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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 9

Ellen DeGeneres and Tim Gunn named PETA's people of the year

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/04/2010 

Tim Gunn and Ellen DeGeneres have been recognized for their work with animal rights.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced on Wednesday the Project Runway fashion guru as its 2009 Man of the Year and the new American Idol judge as its 2009 Woman of the Year.

Gunn received the honor for narrating the organization's video about the suffering of animals who are slaughtered for their pelts, as well as ridding Project Runway of fur-themed design challenges and eliminating fur at Liz Claiborne, where he works as chief creative officer.

"Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, 'I'm in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement,'" Gunn recently told The Los Angeles Times.

"Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks, and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion -- yes, dogs and cats."

DeGeneres was recognized for using her The Ellen DeGeneres Show to raise awareness about animal issues through various segments -- including making a vegan pizza with Wolfgang Puck, talking with Dr. Neal Barnard about the health benefits of a vegan diet, and discussing the everyday abuse of animals on factory farms with "Eating Animals" author Jonathan Safran Foer.

In addition, DeGeneres' website also provides information on how to avoid animal cruelty in everyday life.

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