For Immediate Release:
12 December 2014
Delhi – For heading the bench that passed the landmark judgement in favour of PETA India and the government body the Animal Welfare Board of India that clarified that bulls must not be used in jallikattu, bull races, bullfights or any other type of performance and that called for animals to be respected in many other ways, the Honourable Justice (Ret) KS Panicker Radhakrishnan of the Supreme Court of India has been named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Man of the Year. And for using her massive star power to advocate for the protection of all animals – from horses used to pull Victorias to rabbits used in painful cosmetics tests – Kick star Jacqueline Fernandez has been named PETA’s Woman of the Year.
“Article 51a (g) of the Indian Constitution makes it the requirement of every Indian citizen to have compassion for living creatures”, says PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura. “Retired Judge Radhakrishnan and Fernandez are role models in our society who uphold this mandate for kindness to animals through the actions they take, as we all should.”
The groundbreaking Supreme Court judgement passed earlier this year also referenced the concept of “speciesism” – discrimination against others simply for being another species—and compared it to other recognised wrongs: racism, casteism and sexism. It also made clear that education about the humane treatment of animals is imperative, that stronger penalties for cruelty to animals must be passed and that staged fights between animals for entertainment, such as cockfighting and dogfighting, must not be permitted.
Fernandez’s work with PETA India in the last year includes taking to Twitter to call for the release of the formerly abused elephant Sunder, who was finally moved from his life of misery to a forested park where he has room to roam and the companionship of other elephants. She teamed up with PETA India to rally support for a ban on the importation of cosmetics that have been tested on animals – a ban that has since passed. She also helped judge PETA India’s Vegan Fashion Awards, demonstrating how chic leather-, wool-, and fur-free fashion can be. Fernandez met with the Mayor of Mumbai to call for an end to the city’s cruel and dangerous horse-drawn carriage trade, an issue dear to her heart. And she also recently rescued a snake in Malaysia while she was shooting a film there. She also helps animals every time she sits down to eat: she’s vegan!
Past recipients of PETA India’s Person of the Year Award include Dr Shashi Tharoor, India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Hema Malini and R Madhavan.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.