Murali Kartik © AFP
Murali Kartik © AFP

New Delhi: In recognition of his work in encouraging the public to follow his lead by going meat-free, cricketer Murali Kartik will be presented with a ‘Compassionate Athlete Award’ from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Kartik promotes vegetarian meals on social media and has also starred in a PETA India campaign.”Kartik Murali never stops letting the world know how the simple act of choosing a vegetarian meal can spare animals daily suffering and result in great health”, says PETA India Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera.

“PETA India is honoured to have such a strong player on the animals’ team.” Kartik has worked to highlight how animals suffer in the meat industry.In addition to his work to promote vegetarian meals, Kartik is quick to report animals in distress to PETA India whose motto reads, in part, “animals are not ours to eat”.

He is part of a growing list of athletes and other celebrities including Anil Kumble, Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Advani, R Madhavan, Lara Dutta, Pamela Anderson, Shahid Kapoor, Sonu Sood, Vidyut Jammwal and Paul McCartney, who have teamed up with PETA India or its international affiliates to promote kindness to animals.

The former Indian left-arm spinner retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 37, in June 2014. The Tamil Nadu tweaker played 8 Tests, 37 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and a solitary T20 International (T20I) in his 17-year-old career. Despite his excellent abilities with the ball, Kartik got limited chances for India as Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were India’s preferred spin bowling options. Later in his career, Kartik saw youngsters like Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra and to a lesser degree, Piyush Chawla take the second-spinner’s spot.