Pamela Anderson stopped by Moscow this week to campaign for various animal rights causes, and even met with a high-ranking Kremlin official to talk face to face, MSN is reporting.
It’s not every day that a celebrity gets to meet with a government official just by asking, but in Pamela’s case, it seems that’s exactly what happened. According to environmentalist blog Ecorazzi, Anderson reached out to Russian president Vladimir Putin, asking for an audience with him to discuss Russia’s rather inconsistent record on animal rights. And as it turns out, the Russian government responded in kind.
Putin himself wasn’t able to meet with Anderson. Instead, she got to meet with Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov.
Speaking at a roundtable with Ivanov and representatives from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IAFW), with whom Anderson works closely, Pamela discussed a wide range of issues regarding animal conservation in Russia. In particular, she brought up endangered Amur tigers, talked about banning the killing of baby seals, and advocated for preventing aquariums from keeping killer whales in captivity.
“I think Russia could really win over some hearts and minds in the West if Russia were to take a leadership position on defending wildlife and the rights of animals. Millions of people around the world are looking for world leaders that have compassion for defending nature, biodiversity and the rights of animals. Russia has proven to be a nation unafraid to take undaunted action where action is needed.”
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has a rather spotty record himself when it comes to animal rights. He’s been known to pose with animals in staged publicity stunts to boost his public image, and in July, he released a tiger into the wild. The tiger promptly went on a killing spree, according to the Daily Mail, killing several bears.
For Pamela Anderson, animal rights and animal conservation aren’t about publicity. The 48-year-old former Playboy Playmate and Baywatch actress has long been a campaigner for animal rights, advocating for veganism and against wearing fur. Besides working with the IAFW, Anderson is also a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organization whose tactics have been known to cause controversy.
In 2010, Anderson appeared in a PETA anti-meat ad that was so racy, it was banned in Montreal, according to the Daily Mail.
At the time, Anderson said she was appalled at Canada’s “puritanical” reaction to the ad.
“In a city that is known for it’s exotic dancing and for being progressive and edgy, how sad that a woman would be banned from using her own body in a political protest. In some parts of the world women are forced to cover their whole bodies with burqas- is that next? I didn’t think Canada would be so puritanical.”
As for Russia, Anderson is still holding out hope of meeting Putin face to face. In the meantime, she’s been raising money for conservation efforts in Russia, including attending a charity auction that sold a former Baywatch prop — a red float — for $45,000.
Unfortunately, Pamela Anderson’s money may be no good in Russia: Russia has strict laws preventing groups from taking money from “foreign agents.”
[Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images for AIGNER]