While many of our most famous celebrities are busy sun tanning their aged, wrinkly, bodies in Malibu, or landing in jail over unpaid paternity bills, there are some special ones who are spending their time a little more meaningfully. Indeed, they are going out of their way to help animals! Celebrity endorsements have played an important role in getting the public to recognize the importance of passing bills in Congress that protect and prevent cruelty to animals. Let’s look at a few of these famous animal-loving celebrities.
Ian Anderson, widely known flutist and lead singer of progressive rock legends Jethro Tull, has written extensively on Tull’s website about his efforts to help preserve the habitats of small sized, feral, species of wild cats, which are indigenous to the British Isles. He has even gone so far to appear in Parliament to help sponsor and publicly endorse legislation on their behalf, and has worked with charities in Britain to ensure that their natural habitat remains undisturbed, so far as is possible, by human encroachment.
Paul McCartney, of the Beatles and Wings, is also a well known animal lover. He owns multiple farms in the British isles, and raises sheep, cows, and many other forms of livestock. He has long been known as an animal activist, both in the United Kingdom and internationally, and has organized many charity events on their behalf. One of his most famous singles with Wings, “Junior’s Farm”, espouses the rewarding aspects of a life spent in close kinship with nature and its animals.
The late Bea Arthur, of Maude and The Golden Girls, was a legendary advocate of animal rights, and a tireless speaker on their behalf. Her love of dogs and cats was particularly well attested to. She organized many charitable events to raise money for animal related causes, and was, more controversially, an outspoken advocate of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Another late celebrity, Michael Jackson, was a well known friend to animals, hosting a great many of them on his Neverland Ranch. His relationship with the legendary “Bubbles”, a full grown adult chimpanzee, has become part of his legend. Mr. Jackson made many statements on behalf of a wide variety of animals, both domestic and feral, and was a tireless advocate of, and participant in, charitable events on their behalf. Indeed, Jackson’s accomplishments on behalf of animals, and children, have certainly become a part of his lasting persona in the eyes of his adoring public.
Kenneth Pinyan, aka the late “Mr. Hands“, may be a surprising, and controversial, addition to this list. However, let it not be said that he did not, in his own special and inimitable fashion, bring awareness to the plight of farm animals, specifically horses. He may have been the “wrong” kind of animal lover, and certainly paid for his misguided deeds with his life, but his actions have indeed been the spur of many federal and state initiatives to reform existing laws on animal cruelty, and provide stiffer sentences for their infringement.