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Oprah Winfrey is named PETA's Person of the Year

December 22, 2008 |  4:25 pm

Oprah named PETA's Person of the Year The talk show goddess to top all talk show goddesses, Oprah Winfrey, has been named PETA's 2008 Person of the Year, the animal rights organization has announced.

PETA says Winfrey was chosen for "[using] her fame and listening audience to help the less fortunate, including animals. She has used her show to uncover horrific cases of cruelty to animals in puppy mills and on factory farms, and Oprah even used the show to highlight the cruelty-free vegan diet that she tried!"

Winfrey famously spotlighted puppy mills on her show after an animal rescuer, Bill Smith, took out a billboard near Chicago's Kennedy Expressway that read "Oprah: Do a show on puppy mills. The dogs need you." 

She said of her much-publicized 21-day vegan cleanse:

I learned a lot about how animals are treated and mistreated before they get to our tables. It is appalling and beneath our humanity to allow the torture of animals for the sake of our gluttony. We've neglected basic human decency on such a large scale, and it really does bleed over into every other aspect of life.

Winfrey has spoken often of her beloved Cocker spaniels -- one of whom died this year. "She was a true love in my life. In fact, she's been one of the greatest reasons for me to be a kinder, gentler person," she said of her departed dog, Sophie.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

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