Reading Time: 2 minutes Carrie Symonds is PETA's Person of the Year 2020 Credit: Twitter/Carrie Symonds
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Conservationist – and partner of prime minister Boris Johnson – Carrie Symonds has been named the UK’s 2020 Person of the Year by vegan charity PETA.

According to the organization, it awarded Symonds the accolade for ‘speaking up for animals from monkeys to mutts and being a bright light in a tough year’.

‘A fearless force for good’

Symonds describes herself as ‘Former Director of Comms for Conservatives & Govt Special Adviser’ as well as a ‘conservationist’ who is ‘fighting plastic pollution’ in her Twitter biography. 

She is a a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Association, a vocal opponent of trophy hunting, and protested against whaling outside London’s Japanese Embassy last year.

PETA described the communications expert as ‘a fearless force for good when it comes to making the world a kinder place for animals’. It added that her ‘activism gets results’.

Activism

The vegan charity cited a number of reasons it named Symonds as its Person of the Year. These included the PM’s fiancee calling for a ban on wet markets earlier this year, as well as demanding an end to the global wildlife trade ‘once and for all’.

She has also been outspoken about fur, saying: “Fur belongs on animals only.”

Coconut brands

PETA also cited Symonds’ involvement in making supermarkets ditch coconut product brands with potential links to monkey labor, saying: “After PETA Asia’s investigation into Thailand’s coconut industry revealed that monkeys are kept chained and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts for coconut milk sold by major brands like Chaokoh, she called on retailers to stop selling these cruelly obtained products. 

“And, following her urging, every single UK grocery chain pulled coconut products obtained through monkey labor.”

Monkey labor

Taking to Twitter at the time, Symonds wrote: “Glad Waitrose, Co-op, Boots & Ocado have vowed not to sell products that use monkey labor, while Morrisons has already removed these from its stores,

“Come on @asda, @tesco and @sainsburys: Please tell us you’re NOT selling any products that use monkey slave labor.”

‘A force for good’

In a statement sent to Plant Based News, PETA Managing Director Ingrid Newkirk said: “Carrie Symonds is a fearless force for good when it comes to making the world a kinder place for animals.

“PETA is delighted to honor her for using her platform to encourage people to spare a thought for our fellow animals whom we share this planet with.”

Previous winners of the accolade include Lewis HamiltonRicky Gervais, and the late Sir Roger Moore.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.