body of evidence to show a meat-free diet does wonders for the figure. For more stunning photos of Sophie, go to www.sun.co.uk.

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Heart-warming footage showing a group of chimpanzees overjoyed at seeing sunlight for the first time in 30 years has gone viral.

The footage, first broadcast by German television station RTL on September 4, shows two adult chimps frozen in wonder as they stare at the outside world through the open door of their enclosure — as a number of their fellow primates linger in the dark behind them.

The first chimp takes a few tentative steps outside before turning back, grabbing its friend in a bear hug and squealing in excitement.

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After three decades in captivity cooped up in tiny cages, starved of natural light and subjected to gruesome hepatitis and HIV experiments in an Austrian laboratory, a group of 38 were finally released to the new Ł3 million Gut Aiderbichl Animal Sanctuary near Salzburg, Austria, where they can spend the rest of their lives in peaceful retirement.

Like prisoners emerging from a lifetime behind bars, the chimpanzees step blinking into the sunlight with what appears for all the world to be a wave and a smile. And they have much to be joyful about. This is the first time they have felt grass under their feet and breathed fresh air for 30 years.

With a wave and what appears to be a smile, chimpanzees step into the daylight for the first time in 30 years at the Gut Aiderbichl Animal Sanctuary, near Salzburg, Austria

Clyde, 30, the chimp tastes freedom for the first time as he emerges from the cages of the ape sanctuary near Vienna

These heart-warming images mark the end of a 14-year battle to free the 38 chimps from a lab in Vienna by 59-year-old conservationist Michael Aufhauser. The founder of an animal charity that operates in four European countries, he oversaw the construction of the sanctuary outside Vienna, which is built on the site of a defunct safari park.

Michael warned the primates could still be emotionally damaged after their ordeal. He said: “Who knows what scars they carry on the inside.

“They are all traumatised to greater or lesser degrees. Two died before the reserve was finished, but at least those that are left will have a quality of life that was unthinkable when they were prisoners of the lab.

‘Some chimpanzees were infected with the HIV virus. Of course, they became HIV positive. But none of them, not here in Austria or anywhere else in the world, developed full-blown Aids. Therefore, the programme was useless. It achieved absolutely nothing.’

‘At last,’ says Mr Aufhauser. ‘They will have some dignity and some fun for what remains of their lives.’

Some of the chimps were born in the lab so have never known sunlight. Most were kidnapped from African jungles as babies and flown to Europe, where they were locked in metal laboratory cages to be used in a long series of experiments.

A chimp in one of the Immuno cages where they were kept for years

The Immuno test lab

The only times they were taken out of their cages was when they were sedated for another experiment.

Horrifyingly, their mothers – who would usually raise them for six years – were all slaughtered.

The aim of the firm that bought them was to find a vaccine to combat Aids. Because chimps share 99 per cent of the gene code of man, they seemed natural subjects for study.

But that meant they suffered terrible cruelties in the years that followed, including being injected with the HIV virus.

Hooked up to machines and pumped full of chemicals, they were truly prisoners of utter despair and hopelessness. Many were driven to the brink of madness and sometimes beyond.

These chimpanzees have not been used in experiments since 1997 when the giant American pharmaceutical company Baxter took over the Austrian laboratory, and immediately halted all tests on the chimps. Its bosses decided the firm had a moral responsibility to improve the life of the chimps.

They were moved to an indoor shelter in a safari park, but when it went into liquidation in 2004 the building of an outdoor sanctuary was stopped and the future of the chimps was in limbo, resulting in them having to spend several more years in cages.

It was believed that the group would be split up and sent to zoos around Europe. But animal advocates around the world, including PETA and its members and supporters, wrote to the Baxter  and implored it to ensure that the chimpanzees would be sent to a sanctuary and not be separated from one another.

Thanks to Michael Aufhauser and to those who spoke out, the chimpanzees are now living together happily at an animal sanctuary where they can feel the grass under their feet and the wind on their faces for the first time in decades!

One of the chimps playing in their new home

At long last, this chimp relaxes in the grass. What a happy pic!

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Anna Benson is an American model, and wife of Major League Baseball pitcher Kris Benson. With Kris Benson retiring and out of the spotlight, people are wondering what impact this will have on his wife. Kris was a popular player but his wife surpassed him in popularity. She was named FHM’s hottest baseball wife in 2004 and was ranked # 29 on FHM-U.S.’s 100 Sexiest Women 2006.

Anna Benson....hottest baseball wife

The 5 ft 5 in Anna Benson is a real brunette bombshell who seems addicted to the attention that comes being in the limelight. Her vital statistics of 34DD-24-34 makes men droll. Her hot saucy photos are all over the web. She is an extremely popular figure with fans across the country.

A figure that makes men droll

Anna Benson was born outside of Atlanta, Georgia on February 12, 1976. A self-described “lonely latchkey kid,” Benson dropped out of school following her sophomore year of high school, and left home when she was sixteen.

Subsequently, she says, “I was a dancer in the Atlanta strip clubs…. I had a baby and then a husband when I was seventeen.” In 1998, she met her future husband, Kris, while she was dancing at the Mardi Gras, a strip club in Atlanta, when he was playing for the Nashville Sounds in the minor leagues. She and Kris Benson were married in October 1999 (her second marriage, his first).

Anna & Kris Benson

Anna filed for divorce on March 31, 2006, citing an “irretrievably broken” marriage. Anna Benson—who commented, “when I came to Kris, I had nothing—two pairs of panties and one bra; suddenly, I found I was married to a millionaire”–had not signed a prenuptial agreement. She later withdrew the petition, and subsequently has had two additional children with Kris. Altogether, they have four children: daughters Alyssa and Haylee, and sons P.J. (from “Paul James”) and Devin, and currently reside in Atlanta.

She has worked with charitable organizations over the years such as the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army and American Red Cross. The couple has a non-profit charity called Benson’s Battalion that helped area police forces in the cities where her husband played.

On July 30, 2004, the Pirates traded Kris Benson to the New York Mets. In November 2004, Benson posed for the cover and a spread in FHM magazine and was named “baseball’s hottest wife.” In an interview with Howard Stern later that year, she vowed that if her husband ever cheated on her she would take revenge by sleeping with the entire Mets organization. Benson later explained the comment as “stupid humor to be understood by these idiots who take everything so literally.

In July 2005, she began playing at the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas under the nickname the “Gold Digger”. She outlasted 70% of the overall playing field.

The New York Times, having previously noted Anna Benson’s “calculated outrageousness,” wrote that in “her one year in New York, Anna Benson drove the Mets to distraction.” Sports reporter Murray Chase, described by baseball’s Hall of Fame as “a pioneer in the coverage of business and labor issues within baseball,” wrote of the Mets-Orioles trade, “Kris Benson doesn’t have a good enough arm for the Mets to overlook his wife’s mouth. … And by trading Anna Benson, the Mets may have achieved what [former Yankees manager] Casey Stengel called addition by subtraction.”

Anna Benson...one of the sexiest women in USA

Kris Benson himself later said that he felt New York traded him to Baltimore because of his wife, but Omar Minaya, general manager of the Mets, ultimately discounted speculation that her behavior had played a role, saying, “We just made a baseball trade.”

Mirroring Chass’ linkage of the Bentons, Sports Illustrated opined that Anne Benson’s “outlandish antics” had ultimately come to overshadow her husband’s “few good years” in the major leagues.

Anna Benson...she makes men droll

A “self-professed animal lover” with several dogs, Benson has written that PETA, a well-known animal rights organization, should “get a real fucking cause,” asserting that “nothing keeps me warmer than my dead animals” (i.e., fur) and that soy gives her “painful gas.”

Contending that citizens of the United States, having twice elected George W. Bush to the presidency, bore some responsibility for Bush’s actions while in office, Benson has written that she feels filmmaker and Bush critic Michael Moore errs in laying the “blame on one man’s head.” Criticizing Moore’s weight, patriotism and intelligence—and his wife’s weight as well—Benson argued that Moore’s films lacked objectivity and failed to aid the successful prosecution of the United States’ armed actions in the Middle East following 9/11. Benson, writing that health care, the focus of one of Moore’s films, will be “irrelevant” if “Muslim radicals” are successful in “killing Jews and Christians,” held that the “politically retarded” “fat kid who got beat up by the jocks at school” should be tried for treason.

Anna Benson loves the spotlight

Benson, who asserts elsewhere that $1,000,000 of her husband’s salary while with the Mets was donated to “9/11 causes,”, has also written critically about the slow response time of the federal, state, and local governments to the 2005 levee failures in Greater New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Referencing memories of her childhood summers in New Orleans, Benson, in an open letter to the city, she said, “We have failed you, New Orleans, and we are very sorry and deeply ashamed.” While critical of Bush’s role in the government’s response, she expressed gratefulness that that the United States was “lucky enough to have a humble President who admits that he was wrong in his decision making….” She also recommended that Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco be prosecuted for negligent homicide.

Her pitcher-husband will likely not be missed much, but Anna Benson certainly will be.

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A people for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ad starring former Playboy centrefold Pamela Anderson, which is banned at some U.S. airports, has also been deemed too racy for Hong Kong, one of Asia’s busiest aviation hubs.

The advertisement, titled “Cruelty Doesn’t Fly”, features the scantily-clad former “Baywatch” star as an airport security guard who strips passengers of leather, fur and other skins.

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Pamela Anderson in latest PETA ad (Photo credit - PETA/AFP/Getty Images) [PNG Merlin Archive

Read the rest of this entry…

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When Germans want to know if their team will win their next match at the ongoing World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa, they turn to the octopus nicknamed Paul. From his tank at Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium, Paul has been most impressive, correctly predicting the outcome of all the four soccer matches Germany has played in — three wins and a loss to Serbia.

This is how Paul does his prediction: His caretakers at Sea Life put a mussel in each of two clear plastic containers. The boxes are marked with the flags of the soccer teams. Paul’s prediction for victory is whichever container he chooses first.

According to entertainment director Daniel Fey, Paul showed his intelligence early on. “There was something about the way he looked at our visitors when they came close to the tank,” he says. “It was so unusual, so we tried to find out what his special talents were.” Although Paul isn’t much of a soccer player — all those legs get in the way — he does have a knack for predicting games.

Fans were most surprised when Paul, who hatched in England in 2008, refused to allow any latent patriotic sentiments cloud his judgment when he predicted the outcome of Sunday’s Germany vs. England match. Paul quickly chose the box with the German flag indicating, as his spokeswoman Tanja Mnzig explained, “a decisive victory for Germany.”

And so it was, 4:1 for Germany.

On Tuesday morning, as a crowd of photographers surrounded his tank, snapping pictures, the octopus oracle made his prediction for Germany’s next match on Saturday against favorite Argentina. Paul, an English-born octopus in the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, picked Germany and with it predicts that the German team will win over Argentina in a quarterfinal match. According to Paul, Team Argentina might as well start packing their bags now, because Germany will beat them. But because it took a while for Paul to make his decision, it is predicted that Germany will face a tough match against Argentina.

Before you place your bets, remember that Paul is good, but not infallible. In the 2008 European Championship soccer tournament, Paul was right almost 70 percent of the time. But even with a 70% accuracy, you would have made a killings at the World Cup betting if you have heeded Paul’s prediction from Day 1.

Animal rights group PETA is now clamoring for Paul to be released into a national park in waters off the south of France where fishing is banned.

“Paul is stuck in a small aquarium … We think that Paul would be fine in the sea,’ marine biologist Tanja Breining from PETA said.

‘Octopuses are among the most intelligent of invertebrates. They are capable of complex thought processes, have short and long-term memories, use tools, learn through observation, have different personalities and are particularly sensitive to pain,’ the organisation said.

Sea Life, however, said it would be a bad idea.

‘Animals born in captivity are used to being fed and have no experience finding food by themselves,’ a spokeswoman told AFP.

‘It is highly likely that he would die.’

I am sure the bookies will throw their support behind PETA…hahaha!

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