For Immediate Release:
11 January 2011
Mumbai – What do Lara Dutta, R Madhavan, Sir Paul McCartney, Rahul Bose, Sonam Kapoor, John Abraham and Pamela Anderson have in common? These celebrities are among the hundreds who have lent their famous faces and voices to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India in behalf of abused animals. Celebrity support – together with hard-hitting investigations and campaigns, colourful demonstrations, vigorous youth outreach efforts and innovative online networking – has helped PETA attain new heights in animal awareness, vegetarian dining, elephant rescue and homeless animal adoption as the group marks its 11th anniversary on 12 January.
“Star power has helped PETA get the message out to billions of people that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment”, says PETA India Chief Functionary Poorva Joshipura. “And as we mark our 11th year, I’m pleased to say that we’ve made tremendous progress and that we plan to accelerate our efforts in the coming years so that animals – from chickens and cats to elephants and eels – receive the respect and compassion that they deserve.”
The following are just some examples of PETA’s celebrity support:
• Sir Paul McCartney recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to declare the day of PETA India’s founding, 12 January, an annual meat-free day across India.
• After learning about the poor treatment of animals who are used for leather in India, Pamela Anderson also penned a letter to the Prime Minister informing him that she is going to encourage the public to go leather-free.
• After hearing about the plight of Baixinha, an endangered black rhino being sold for a canned hunt, Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai wrote a heartfelt letter on behalf of PETA India asking that the animal be released to a sanctuary.
• After learning that elephants were being mercilessly killed in Assam, actor Madhuri Dixit sent a letter on behalf of PETA India to officials in that region.
• John Abraham starred in a PETA ad encouraging people not to cage birds. He also wrote a letter to the District Collector of Mumbai asking that the use of horses for joyrides at beaches and parks be banned in Mumbai and urged the Chief Minister of Goa to take steps to stop the illegal killing of pigs in backyards.
• Bollywood hottie Lara Dutta posed in a gown made of lettuce leaves and mushrooms for a PETA India ad that read, “Let Vegetarianism Grow on You”.
• On PETA India’s behalf, heartthrob R Madhavan wrote a letter to KFC CEO David Novak imploring him to stop the worst abuses suffered by the chickens who are raised and killed for his company’s restaurants. The actor also crammed himself into a cage in order to demonstrate what chickens who are raised for meat endure.
• Actor and athlete Rahul Bose wrote a letter to chair of an expert committee established by the University Grants Commission to examine the issue of dissection, urging him to support a ban on the dissection of animals in university zoology classes and to encourage the use of virtual dissection programmes and other humane and superior teaching methods instead. .
• Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty starred in a PETA ad to illustrate the misery of animals who are used in the circus. In the ad, Shetty wore a tight-fitting bodysuit and painted-on stripes to resemble a tiger.
• Posing in a skin-tight, snake-inspired outfit while lying in a pool of “blood”, actor Raveena Tandon-Thadani appeared in a PETA ad alongside the words “Wearing Exotic Skins Kills. Leave Wildlife Out of Your Wardrobe” to encourage people to shed exotic skins.
• Maestro Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka starred in a PETA India ad urging the government to strengthen the penalty against cruelty to animals.
• Dancer Rakhi Sawant stripped down to tiger stripes for a PETA India ad in which she wields a whip as two men cower before her. The caption reads, “Beaten. Tortured. Scared. Exotic Animals Belong in the Wild, Not in the Circus”.
• Actor Nargise Bagheri bared her skin for a stunning PETA India ad that read, “Don’t Get Taken for a Ride – Horse-Drawn Carts Are Cruel.”
• Celina Jaitly starred in a PETA India ad to illustrate the cruel treatment of elephants in captivity. The ravenous actor also wrote to the Central Zoo Authority asking that it enforce its order to transfer all captive elephants to sanctuaries.
• After the Mumbai police banned the use of glass-coated manja for flying kites within the city because of injuries and fatalities to birds and human residents, actor Sonam Kapoor sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to the Maharashtra government asking that it ban dangerous and deadly manja throughout the entire state.
• Cricketer Anil Kumble went to bat for a vegetarian diet by starring in a PETA India ad alongside the words “Vegetarianism Is a Hit: Go Veg”.
• Crouching in a barren concrete “cell” next to the words “Zoos Are Pitiful Prisons – Let Animals Live Free!” actor Amisha Patel appeared in a PETA India ad protesting against the treatment of animals in zoos.
• Actor Isha Koppikar dressed in a pleather catsuit and bore her teeth behind the bars of a tiny cage for a PETA India ad against zoo cruelty.
• In another PETA India ad highlighting the plight of animals in zoos, Rahul Khanna posed in shackles next to the caption “Beaten, Shackled, Abused –Elephants Do Not Belong in Zoos”.
• In a PETA India ad highlighting the plight of cows who are transported for slaughter, Gulshan Grover posed next to a toy truck that had mock cows crammed inside of it.
• Santoor player Rahul Sharma posed for a vegetarian ad in a vegetable sherwani, which was designed by his wife, Barkha.
• Wrestler Sushil Kumar also appeared in a pro-vegetarian PETA India ad alongside the words “Wrestling With Health Problems? Be Fit and Strong: Go Vegetarian”.
• PETA India teamed up with fashion design duo Hemant and Nandita during Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi for a stunning “Wow, Not Cow” cruelty-free fashion show. The event showcased alternatives to leather, proving that it’s easy to have a look that kills without killing animals.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.org.