PETA honored music producer Jermaine Dupri during their 40th anniversary Virtual Gala that took place on Saturday, Dec. 12th.
Musical icon and longtime friend, Mariah Carey introduced the Hip Hop legend.
“I’ve known Jermaine for a long time,” says Carey “and he is one of a kind. Not only is he a genius at producing music, he’s also a vocal animal rights advocate, which is why we are joined here today. … J.D., keep doing what you do. And PETA, I can’t wait for the next 40 years of groundbreaking success.”
While virtually accepting the award, the So So Def founder explains how his veganism evolved into activism.
“I became vegan for my own health,” Dupri explains. “But the longer I’ve been at it, the more it became about others: the animals, food justice for our community, and the health of our planet. I urge you all to get involved and start building a vegan movement in your community.”
Previously, Dupri starred in PETA’s “Feel the Beets, Lose the Meats” campaign highlighting the importance of a vegan lifestyle.
“I feel like anybody that has a problem with their energy level being right—tired all the time—you can definitely feel the difference,” says Dupri. “A vegan lifestyle puts you on that track to just be healthy. That’s the lifestyle that you have to take on.”
The star-studded event honored stars such as NFL star Tyrann Mathieu, actress Kat Graham and retired NBA star John Salley. With guest appearances from Sir Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, Alec Baldwin, Dolly Parton, and many more.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk acknowledges how far they have come in the fight for animal rights.
“Forty years ago, car companies used pigs as crash-test dummies and people thought a vegan was someone from Las Vegas,” says Newkirk. “Today, animals in laboratories are being replaced with supercomputers and organs-on-chips, fur is dead, elephants are out of the circus, and the ‘Tiger King’ is in jail.”