Chennai: National award winning actor and "Kolaveri Di" song fame Dhanush, Bollywood actress Vidya Balan and actor Sonu Sood are among those who have taken early leads in the vegetarian celebrity contest, conducted by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Besides the three, other film stars in the foray are Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, actresses Mallika Sherawat, Kareena Kapoor, Hema Malini and Ayesha Takia, competing for the title "India's Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2011" organised by PETA and being conducted to promote vegetarianism among the public.

 "From Bollywood to Hollywood, the world's kindest and most gorgeous celebrities are adopting a healthy, humane vegetarian diet", PETA India Chief Functionary Poorva Joshipura said.

 Vegetarians are not only less prone to obesity, but also save the lives of more than 100 animals a year, the statement said, quoting a recent United Nations report which said that a global shift towards vegetarian is necessary to combat the worst affects of climatic change.

Celebrity winners of the contest would be chosen on the number of votes each receives. They would be announced in January, the statement added.

(Agencies)