PETA celebrated its 35th anniversary this Wednesday, and Sir Paul McCartney was there to help celebrate.
PETA’s ceremony, which was hosted by Pamela Anderson and Anjelica Houston, was held at the Hollywood Palladium. On the red carpet, Anderson, who is a long-time animal activist and PETA member, declared, “animals are really important.”
“They are just as important as humans and this world wasn’t just made for humans, it’s not a civilized society because humans came into the picture,” she continued.
A multitude of celebrities attended PETA’s celebration, including Kesha, Rob Zombie, Moby, Seth Green, and Emily Deschanel, and all the guests enjoyed a gourmet vegan dinner.
An awards ceremony was also held to honor those who have helped PETA with their legacy, as described in their motto:
“Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way.”
Winners of PETA’s awards included Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, James Cromwell, and Jason Biggs.
Tommy Lee, who received his award for helping PETA’s activities with SeaWorld, commented in his acceptance speech that “Sea World sucks! Fur is murder! PETA rules!”
“It’s an award that does not aim to reflect my art; it instead reflects my heart,” declared RZA as he accepted his award from PETA for his vegan campaign.
Jason Biggs thanked Sea World in his speech,
“Thank you, SeaWorld. Without you, those gorgeous orcas would be free to swim with their families in the oceans they belong in. Instead, they are jailed in your horrible excuses for theme parks, and as a result, I get to stand up here accepting this award.”
James Cromwell, in his acceptance speech, spoke of his appreciation for PETA: “Those who have no voice, no vote, no clout could not have a better champion. When push comes to shove, my money’s always on PETA!”
Joaquin Phoenix, who is vegan, and his family teamed up with PETA to present the first River Phoenix Humanitarian Award to Earthlings filmmaker Shaun Monson. Phoenix’s mother Arlyn cited River, who passed away in 1993, as a huge inspiration.
“He took personal responsibility for his beliefs by becoming vegan… He inspired not only our family but the world.”
“When I first heard the name, that’s what appealed to me, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I thought that was really a very dignified, very cool title. They’ve got 35 years of saving so many animals. And we love them.”
McCartney performed a few solo hits, including Beatles tunes “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be,” and an animal rights song he wrote for PETA titled “Looking for Changes.” He also sang “Birthday,” in honor of PETA’s 35 years, and earlier in the week, McCartney and the Beatles announced that PETA could use the Beatles’ ballad “Can’t Buy Me Love” in their campaigns, free of charge.
Midway through McCartney’s performance, he was joined onstage by this year’s Grammy winner Beck, and the duo treated the audience to two Beatles tunes: “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Drive My Car.”
In the past 35 years, PETA has grown from a small group of volunteers to the world’s largest animal rights organization: they have more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide. During PETA’s gala, many attendees donated, including dance star Moby and comedian Bill Maher, who each donated $50,000 to celebrate PETA’s anniversary.
[Video by Rolling Stone; Featured Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images; Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for PETA;World Entertainment News Network.]