Jackass’ Steve-O was honored in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night with a special animal rights award.

The star was welcomed by Nanci Alexander, owner of gourmet vegan restaurant Sublime and founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida when he arrived in the city as part of his current comedy tour on Saturday, and presented him with the Nanci Alexander Award during a champagne and vegan caviar reception at Sublime.

In the past year, Steve-O has teamed with PETA to perform and appear in provocative, quirky, and serious ads that send messages decrying the use of fur and other animal skins in fashion and that show kids and teachers how to learn biology without taking a frog’s or a cat’s life. Now a vegan, Steve-O uses his public appearances as opportunities to speak up for animals who are in trouble. He most recently led a protest outside Edmonton’s Valley Zoo, which keeps an old elephant, Lucy, in isolation.

“Steve-O may be a comedian, but to animals in trouble, he’s a real champ,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “There’s lots to laugh about in life, but animal abuse isn’t funny, as Steve-O is quick to point out.”

“[B]eing a vegan, caring about animals … all of this compassion … in my lifestyle is the reward in and of itself,” says Steve-O.

Also attending the award reception were Sarah Wingo, the Florida middle-school student who successfully stood up against a teacher who ridiculed her decision not to dissect a frog in her biology class, and Anna Ware, a Georgia woman who persuaded her county’s council to ban bullhooks from circus events. Telemundo host Natalia Villaveces, actor and former Miss Panama Patricia De León, and Miami Ink tattoo artist Ami James also attended.

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