India cricket captain Virat Kohli was on Wednesday (November 20) named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India's Person of the Year for 2019.
Kohli is a vocal supporter of animal rights and his efforts to improve conditions for animals include sending a letter on PETA India's behalf to officials calling for the release of Malti, an elephant used for rides at Rajasthan's Amer Fort who was reportedly violently beaten by eight men. Kohli is also helping PETA India call for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to be updated in order to deter acts of violence towards animals through stronger penalties for animal abusers.
The Indian cricket captain, who is a vegetarian, also reportedly swung by an animal shelter in Bengaluru to give lots of love to the injured and formerly neglected dogs there and to send a message to fans to adopt companion animals and never buy them from breeders or pet shops.
"Virat Kohli is a fierce animal rights proponent who never hesitates to run out cruelty to animals any way he can. PETA India encourages everyone to follow his lead and always be an advocate for animals in need," said PETA India Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera.
Past recipients of PETA India's Person of the Year award include Dr Shashi Tharoor, former Supreme Court Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, and actors Anushka Sharma, Sunny Leone, Sonam Kapoor, Kapil Sharma, Hema Malini, R Madhavan, and Jacqueline Fernandez.
PETA India's motto is "Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way", and the group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.