07.17.13

Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals

Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals

BY Amanda de Cadenet

Animal activism is very important to me so I’m excited to share my friend  Rory Freedman’s  latest book, Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals, It is wonderful and so important. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

I asked Rory to talk a little bit about the book and why animals matter .

When did you become so passionate about animals?
I was born into a family of animal lovers, so it’s been with me my whole life. I’m just like all the other animal loons out there—there are billions of us. I grew up with a dog, two cats, and two birds. Frosty, who’s still alive and well (and about forty years old), is a cockatoo. Not only does she talk, but because she lived with a dog for so many years, she also barks whenever the doorbell rings.

I have three dogs who rule my world. The first two are 12-year-old Labrador Retrievers. I adopted them as babies with my then boyfriend. When we parted ways (on good terms), it was a given we were going to share custody of the dogs. He and his wonderful wife now live in Northern California, I live in Los Angeles. So we do six months at a stretch and then swap. We know it’s unusual, but it works perfectly for the dogs and the humans.

My third little muppet is Lucy, a fifteen-pound shelter rescue. I had no plans on getting a third dog, but during one of the times Timber and Joey were with their other parents, a friend asked if I would foster a dog just for a week or two. You know how that story ends.

Your first book, Skinny Bitch, was so incredibly successful. What inspired you to write Beg?
I’ve gotten so much feedback from all over the world about how Skinny Bitch has changed people’s lives. One of the ways is that it opened their eyes to the plight of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses—the cows, chickens, and pigs who are raised and killed for food. Because the scope of Skinny Bitch was limited to food and those animals, I wanted to offer a full treatise about all the animals who are effected by our choices. I wanted to invite animal lovers to be better animal lovers.

What is the best advice you have for people who want to give back to animals?
My friend, NY Times best selling author, Lisa Bloom said it best: “Make love an action verb.” So just do something, anything! You can donate money to a nonprofit, volunteer at a shelter, adopt an animal as opposed to purchasing one, participate in Meatless Mondays, buy synthetic products instead of leather ones, steer clear of the zoo and circus, and most important of all: get educated. As Oprah always says, quoting Maya Angelou, “When we know better, we do better.” I wrote Beg to galvanize animal lovers— the animals really need us.

Amanda is a wife, mother, friend, photographer and the creator and host of The Conversation. @AmandadeCadenet

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