Critter Defenders

Animal-loving activists

Naturally, you’d expect such scientific luminaries as JANE GOODALL to champion animal rights. After all, she’s studied apes for most of her life. And, if you’ve read their books, it’s not surprising that authors ASTRID LINDGREN and ALICE WALKER would be among those who advocate better treatment for animals.But did you know about these other celebrities who have a soft spot for our furry friends?

Roller Boogie Benefactor
Star of The Exorcist, actress LINDA BLAIR is also possessed with a desire to save animals from exploitation and extinction. She contributes to various charities that educate the public on animal issues, and she even has a hand in, a lifestyle site devoted to cruelty-free products and leather alternatives.

He Was the Walrus
Former Beatle SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY is a well-known vegetarian, converted one day at lunch while watching the family sheep cavort. His late wife, Linda McCartney, was an outspoken advocate of vegetarianism and the author of several cookbooks. In the 1990s she marketed a line of meatless frozen foods.

Betty White
For many year, actress BETTY WHITE has been involved in educating the public to be kind to pets. Betty and her husband, TV host Allan Ludden, produced a chat show in the early 1970s called Pet Set. On the show, Betty hosted celebrities who visited to talk about their animal companions. Since then, Betty White has given her time and money to a number of animal-related organizations, including the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and the Morris Animal Foundation.
No Fur For Her
A longtime activist against fur is actress and cyber pin-up PAMELA ANDERSON. The former star of TV’s Baywatch was given a 1999 award from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for her public outspokenness on animal abuse and the fur industry.

Battling Against Burgers
In the movie Babe (1995), actor JAMES CROMWELL played the good Farmer Hoggett, friend and mentor to a sheep herding pig named Babe. In real life Cromwell is a friend to all animals, and the narrator of a PETA film urging people to stop eating pigs. He has urged government officials and the public many times to put an end to animal cruelty, and in 2001 he was arrested outside a Wendy’s hamburger restaurant while trying to persuade people to boycott the fast-food chain.

Spay it Forward
BOB BARKER, host of the television gameshow The Price is Right, is the founder of the DJ&T Foundation, an organization that funds the spaying and neutering of animals. He has also waged a public campaign to ban elephants from circuses, and in 1988 he quit as the host of the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants when officials insisted on giving a fur coat as a prize.

The Paul Sisters
Twins ALEXANDRA PAUL and CAROLINE PAUL both are vegetarians and animal-rights activists. Alexandra Paul was a co-star on the TV show Baywatch; Caroline was one of the first women to join the San Francisco Fire Department. Alexandra’s defense of critters extends even to silkworms; for her 2000 wedding, she reportedly chose a wedding dress which contained no silk.

She was a stand-up comedian, then she was a ground-breaking TV sitcom star, then she became the Great White Oprah of daytime television talk shows. And Ellen Degeneres has long been a friend to animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) gave her their Founder’s Award in 2004 for her charitable work, and in 2008 she was named Woman of the Year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Ellen famously went vegan in 2008, and on her talk show she frequently has guests who discuss animal rights issues. She teamed with the United States Post Office in 2010 to launch a program to encourage pet adoption.

Doris Day
Doris Day was one of the biggest Hollywood stars of her era, the go-to love interest in romantic comedies of the 1950s and 1960s. These days her name is more likely to be seen on the marquees of non-profit organizations that benefit animals. There’s the Doris Day Animal Foundation (formerly the Doris Day Pet Foundation), and there’s the Doris Day Animal League (which merged with the Humane Society of the United States in 2006), and there’s the annual Doris Day Animal Kindred Spirit Award. She was advocating for animals long before it became a Hollywood-tinted cause. The story goes that in while filming Alfred Hitchcock‘s The ManWho Knew Too Much (1956), she refused to work unless the animals on location were well-treated.

Alec Baldwin
Former Hollywood couple ALEC BALDWIN and KIM BASINGER are proud members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and other organizations that work for animal rights. Baldwin especially has become one of the more outspoken celebrity advocates for the animal rights movement, and, as such, is something of a lightning rod for its opponents.

Ricki Lake
In the 1990s, TV talkshow host and sometime actress RICKI LAKE gave Alec Baldwin a run for his money as the most newsworthy celebrity against animal cruelty. She and her husband were arrested at an anti-fur protest in New York, and Lake did a brief stint in the slammer. Unrepentant, she continues to be an advocate for animal welfare.

Brigitte Bardot
Like Doris Day, Brigitte Bardot was a blonde leading lady of the silver screen who’s been a friend to animals for decades. Bardot’s blonde was a billion times spicier than Day‘s, and when it comes to advocating for animals, Brigitte is Sherman‘s March and Doris is the Marshall Plan. Since 1962 Brigitte Bardot has been a voice against cruelty to animals, and since 1986 the Brigitte Bardot Foundation has been waging legal battles all over the world from their Paris headquarters. Bardot has battled furriers and whale hunters, been arrested for the cause and even established a bear sanctuary in Bulgaria.

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