Russell_Simmons
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .
Photo: Brett Weinstein

He’s a dedicated animal activist and vegan. If you live in New York City, you see him at countless events using his celebrity to bring attention to the cause. He’s Russell Simmons, and PETA’s 2011 Person of the Year.

This is no small honor. Last year, PETA gave the title to former President Bill Clinton for bringing so much attention to the health benefits of a vegan diet.

Why Simmons? PETA says, “Because he tirelessly advocates for animals and sets a positive example for others by promoting a vegan lifestyle.”

When asked how he would describe himself to a stranger, he leaves all the fashion and music out of it. He says simply, “I’m an animal activist.” Even his clothing line leaves out all animal products including wool, leather and fur. In his many interviews, he finds a way to advocate for animals and talk about how much his vegan diet and life of compassion has done for him, and for the world.

As for the honor, the humble Simmons said this, “The horrible abuse of animals is the worst karmic disaster in the history of human kind. The work that PETA does to combat this catastrophe is amazing. I’m truly humbled to be chosen as this year’s Person of the Year but the praise should go to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that are on the ground doing the work. I accept this honor on their behalf.”

Congrats, Russell! You’ve earned it!

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is a writer, teacher and activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Ali is also a fiction writer. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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