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In recognition of her commitment to ending the use of animals for circuses, her fervent campaign against the exploitation of wild animals for their skins, and her unwavering support for adopting homeless animals among other efforts to protect living, feeling beings, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India proudly designates the illustrious Bollywood luminary Dia Mirza as its 2023 Person of the Year.

Dia Mirza named PETA India’s 2023 Person of the Year for championing animal protection

Dia Mirza named PETA India’s 2023 Person of the Year for championing animal protection

This year, Mirza provided the voice for Ellie, PETA India’s stunningly lifelike animatronic elephant, who visits schools across the country to teach children the importance of kindness and empathy for all and encourages them never to support circuses or other venues that use elephants for entertainment. Since Ellie’s launch in May, she has interacted with over 40,000 young learners in nearly 200 workshops at private, public, government, and international schools in Mumbai and Pune. Mirza also supported PETA India’s petition to ban the use of all animals in circuses.

Mirza recently provided the foreword for PETA India director Poorva Joshipura’s new book, Survival at Stake: How Our Treatment of Animals Is Key to Human Existence, which describes how the key crises affecting us today – including pandemics, epidemics, antibiotic resistance, climate change, and pollution – are directly linked to our treatment of animals and what each of us can do to change these worrying trends.

“Dia Mirza never misses a chance to use her star power to promote empathy for all species, from dogs to elephants and crocodiles,” says PETA India Vice President of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. “PETA India is proud to celebrate Mirza’s work – from speaking out against using elephants for rides to promoting kinder fashion choices – to make India a more compassionate nation.”

Previously, Mirza joined PETA India’s campaign to end the killing of reptiles and other wild animals for their skins and posed as a snake in an eye-catching appeal and appeared in a video encouraging viewers to pledge never to buy exotic animal skins. Mirza’s production house, Born Free Entertainment, received a Hero to Animals Award from PETA India for depicting the rescue of a homeless dog in Love Breakups Zindagi.

Past recipients of PETA India’s Person of the Year Award include former Supreme Court Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, cricketer Virat Kohli, comedian Kapil Sharma, and actors Alia Bhatt, John Abraham, Anushka Sharma, Sunny Leone, Sonakshi Sinha, R Madhavan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Hema Malini, and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja.

PETA India – whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

ALSO READ: Bollywood Hungama OTT India Fest: Dia Mirza discusses complex scenario of developing fresh content; says, “We are going through a very rough patch for content creation”

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