For the briefest of moments last Thursday on NBC's comedy series "30 Rock," Alec Baldwin, and not the corporate conservative he plays named Jack Donaghy, was front and center.
The 54-year-old actor and animal activist agreed to have his "30 Rock" character appear in a scene featuring a horse-drawn carriage — but only if he could also decry what he perceives as a cruel industry. In the scene, Jack says horse-drawn carriages are “rolling torture wagons for nature’s most dignified creature.”
In an email to friends at PETA, he writes, "Rolling torture wagons for nature's most dignified creature: That's how my 30 Rock character describes horse-drawn carriages, and it's why I agreed to appear in a scene featuring a carriage.
"It reflects my personal belief that New York should join Toronto, London and Paris in outlawing hansom cabs from city centers. I've been speaking out with Peta against the cruelty of horse-drawn carriages for decades, and I'm thrilled that Intro 86A, the bill to replace the carriages with eco-friendly classic-replica cars, has garnered so much support in City Council."
The vintage car program would be fully funded by the organization New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) and would come at no cost to the city.
“The overwhelming number of New Yorkers who support a carriage horse alternative is not surprising given the inhumane and exploitative nature of this industry,” said Carly Knudson, executive director of NYCLASS.
Back in June 2008, at an event hosted by Baldwin against horse-drawn carriages, the actor said he would be fine with having the industry continue under some specific conditions.
“I don’t have a problem with the carriage trade. If they remove all the cars in Manhattan, and build a farm with an acre of land for each horse to graze, I will invest my own money. Passions run high in this issue… It’s loud and vulgar because they know they are wrong.”
Check out Baldwin's "30 Rock" activism below: