India skipper Virat Kohli was named PETA India's 'Person of the Year for 2019' for advocating of animal rights. Kohli, who recently changed his diet to vegetarian, was given the award for his efforts to improve conditions for animals. His efforts include sending a letter on behald of PETA India to officials seeking release of Malti, an elephant used for rides at Amer Fort, who was reportedly violently beaten by eight men, a PETA India statement said.
Kohli had also visited an animal shelter in Bengaluru to check on injured and previously neglected dogs there, sending a message to millions of his fan to adopt animals rather than buying them. "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." PETA India Director of Celebrity and Public Relations, Sachin Bangera said.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA is world's largest animal rights organisation. The organisation promotes vegetarianism and opposses animal based diet. The Indian skipper, who used to be a hardcore non-vegetarian, had last year turned to vegetarianism.
Speaking about his changed eating habit, Kohli had recently said that he never felt as better in his life after changing he turned vegetarian. "Being a vegetarian athlete has made me realise what I have believed all these years regarding diet was a myth. I've never felt better in my life after I turned vegetarian," he wrote.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, former Supreme Court Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, and actors Anushka Sharma, Hema Malini, R Madhavan, and Jacqueline Fernande are among the past recipients of PETA India's Person of the Year award.