Between his abs of steel and massive sex appeal, John Abraham is a super-successful model and one of the hottest Indian actors around. But did you know that Abraham is also a full-fledged “flock” star? Not too long ago, the big-hearted animal lover and long-time PETA India pal posed for a sizzling print ad alongside the caption “No One Wants to Be Caged: Let Birds Fly Free”.
Why is Abraham sticking up for his feathered friends? Birds are exquisite creatures in their natural habitats. When captured and put into cages, otherwise fun-loving birds become depressed and withdrawn. They often turn to over-preening themselves to the point of mutilation. Flying is to birds as walking is to us, yet many birds in captivity have their wings clipped so that they cannot fly away. Letting wild birds socialise with other birds of their choosing and carry out countless other instinctual and pleasurable behaviours without fear of being captured, killed or harmed is the greatest gift that any bird lover can give to a bird.
An exquisite creature himself, Abraham went truly international in 2008 with Deepa Mehta’s film Luna. Abraham played an environmental activist in the movie, which also starred Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz and Chris Cooper. His apparel label has also hit the US and UK markets. Luckily, we captured him long enough to ask him a few questions. Check out what Abraham had to say in our exclusive interview:
Why do you think it is important to speak up against cruelty to animals?
Animals want to live just as much as you or I do. They have feelings, just like us. They feel happy, sad, jealous and in love. Animals deserve to live a life free of torture. The least we can do is allow them that freedom.
You have supported PETA in the past. Why do you think it is important to support an animal protection group like ours?
Animals cannot speak for themselves, so it is up to us to give them a voice and speak for them. Everyone has seen me in a petaDishoom T-shirt and cap, and I use my PETA mug on the sets to help spread awareness of animal protection.
You have done many campaigns for PETA. Could you share some of your experiences with us?
Most recently, I crawled into a human-sized cage to depict the sad plight of birds imprisoned in cages. Birds are born to fly great distances. Keeping them jailed is a cruel thing to do and possibly the worst form of punishment anyone can think of for a bird.
I have also sent a letter to the chief minister of Goa asking him to stop the illegal killing of pigs in backyards. There, pigs are made to suffer the pain of having an iron rod shoved through their bodies for meat.
Whenever I see an overloaded horse buggy, I stop and get the driver to unload the carts. I also educate the driver about the needs of the horses. In fact, I rescued an emaciated horse some years ago and took him to the SPCA.
What would your message be to the youth about animal protection?
Speak up for animals and take action to stop abuse when you see it. If you don’t, who will? You are the animals’ only hope.
What do you think of petaDishoom?
I love it. I invite lots of people to log on and help “dishoom” those who abuse animals.
Wanna be a “flock” star for animals too? Then head here. You’ll find ways to save animals’ lives and score yourself some great prizes. Now that’s what we call a win-win situation!