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Pamela Anderson in France and fighting for animals

Pamela Anderson loves France and now lives on the Riviera permanently. Headlines have focused on the Baywatch star's relationship with French footballer Adil Rami - but she tells Samantha David she prefers to talk about her work for animal rights

“I love France, and I’m blown away by how far the animal rights movement has come. Vogue Paris just launched a fur-free issue and, instead of cruelly produced foie gras, people are eating vegan joie gras and croissants sans beurre!”

A long-time member of animal rights group Peta, Pamela Anderson has been volunteering with it for a year, since giving a speech at the Assem­blée Nationale on the cruelty of foie gras production.

Isabelle Goetz, of Peta France, says the actor's involvement is no publicity stunt: “She takes animal rights seriously. Working with celebrities is important as it helps raise awareness and Pamela is a militant. She’ll protest anywhere, in front of a bullring, a circus, anything. She isn’t afraid to be on the front lines.”

Pamela’s short-lived vegan restaurant tempted celebrities to try vegan cuisine, and her fight against bull­fighting made many aware Spanish corrida persists in the south of France.

She says: “Bullfighting is barbaric. Most people in France and around the world understand that, and don’t want to see animals tortured for some sick sense of amusement.

“The days of this archaic form of human entertainment are seriously numbered.”

Never one to do things by half, Pamela has thrown herself into Peta work 100%, campaigning against fur, bullfighting, cruelty to farm animals, and generally promoting veganism and fur-free fashion.

Ms Goetz says: “Pamela came to Calais with us to distribute blankets and colouring books to immigrant children, because there are still people there, despite the camp’s closure.”

“France is now my adopted home,” says Pamela, “and I don’t think I’ll be moving back to LA any time soon.

“I get to do a lot of good work here – from protesting against Marineland [sealife park in Antibes, where she stood alone outside calling for it to close], which confines orcas and other intelligent marine mammals to tiny, chlorinated prisons, to preparing nutritious vegan meals for refugees. Helping the vulnerable is my raison d’être.”

Battery hens, too: “There’s no justification for an industry that crams these birds into cages or sheds where they can’t even stretch their wings – let alone do anything else that comes naturally. That’s why I promote vegan living whenever and wherever I can.”

Asked if France was ready to go vegan, she says. “Absolutely. The other day I was listening to a debate on France Inter asking ‘Are vegans right?’ People are waking up to the fact the meat and dairy industries are cruel and cause millions of sensitive animals to suffer unnecessarily.

“Plus, consuming animal products increases the likelihood of heart attacks, cancer, high blood pressure, and a fat gut – who wants that?”

She also campaigns against circus animals and a poll found 70-80% of people want a ban.

Ms Goetz says: “People are against animals in circuses, and French mayors are forbidding them. It’s a struggle being fought town by town, but we know we will win.”

Pamela is not ready to give up any time soon. “I’ll continue to spread the message that, as Peta’s motto says, animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”

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