Katie Cleary
Interview: Barbi Twins

Barbi Twins: As a model, you made the camera your livelihood. How has the camera helped you, as an animal activist and film producer of Give Me Shelter, with your animal rights cause?

Katie Cleary: I believe that the camera has aided animal welfare by giving a platform and a vision [for bringing] awareness to the most important animal-welfare issues worldwide. We are able to help animals all around the world as a result of the media and entertainment business, which is able to spread compassion and change at rapid speed.

BT: Your organization, Peace 4 Animals, focuses on everything from wildlife to shelter animals. What is the biggest misconception about animal rights, and what do you think we can do to help motivate others to be proactive?

KC: The biggest misconception is that sometimes activists have to be loud and are radical to get their message across. I think there is a classy way to go about changing people’s views about how they treat animals, and that is with compassion, strategic moves, and passing laws to protect animals, not throwing paint and flour on people. That only turns them away from your whole purpose of helping those without a voice.

Animals should have rights and should be treated with compassion and empathy; we are their caretakers. If you don’t have it in your heart to help them, then just leave them alone and do no harm. To be proactive is to educate yourself and get the word out via social media, or through one of the many animal-welfare organizations around the world, and by signing petitions, starting your own campaigns, rescuing and fostering animals, organizing cleanups, recycling, volunteering at your local animal shelter, going to eco-tourist destinations or photo safaris. This will help get the word out to the masses, and hopefully, this will bring more awareness and more compassion to animal welfare.

BT: Who were your heroes growing up, and who do you admire in Hollywood that truly makes a difference?

KC: Jane Goodall is my idol and someone I have always looked up to for the amazing work she has done with chimpanzees. She has transcended animal welfare as the voice for the voiceless and has changed many people’s views about how they think and treat not only chimps but all of the amazing animals we share this planet with.

BT: For young girls that want to become successful models like you, what message can you give them?

KC: To never give up your dreams and stay focused on your passions. Wake up every morning thankful for everything that God gave you, and make your passion your purpose in life.

BT: If you had the resources to make a difference in one area, what would it be?

KC: I would make a difference by banning unsustainable palm oil in order to save the rainforest and orangutan habitats along with the rest of the three hundred thousand other species that live in the rainforest. Deforestation for palm-oil production also contributes significantly to climate change. The removal of the native forests often involves the burning of timber and remaining forest undergrowth, emitting immense quantities of smoke into the atmosphere. The rainforest is being cut down at alarming rates, and orangutans are losing their habitats and are being killed, as a result, faster than we can save them, but there is a solution. In Borneo, small parcels of rainforest land can be a lifeline for orangutans so long as they link together protected forests, enabling animals to move safely over greater distances.

World Land Trust’s Borneo Rainforest Appeal helps to save the rainforest through land protection and ensures the survival of the Bornean orangutan from extinction in the wild in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. With the funds raised to purchase rainforest land, WLT will be able to help create the Keruak Corridor, which will link Keruak Forest Reserve with one part of Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.


One Response to Katie Cleary, President and Founder of Peace 4 Animals: Get Proactive!

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