On 06 March 2021, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, PETA India teamed up with celebrity trailblazers John Abraham, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shetty, and Sunny Leone for a virtual party to issue awards to those making major strides in animal rights and honour the group’s accomplishments, including animal rescues, legislative victories, and more.
PETA India recognised animal rescuer Aditi Parameshwaran, who has saved the lives of over 100 animals around Mumbai, with an Outstanding Service to Animals Award. EVO Foods received a Best Innovation in Food Award for its vegan “egg” made out of pulses, and Vegan Textile and Innovation won an award for Best Innovation in Textiles for creating vegan silk with eco- and animal-friendly materials.
“Happy anniversary to PETA India, an organisation that I’ve wholeheartedly supported for the longest time now,” said actor Shilpa Shetty in an exclusive video, in which she praises the group for “asking people to boycott cruel animal circuses or even urging officials to uphold the ban on bulls in performances”.
Other actors who appeared virtually at the event include John Abraham, who was PETA India’s Person of the Year in 2020; Sunny Leone, who has appeared in multiple PETA India ad campaigns, including one proclaiming, “Leather Is a Rip–Off”: and Madhuri Dixit, who worked with PETA India to free Sunder, an abused elephant in Kolhapur.
It’s safe to say that PETA India has made a real difference when it comes to animal rights, and I am proud to say that I support its cause. Congratulations on 20 years of ground-breaking work, PETA India! @PetaIndia #PetaIndiaTurns20 pic.twitter.com/SSzGCoWLPA
— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) January 12, 2020
“With so many wonderful vegan shoes, bags, and jackets to choose from, there’s no reason to choose to hurt the environment and take a life by wearing an animal’s skin.” – @SunnyLeone pic.twitter.com/fW16TyY5RC
— PETA India (@PetaIndia) February 15, 2020
Recently, Abraham helped PETA India get e-commerce portal Quikrto stop the trade of live animals on its platform. In his video for PETA India’s event, he said, “I must congratulate PETA India on getting Quikr to discontinue the trading of live dogs.Congratulations, Quikr, and thank you for doing this. I hope others follow suit, especially when we have the crisis of homeless dogs in our country. And thank you, PETA India, for voicing your opinion and making your voice heard when you see an animal suffering.” Abraham, who has been advocating for animal rights with PETA India since its inception, also stated, “I always stand up for animals. That is my life’s mission.”
“PETA India and I first joined hands a few years ago to help elephants, and from there on it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” explained Dixit. “Two years ago, my family adopted Carmelo, a cherished dog, from PETA India. Since then, I urge everyone I see to adopt a dog or a cat from the shelter or from the street.”
Leone appealed to those who attended to support PETA India’s work, stating, “[D]onate everything you can. Even if it’s a little bit, it will make a huge difference.”
PETA India’s numerous victories for animals include the following:
- Rescuing and rehabilitating abused captive elephants Sunder, Ram Prasad, and Gajraj from lives in chains after their stories prompted national outcries
- Persuading seven circuses to go animal-free and getting the central government to draft a proposed ban on the use of animals in circuses nationwide
- Replacing the cruel Draize test, in which chemicals are applied to rabbits’ eyes or shaved skin, with non-animal cosmetics testing methods
- Ending animal dissection in undergraduate and most postgraduate training programmes
- Prompting the Central Board of Secondary Education to send an advisory to all its 18,000 affiliated schools across India, strongly urging them to implement a policy that bans students and staff members from wearing leather shoes in favour of animal- and Earth-friendly canvas ones