Goodbye To An Animal Rights Champion
As most of you know Bea Arthur passed away recently, but you may not have known was she was an animal rights advocate.
The animal protection community lost a wonderful advocate and generous philanthropist last week, when Bea Arthur passed away. Since the 80's Arthur has lent her fame to a number of animal welfare causes. She advocated against wearing fur, gave her support to a campaign against KFC, became a spokesperson for the effort to end horse abuse in the production of premarin, and she raised significant amounts of funds for charity. To acknowledge her many contributions over her lifetime, PETA made her an honorary director.
Bea became involved in animal issues in 1987, after recording an anti-fur episode of Golden Girls. She soon became a member of PETA. She said, "at one time I used to wear fur. It never entered my mind how fur got to be fur. I just thought you go to the store and you get a fur coat. It wasn't until later that I said, I can't do this. This is obscene."
Here's what the sassy actress had to say to people who want to do something for animals: "get involved at ground level. Start by neutering and spaying animals. You begin by just being aware and just do what you can. Just pick up the goddamn newspaper everyday and read something and find out what's happening. And do something about it. Or try to do something about it."
I don't think you'll find better advice than Bea Arthur's. I have no doubt her death will leave a big void in the animal welfare community.