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PETA Names Man and Woman of the Year

Written by PETA | December 30, 2009

It wasn’t easy to choose two people out of the slew of celebrities who have taken action for animals this year—heck, just during the past two months, Joanna Krupa bared her true feelings about purebred pups, Ana Ortiz blasted McDonald’s, and a blinding number of stars all agreed that protesting the Canadian seal slaughter fit their caring personalities to a T.

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Ellen DeGeneres

But we had to make a decision, so this year, PETA’s Man of the Year is Tim Gunn and PETA’s Woman of the Year is Ellen DeGeneres. I must say, we’re over the moon about it!

Let’s start with Ellen—ever since she and her wife, Portia De Rossi, decided to ditch all animal products in 2008, Ellen has made sure that her wildly popular talk show includes features to raise people’s awareness of animal issues. She made vegan pizza with Chef Wolfgang Puck, spoke with Dr. Neal Barnard about the health benefits of a vegan diet, and just in time for Thanksgiving, “talked turkey” about the everyday abuse of animals on factory farms with Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals. Ellen also created pages on her Web site that feature insight, info, and tips about cruelty-free living. Visitors can find recipes, read about why Ellen went vegan, learn where to shop, and more.

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Tim Gunn

Now on to Tim Gunn: The connoisseur of class, the guru of good taste, the titan of tact (I could go on all afternoon with these) narrated our video exposing skin-crawling atrocities suffered by animals who are slaughtered for their pelts, and the media have been buzzing ever since. Tim recently told the L.A. Times, “Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, ‘I’m in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement.’ Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks, and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion—yes, dogs and cats.”

And thanks to Tim, fur challenges are noticeably absent from Project Runway—and there’s zero fur at Liz Claiborne, where he is chief creative officer.

So, to Ellen DeGeneres for her exuberant embrace of cruelty-free living and to Tim Gunn for his thoughtful and thought-provoking messages of compassion for animals, we at PETA are dancing in the halls. Thank you, thank you! And conga-rats!

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • marisa says:

    I love Ellen and all she does for the animals. So why does she endorse and sponsor Cover Girl make up? They test on animals!

  • Mel H says:

    Ellen gets paid big bucks by Covergirl. Covergirl is owned by Proctor and Gamble, which as I understand it does a great deal of animal testing. PETA – what’s going on here? It’s okay if I wear makeup cruelly testing on animals as long as I eat vegan pizzas?! Something stinks here. Maybe it’s the pile of dead animals in Proctor and Gamble’s dumpster

  • PETA says:

    Before signing with Cover Girl, Ellen was diligent in making sure that Cover Girl no longer tests on animals. She made it crystal clear that the company’s “no testing” policy was essential in order for her to agree to be its spokesperson. We love her for that! It is because of principled people like Ellen that we will see an end to animal testing for cosmetics. Cover Girl’s parent company, Procter & Gamble (P&G), announced in 1999 that it had revised its animal-testing policy. P&G stated that it will end the use of animal tests for all its current nonfood, nondrug products. This indicates that P&G realizes the importance of the animal-testing issue. However, P&G has not permanently halted all nonrequired animal experiments. According to P&G, it will not perform experiments on many existing products, but it has not agreed to stop testing new ingredients and products on animals.

  • stevenallbee says:

    Proctor and Gamble, the parent company of Covergirl, is known to test their products on animals. Ellen DeGeneres, one of the Covergirl models, was given the Woman of the Year Award from PETA. This seems inconsistent. Maybe a woman unaffiliated with a company that is known to test their products on animals would be a better choice.

  • jasmine pietila says:


  • Morgan L says:

    i think its great ellen is our woman of the year. she is with cover girl but ii think she is like a PETA agent. maybe she will convince Procter Gamble to stop animal testing!!!! her being involved with the company can only do good for our voiceless friends.

  • Tia says:

    Congrats to Ellen I am one of her biggest fans! BUT she should no better than to be ‘COVERGIRL’ as they TEST ON ANIMALS she should have been thinking about the animals and not the money! People look up to her and s3e that she is ‘PETA Woman of the Year’ and how she looks out for animals then people see her for Covergirl and think “If Ellen uses it I will too” disappointing Ellen!

  • sudarshana says:

    congratulation both of u.u r not for 1 year.u r everlasting man woman.

  • Kim says:

    And Kudos to Tim for standing up for animal rights too!

  • Kim says:

    It’s great to hear how Ellen is using many opportunities to be an animal advocate! Maybe Ellen can take another step further and only endorse animal crueltyfree products in the future. Let’s give her a chance to stop being the spokesperson for Cover Girl whose parent company Procter Gamble is on PETA’s list of companies that test on animals.

  • Louise says:

    I love that someone big in the fashion industy like Tim Gunn has received this award. I have no doubt he influenced many in his industry to stop buying and selling fur. And Ellen always loved her. LIke TIm she will influence many to ditch animal products. But I agree with many here she’s a spokesperson for Cover Girl. Hopefully she will get them to stop animal testing or she’ll ditch them.

  • eRIN says:

    I don’t know about Ellenbut I LOVE Tim!!

  • Wendi says:

    Congrats to both!Keep up the great work!

  • Viviana says:

    Hi Peta friends! Ellen Tim are wonderful persons really inspiring and fully deserves this award. I think it’d be great if you include as well other countries’ celebrities or ordinary people that are inspiring too. In Argentina there are several examples and there are sure more examples in Latin America. Just an idea.

  • Lisa says:

    “I’m the founder of Teja’s Animal Refuge. I’ve rescued over 160 animals from forced fed duck factories from battery farms I’ve rescued horses from deplorable situation. I’ve rescued pigs and cows. I’ve seized sheep and goats that would have gone to slaughter. Make no mistake all of the animals at Teja’s would be dead had I not taken them. I have no subsidies no corporate sponsors no government grants etc. I support Teja’s animals with the help of kind hearted people through their donations. I’m certain there are thousands like me who never get a day off and whose vet bills and food bills are off the wall. Hopefully some day these people will be recognized for not only doing the talk but also doing the walk.”….. Nicole I could not agree more. Thank you for all you do. Lisa in Ohio.

  • Lois B. Koch says:

    Really Really wonderful!! I think PETA struck the mother lode of compassion common sense and CLASS! I wish all the best to them for this great action!

  • Dina says:

    God Bless them both!!

  • liz says:

    Congratulations for choosing Tim Gun. I became a Peta fan about 4 years ago and I’m trying to be a vegetarian but it has been a slow process. I changed all my make up specially Loreal and Cover Girl which I used a lot but now Ellen being chosen has made me confused as other people that had commented. I love Ellen and her show but I think choosing someone like Natalie Portman who is strictly vegan would have made a better image. She is in the cover of Marie Claire magazine for January and she strictly specified all makeup hair products and clothing should be animal free.

  • madelyn says:

    thats so awesome that they spoke up and stood up for what was right. D

  • fiona Bermingham says:

    Cover Girl????? Why would you reward someone that promotes testing on animals ????

  • Jessica Barrett says:

    I am so happy and optimistic about the prominent people that are coming forward. Especially in the fashion industry!!!!! I am finishing my degree for fashion design and it is truly an inspiration and comfort to see people standing up for animals. I won’t be using fur or leather no matter what! Even recycled animal products are not going to fly with me. I have met some designers recently who are trying to pass this off as humane. I am really grateful for Peta and all who bring awareness for these issues. LONG LIVE THE CRITTERS!

  • Mike bobbitt says:

    Bob Barker just surpassed them 5 million times.

  • Paul and Joann says:

    We are hoping that Ellen will have a change of heart with regard to her work with covergirl which is owned by Procter and Gamble who still do horrible cruel animal testing and hopefully will convince the company to stop animal testing. We do not understand the reasoning here.

  • BB says:

    Good choices!

  • Dan Kozell says:

    Very well deserved thanks to Ellen and Tim and thanks to all celebrities who are not afraid to stand up for the rights of the innocent! All of you are fantastic role models not only for our children but for all of us who care.

  • cld says:

    they do good work. i wonder if ellen has any thoughts as coowner of Halo animal food to introduce a vegetarian version of dog food. and is mr. gunn a single issue spokesperson?

  • D Moller says:

    Maybe we should stop targeting Ellen’s negatives and focus on her positives. Ellen is a massive contributor to Gay Rights and the fight towards equality and is a proud vegan that promotes her lifestyle to a huge audience worldwide. In my eyes a great woman for the win!

  • nina Zimm says:

    Congrats to both Tim and esp. Ellen one of my favorite people and entertainers. I have often wondered why wher outspoken support for animal rights and veganism she continues to represent Cover Girl. Perhaps PETA can influence her. Unfortunately even if CG changed their policy I would still not support them as Proctor and Gamble are guilty of promoting and producing products both testing on animals and using animal products.

  • marilou says:

    Nice! So happy. Congrats to both D

  • narharry ghaness says:

    Excellent chioce Ellen

  • Denise Worcester says:

    The winner I would choose beyond all else would be Bob Barker !!!! At the end of every Price Is Right showhe would tell us to spay or neuter our pets. Then he donated millions$ to get Animal Rights as a subject in colleges. Finally he donated more than $5million to help Captain Watson’s Sea Shepherd fight the whale wars with the Japanese.

  • Marla says:

    I am grateful Ellen talks a lot on her show about being a vegan and helping animals but she endorses Cover Girl makeup and Olay beauty products and both of these companies still are on PETA’s list of companies that do test on animals. I emailed Ellen on her website asking why does she endorse products that still test on animals but never received a response.

  • Steve Stone says:

    It is very heart warming to the point of tears to read how these two and now so many high profile people are coming forward to help spread the message of compsasion and sanity… steve stone

  • mrsjennyz says:

    While it is a noble thing to run a shelterrefuge for animals you also have to admit that you got a free plug for your facility for posting via PETA’s comment column. By having “sour grapes” for someone who “walks the walk” not getting an award only puts you in a negative light.You got into rescuesanctuary work to save animals because you loved animalsnot because you wanted people’s approval or a medal or a prizeplease stay that way.Be grateful that PETA exists and quit whining.

  • Paul says:

    I think it’s great what they’ve done but what about the non Celebrities that have contributed to the Peta cause. That’s just my opinion.

  • Dee Foster says:

    I’m but a small spoke in a huge wheel. As a retired P.E. teacher and still coaching I have been able to touch many lives instill the love of animals and the rejection of cruelty to animals. This includes cage free chickens not allowing circuses with animals in our town only imitation fur the fight against BLM and their treatment of wild horses spreading the word to raise money to keep horses from going to slaughter houses in Mexicopuppy mills and on and on. I get all the email from shelters and rescues in the one above Tejas Animal Rescue. I would hope that our celebrities would help the many rescues that survive on a shoe string and limited donations. Not only help them financially but have them on their shows and let everyone know about their tireless work and continuous need for help and funds. Dee Foster

  • Moiaussi says:

    Woman of the year? Man of the year? Why do we need to keep dividing and identifying people this way? Just pick two worthy people!

  • kristina kenngott says:

    Thanks Tom Gunn and liz claiborne . it seems like every time I turne on the tv I see some vapid celebratie drapped in fur.Kim Kardashin Jennifer Lopez Kid Rock Charlie Murphy. The list goes on and on . I’ve never been an Ellen fan but now I am Thanks Ellen .