Famous vegans, vegetarians and animal lovers — Anjelica Huston, “Glee”’s Lea Michele, and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa among them — celebrated People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ 30th Anniversary Gala, hosted by Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock". “I got pulled into it by my ex-wife. Kim Basinger is a big animal rights person,” said Baldwin, who no longer eats meat and decries the use of fur in fashion, calling it “really disgraceful.”
Huston, in an eco-friendly dress by Stella McCartney, also weighed in on the issue: “I used to wear fur,” she admitted, “but for the last 20 years I haven’t.” Honored at the gala for her work on behalf of great apes, “We’ve stopped a lot of advertisers and moviemakers from using them,” she said.
Grateful for the platform “Glee” has given her “to speak out about things I believe in,” honoree and vegan Michele confided she’d slept for 14 hours after finishing the forthcoming “Rocky Horror Picture Show” episode, directed by Adam Shankman. It airs Oct. 12, and “there is a charity event for “Rocky Horror” that I will be a part of at the end of October,” she noted. Adding to the big-name guest list on “Glee,” “We have an Academy Award winner coming up” — Gwyneth Paltrow.
“I’m a big supporter of PETA. In 2003 I put together animal cruelty task force legislation that convicted 100 people for animal cruelty in the past few years,” said Villaraigosa, who has a shelter dog and cat at home. “We have the toughest spay and neutering law in the United States and every year I’ve been mayor we’ve continued to drop our euthanasia rate. Even last year with the economy and so many people giving up their animals, it’s held steady.” The mayor, who is chauffeured in a hybrid SUV, touted the steps he’s taken toward a greener L.A. “We’ve gone from 3 percent renewable energy to 19 percent. Our effort to clean up the port is the most far reaching in the world. We’ve replaced 7,500 trucks at the port with clean diesel, natural gas and electric trucks. We recycle more trash than any big city in the country and have more green buildings than any city in the country.”
Longtime PETA supporter and past award recipient Pamela Anderson, who has famously stripped naked for its ad campaigns, was thrilled that PETA was attracting young stars like “Twilight”’s Christian Serratos, to whom she presented an award. “We need to get young people. They are more compassionate these days. If we keep feeding them they’ll feed the world,” she said, though feeding her two sons a vegetarian diet is only half successful. “They eat more vegetables than any kids I know,” she noted, “but not when they’re with their father.”
“I don’t consider you green if you eat meat,” declared Serratos, a longtime vegan who shops at Whole Foods and farmer’s markets for her produce. She’s gearing up for the third “Twilight” installment “Breaking Dawn,” but vowed not to read the script until she’s on the plane to Vancouver. “I want it to be fresh so I’m waiting.”
“We should definitely look out for our little friends. They don’t have a voice of their own and we have to take care of them,” said Cheryl Hines, explaining her support of PETA.
“I think if everyone chilled out on eating animals and the way they treat them it would help global warming, people would be incredibly healthy, and we count on PETA to make people aware of that,” said Constance Marie, 25-year vegetarian who has two dogs and two rescued cats at home.
Sasha Grey (“Entourage”), who appeared in a PETA campaign last year, told us she’s going to adopt a dog soon. “I’m looking for a doberman,” said the porn star-turned-legit actress, who recently wrapped the movies “I Melt With You” and “Modus Operandi” and has another in the works for November. “And I’ve been deejaying all over the country,” she said.
For “One Tree Hill”’s Sophia Bush, “animals mean the world. I have two rescue pets at home who are the loves of my life. I only wish that more people took time to bring home four-legged friends,” she said. An avid supporter of PETA, she acknowledges that while their actions have sometimes “been extreme, I know that it comes from a good place.” She would not, however, strip for a PETA ad. “I’d sooner die than have someone take my picture with all of my clothes off,” she said, laughing. Her other chosen charities are similarly eco-friendly. “I raise money for the Gulf and the environment and volunteer for Global Green,” she said.
An herbivore since 1975, James Cromwell believes in “taking responsibility for the choices you make, doing something every day to make a difference,” he said. Next playing a wealthy horse owner in “Secretariat,” opening Oct. 8, Cromwell will direct “Without Blood” in May, based on a novel by Italian writer Alessandro Baricco.
Thomas Dekker, who went vegan at 13 after visiting a pig farm and campaigned for the passage of California’s Proposition 2 for the humane treatment of farm animals, intends to further help the planet by buying an electric car, “Maybe the Leaf. I haven’t decided yet,” he said, noting that the shift away from gas vehicles “might save us all some day, at least our children and grandchildren.” Last seen in “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” Dekker will star in the independent films “Drift” and “Kaboom,” and will appear in HBO’s “Cinema Verite,” the film version of the landmark 1973 docuseries “An American Family” as Lance Loud, the first openly gay character on TV. Starring Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini, it will premiere next year. “I’d never had the opportunity to play a real person before. I studied him for months,” said Dekker. “There wasn’t an inch of video that I didn’t get my hands on.”
“I’m involved in dog rescue. I have two myself,” said “Chuck”’s Yvonne Strahovski, who’s “big on recycling and saving water, not leaving it on when you brush your teeth,” but hasn’t gone vegetarian yet. “I think it’s healthier to be that way, but it’s a hard thing to transition to,” she admitted.
Writer-comedian-actress-producer Carol Leifer hasn’t found that to be the case — November marks the third year since she became a vegan. “You make so much more of a green statement with our fork than what you drive,” declared Leifer, whose family has seven rescue dogs at home.
Former “Tonight Show” bandleader Kevin Eubanks has no dogs of his own — “I work and travel too much,” he said — but takes care of his neighbors’ dogs often and hikes with them. A vegetarian who started on that path initially because he “couldn’t afford anything else,” Eubanks attended “to show my support for an organization that encourages people not to abuse animals. If you don’t abuse animals you probably won’t abuse other things like people and yourself, and be kinder to the world,” said the guitarist, who’ll release a CD called “Zen Food” on Nov. 23.
“It’s such a close thing to my heart and to win an award like this is such an honor,” said actress-model Joanna Krupa, who has done two ad campaigns for PETA. She has five dogs, all rescues, including a foster pup she adopted. Just back from Las Vegas, where she hosted “Ultimate Women’s Challenge,” a syndicated women’s MMA fighting show, she recently returned to her native Poland to host the Polish version of “America’s Next Top Model.”
Designer Marc Bouwer, who’s dressed Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum and Beyoncé for recent photo shoots, has been incorporating a lot of bamboo jersey fabric into his line. “It has a similar texture to cashmere. It has a nice drapable quality,” he said, also mentioning other things he does to be green. “I unplug everything, because the electricity is still running. I use sustainable light bulbs. They last so much longer. The little things we can do add up,” he said.
“How many people have hybrids in this town, how many people recycle? Being vegetarian is so much more eco-conscious. And it’s lovely to know that when you are eating it’s ethical and nothing had to die,” said “The Mentalist”’s Owain Yeoman, who’s been a vegetarian for two years and a vegan for six months. “I’d have a veggie burger even when I was eating meat,” noted the actor, though he admits that transition to veganism “wasn’t easy.” A raw food experiment “didn’t sit well with me.” Yeoman stripped down to his skivvies for a PETA poster promoting vegetarianism. “It’s great when you have a good makeup artist to paint awesome abs on you,” he joked.
Upcoming “Mentalist” guest stars include returnees Currie Graham and Leslie Hope, and Eric Winter as an FBI agent and rival for fellow cop Van Pelt’s (Amanda Righetti) attentions. “We’re not allowed to date because of the rules,” Yeoman said. “But hopefully she’ll realize she should be with me.”
A vegan since she was 5, Daniella Monet reported that she succeeded in getting her parents to give up meat. “I’ve had a huge influence on our family,” said the “Victorious” actress, who was involved in a PETA campaign to stop animal dissection in school science classes. An avid recycler, she also walks whenever she can. “You might as well get some exercise while trying to save the environment,” she said. Soon to be seen in the second season of Nickelodeon’s “Victorious,” Monet recently wrapped “The Fairly Odd Parents” TV movie and a “Victorious/iCarly” crossover flick.