Skip to Main Content

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.

womenshair.about / CC
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.

stylenews.peoplestylewatch / CC
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.
  • 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 Ellin .

  • Terri says:

    NOTICE!!!! Sorry I had to do something to get people’s attention. I just wanted to comment on the person Nicole from “Teja’s Animal Refuge I agree immensely wher on the fact that there are people who do help animals tremendously aren’t celebrities. Maybe if not deserving of recognition for their lack of being famous… their efforts more importantly deserve a “mention” by PETA on the behalf of their organization as to at least generate some possible donations to help wtheir cause. It might be a good idea for PETA to consider having a Top 20 Animal RefugesShelters list to post for the hard working people who “actually” act out the physical part of saving rehabilitating animals. Please forgive me if you already do something like this I’m not aware of it

  • mary says:

    I always liked ellen. However she is a spokesperson for Cover Girl Makeup. They are known to test their products on animals. How could she be a person of the year?

  • Helene Marcelin says:

    Does Cover Girl really test on animals? If so why is Ellen working for them?

  • Rola says:

    I stopped eating meat for a while but since i joined peta i will definately stop eating animals i have love and passion for animals since i was a kid love both of them and my love and god’s love for any human who cares for animals!

  • Dee & Antoni says:

    To Henry and Tracy! Henry poeple try protect animals not win awards.Do You? Tracychoises are made we wish we could be like you! Unfortunatly age might be a reason.Could you let us know via PETA to help a little?

  • Juliana Moretti says:

    I couldn’t expect less from tim gunnI hope people listen this pope of the fashion world!

  • Anita says:

    We love Tim Gunn he is the best! And thanks to Tim for driving the fur free standard at Liz Claiborne and Project Runway. The show is my favorite and I love it even more now.

  • Laurie Allen says:

    I am a little confused I like Ellen but didn’t she just promote Cover Girl Makeup? Are they cruelty free?

  • Mary Witthauer says:

    Whoo Hoo This is AWESOME news!! Love them both Happy New Year to everyone and all our little furbabies

  • JANAY says:

    I love Ellen to death but I wish Peta would come out and explain the situation with Cover Girl PG. It doesn’t make sense. If we are not to support PG why are we awarding Ellen. Peta please take a stand and end this confusion once and for all!

  • Cathy Munroe says:

    Although there are many good people working for animal rights you were bang on with Ellen and Tim. Both are truly kind and compassionate people. God bless them both.

  • mrsjennyz says:

    We all came to this platform with baby steps.10 years ago I quit wearing fur. I’ve rescued my animals rather than buying them. Now I’m trying a vegan diet. So maybe now that Ellen has been chosenwho knows? Maybe you’ll see an overhaul in PG’s and CoverGirl policy. Helping people to evolveit makes for a more sincere and lasting choice. I applaud PETA’s choice because these are 2 very popular and influential people who can change alot of closed minds because of the venues they operate inalthough I love Chrissy and Paul for all that they’ve done. Peace.

  • dirk holger says:

    As I don’t know either person other than from headlines I’m not a TVfanI applaud these ‘anonymous’ people for helping the animal worldandyes eating less meat makes much more sense than fattening up on “McThrowUp!” Dirk

  • Joan Faszczewski says:

    Yes. I’m against fur also.

  • shelly jenkins says:

    i’m proud of both of them

  • Nicole Jonca 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.

  • tracey says:

    i love you both. Thanks for being so passionate.

  • I. Chowdhury says:

    Great Choice!! I love Ellen!! Any celebrity that wears fur should be booooooooed!!

  • emma says:

    henry it would be interesting to see what your point is about them being lesbian and gay!!. i think the award is for being a great spokesperson and raising awareness for animal protection i’m afraid i dont understand YOUR message.

  • henry says:

    interesting to see that the 2 people who win the peta awards are gay and lesbian.

  • Bruce Bohlander says:

    Regardless of whether I agree with Michael Vick being awarded the Block award I think you responded in a very classy way. Also I disagree with always having a “celeb” as Peta Member of the year. why not the common person. Like my wife. Granted we do not have money to give but we have our time

  • John Carmody says:

    I am delighted to hear that Tim Gunn has received PETA’s man of the year. I am also delighted to hear the Ellen De Geners has received woman of the year as she also done alot for the Californian PROP 2 and fundraised for the campaign. I did not know she done a Covergirl campaign which i know are owned by Procter Gamble but now that Ellen has being given woman of the year i hope it may spur her onto to get even more heavily involved in animal rights and maybe next time she wont hook up with such companies?

  • Wendy says:

    YAY! Let them be an inspiration to us all!!

  • PABLO says:


  • Frederick says:

    Thank you Ellen for your compassion. You deserve our love appreciation and respect. Frederick

  • Shawna Flavell 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 companys “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 PG announced in 1999 that it had revised its animaltesting policy. PG stated that it will end the use of animal tests for all its current nonfood nondrug products. This indicates that PG realizes the importance of the animaltesting issue. However PG has not permanently halted all nonrequired animal experiments. According to PG it will not perform experiments on many existing products but it has not agreed to stop testing new ingredients and products on animals. In addition PG subsidiary Iams continues to perform unnecessary tests on animals.

  • Sarah says:

    The more and various public faces shown to the public the greater amount of the public that can be reached. Ellen and Tim this year. Who will step up to get selected next year!!! I just put my money where my mouth is too. A good end to 2009 and start to 2010.

  • Kate the great says:

    I like Tim Gunn but I noticed on last season’s project runway he never said a word to one contestant who used fur regularly in her challenges. I think Tim should get them to ban the use of fur on that show and THEN we can talk about calling him “man of the year.”

  • Jo says:

    Tim Gunn is a real GENTLEMAN He is real aristocracy in the fashion world and a fashion leader

  • NT says:

    Great choices! These two are amazing compassionate people.

  • Darlena says:

    There are so many celebrities deserving of mention but these two have made huge changes in many human lives as well as saving animals. I also feel Shannon Elizabeth and Joanna Krupa deserve honorible mention…. But Ellen and Tim are the perfect choices for this year!! I just love them both!

  • Aneliese says:

    YES! I am so glad Ellen won!!!

  • Carole says:

    Ellen models for Cover Girl. Don’t they do animal testing?

  • Brien Comerford says:

    With all due respect Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde should be man and woman of the year every year. MACCA and CHRISSIE rock for animal rights and vegetarianism each and every year for the past three decades. Runner Ups Morrissey Stella McCartney Moby Leona Lewis

  • Danielle says:

    I am unsure as to how Ellen could be voted as Woman of the Year as she still is a representative for Covergirl and Covergirl tests on animals along with using animal products. She has only been a vegan for one year and surely there are people who have been fighting the cause for much longer who are more deserving.

  • Marian says:

    Not that I’m not a huge fan of Ellen I think she is wonderful. But I’ve been a bit peeved with her for being the spokesperson for Covergirl which is owned by Proctor and Gamble. They’re are horrible about animal testing! I wish she would persuade them to stop or not do work for them anymore. This isn’t a company that should be supported.

  • Roben says:

    I WAS a huge Ellen fan but I can’t agree with this while she is working for Proctor and Gamble who create Cover Girl cosmetics. Drew Barrymore lost me also and for the same reason. I understand it is up to ED’s network who sponsers her show etc but when it comes to doing commercials for CG that was her own choice and I can’t understand how she reconciles that with being an animal loveradvocate. Thanks for this chance to state my feelings.

  • Sarah says:

    I love Ellen and really respect her for all she has done to spread the word about animal cruelty and living a vegan lifestyle. However correct me if Im wrong but Covergirl the makeup line Ellen is the face of refuses to stop testing on animals. Sooo is it ok to overlook animal testing if enough money is involved ???? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Rex's Mom says:

    It’s good to know that Ellen made a vegan pizza with Wolfgang Puck but has he turned his back on foie gras not sure of the spelling. I read that he refused to stop serving it in his restaurants. I hope he changed his mind.

  • Alicia says:

    I applaud Ellen’s move to a vegan lifestyle and all the work she’s doing to help educate others but I’m surprised that PETA would select her as its Woman of the Year when she continues to work as one of the faces of Covergirl parent company Procter Gamble. I’ve read that PG supposedly significantly cut back on its animal testing but until it’s completely eliminated I’m not swayed. However maybe Covergirl refrains from testing? I don’t know. I noticed Covergirl isn’t listed in either PETA’s “do not test” or “do test” lists. Does anyone know anything definite about Covergirl’s animal testing policies?

  • tbw says:

    Well the latest season’s winner of project runway mainly used fur so I wouldn’t say it was absent at all.

  • kara says:

    I really like Ellen and being is vegan is the best choice! One big Problem with her… She makes millions of dollars off of her CoverGirl contract… They test on animals!!! I have a problem with a celeb who talks the animal rights fight but is loading her bank acount with money from a company that kills and tortures animals!

  • C says:

    Isn’t Ellen DeGeneres a spokesperson for Cover Girl whose parent company Procter Gamble is on Peta’s list of companies that test on animals. I’m confused.

  • Lisa says:

    GREAT CHOICES! XO I’m proudhappy that there are people in the public eye that take a stand for animals like Ellen Tim have XO It renews my faith in humanity!!

  • Natalie rodriguez says:

    Oh my gosh!!I am so thrilled Ellen and Tim are 2 of my favorite people and they are doing such a great job helping all of our voiceless friends!!how wonderful I am enormously thrilled!!

  • nicole(: says:

    omg Ellen. i am so proud of her! i’m literally her biggest fan. This just made my day 33 Ellen is the reason i’ve decided to go vegetarian almost a year now and slowly transforming into a vegan! yayyy.

  • Emily Miller says:

    As much as I love Ellen DeGeneres for the great things she has done she is for CoverGirl makeup and they are one of many that DO test on animals!

  • Mitsai says:

    don’t forget our Dutch Georgina Verbaan

  • rita camara says:

    They really deserve it! Congrats!