All things french this week, here is a quick look at Brigitte Bardot, a woman who has dedicated a large part of her life to helping the plight of animals around the world, particuarly her home country, France.
She was born in the 30s and was the it girl of the 50s and 60s, starring in over 40 films and recording several albums. On her 39th birthday she then gave that all up to focused on animal activism, selling off many of her personal belongings and house to raise over 3 million franks to start her foundation, Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals.
The foundation is based in Paris now and has over 30 people working in its office. They focus on many facets of improving animal welfare including campaigns against fur, livestock travel, sale of horse meat and rescuing bears from eastern europe. Brigitte Bardot went to the ice shelves in Canada in 1977 and witnessed the clubbing of the baby harp seals and countineued to campaign against this atrocity for many years. She has said one of her high moments is when the EU banned sale of any products from seal products a few years ago.
I take my hat off to this woman. How hard it must of been to give up the "high life" to put all her energy into an area that was certainly not embraced. I think the animal rights movements is one of the next social justice movements and now has many respected leaders support, but when she started her foundation she would of been stepping off the beaten track and that takes huge courage and compassion.