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.”

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Sights on 2019… 💪🏾 #24Seven @pumaperformance

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on Dec 4, 2018 at 12:05pm PST

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.