For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2020
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – Last night, PETA’s all-virtual 40th Anniversary and Holiday Party celebrated the group’s four decades of victories for animals and honored the celebrities who helped make them happen. The event was cohosted by Alan Cumming and Edie Falco—with special appearances by Sir Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, Alec Baldwin, Iggy Pop, Dolly Parton, and others—and its PETA Humanitarian Award honorees included the following:
- Jermaine Dupri, who starred in PETA’s “Feel the Beets, Lose the Meats” vegan campaign and hosted a vegan Thanksgiving for people in need last year, was honored and introduced by his pal Mariah Carey. She said, “I’ve known Jermaine for a long time, and he is one of a kind. Not only is he a genius at producing music, he’s also a vocal animal rights advocate, which is why we are joined here today. … J.D., keep doing what you do. And PETA, I can’t wait for the next 40 years of groundbreaking success.” Accepting his award from his studio in Atlanta, Dupri said, “I became vegan for my own health, but the longer I’ve been at it, the more it became about others: the animals, food justice for our community, and the health of our planet. I urge you all to get involved and start building a vegan movement in your community.”
- Super Bowl winner Tyrann Mathieu was honored for his efforts to save dogs from dying of heatstroke in parked cars in the summer and freezing in backyards in the winter. Presenting the prize to his teammate, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said, “I am so proud of the videos he has done for PETA, working to get animals out there treated with respect. He is not only an asset to our team but to animals who need protection.” Mathieu said, “When PETA showed me what they see in the field, I was shocked by how poorly ‘man’s best friend’ was being treated. It broke my heart, and I had something to say. Defending is kind of my thing, after all. PETA, thank you for this honor.”
- Actress Kat Graham, whose PETA videos encourage everyone to go vegan and fight speciesism, the human-supremacist worldview that animals are ours to exploit and kill at will, was also honored. Accepting her award at a farmed-animal sanctuary, where she was surrounded by rescued goats, Graham said, “We can all change the world by leading by example, and that is what PETA has always done so beautifully. … [A]nimals … are not sweaters. Cows aren’t burgers. Mice aren’t lab equipment. They feel. They understand. And they’re not ours to dominate.”
- Retired NBA star John Salley was honored in celebration of his vegan advocacy, which has included hosting PETA’s Veggie Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill—the group’s annual answer to a meat industry event. “This award means so much to me. It’s about standing up for a cause that is close to my heart. … I’ve been a vegan for over a decade now. … And it’s all about building a kinder world for animals, feeling the best you can … [helping] the planet,” said Salley.