Ellen DeGeneres Animal Rights work. Ellen DeGeneres has used her popular TV show as a platform for promoting animal rights and was awarded the PETA Woman of the Year award for 2009 for her work. She encourages cruelty-free living. She is also outspoken about the importance of adopting animals from shelters, especially in hard economic times when people are forced to give away pets. ''I wish we lived in a world where caring for animals wasn't so rare that it deserved an award." BRAVO!