Lewis Hamilton has been named the Peta person of the year for his promotion of a vegan diet.
The Formula 1 driver has been singled out for praise by Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – for his discussions of a plant-based diet in the international press and on social media.
Hamilton has said he supports the vegan diet for health reasons and to behave in a kinder way towards other species.
He also cited greenhouse gases produced by cows as a reason for his diet.
Hamilton said: “The cruelty is horrible and I don’t necessarily want to support that and I want to live a healthier life.”
Peta founder Ingrid Newkirk paid tribute to the racing driver and the message he delivers to his millions of online followers.
She said: “Lewis Hamilton has proved to be not only a fantastic driver but also a force for good and a powerful ally of animals used for food.
“Peta is honouring him for inspiring his legions of fans to follow his lead, jump-start their own energy levels, and spare animals’ lives by going vegan.”
Past recipients of the award include Ricky Gervais and Brian May.