Bob Barker, the beloved former host of The Price is Right, while becoming one of the best-known media personalities, has also been a longtime advocate and activist for animal rights.

Bob Barker Talks Animal Rights Advocacy

A vegetarian since the late 70s, Barker took his animal rights advocacy and activism to another level following the death of his wife Dorothy Jo in 1981. Barker believes that awareness is the key to furthering animal rights, and hopes that some day soon America’s animal lovers will join the cause to shutter zoos in favor of animal sanctuaries.

“The animal rights movement is just like huge snowball on a mountain. Americans love their pets, so it’s just a matter of making people aware. They don’t know how other animals are suffering,” Barker told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “I think zoos should be a thing of the past. They should have animal sanctuaries. The use of animals in movies is just terrible. They have been mistreated for years.”

One of the animal rights groups that Barker has aligned himself with is Animal Defenders International. It’s a partnership that Barker calls, “one of the best things that has happened to me.” Among the many cases Animal Defenders has taken on is that of an ex-circus bear named Cholita. Thanks to Animal Defenders, the 25-year-old bear was removed from horrendous conditions at a circus, nursed back to health and transported to the Taricaya Ecological Reserve in the Amazon Cloud Forest.

“I know Animal Defenders was hugely successful. This poor bear – her toes had been cut off and all of her hair fell out,” Barker said of Cholita’s case. “She was a tragic figure, now her whole life has been turned around. She is going to be treated royally.”

Though Cholita’s story is an inspiring one for those concerned about the plight of circus animals, Barker is quick to note that there are far too many animals still suffering at circuses across the country and around the globe.

“Circus animal suffer terribly right here in the U.S., and in South America, it is even worse,” Barker told uInterview. “All animals suffer in circuses but none more than the elephants. They have been tortured in order to do it. They beat them continually until they do what they want them to do. They use bull hooks until they do what they want them to do. The best thing that happens to a circus elephant is that they eventually die.”

“Many cities and states have laws against bull hooks. Ringling Brothers have agreed to take elephants out of their circuses in 2018 – I don’t know why it’s taking them so long,” Barker added. “Once they take elephants out of the circus, I understand they are going to house them in a special facility where only experts on animals can see them. But eventually, I understand that they intend to allow the public to visit the facility. I am afraid they will charge for tickets then, and the elephants will have to perform.”

Barker is the founder of nonprofit DJ&T Foundation, which supports low-cost spay/neuter clinics throughout the U.S. He has also also donated millions of dollars in the name of animal rights, including $5 million to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and $2.5 million to PETA in 2010.

 

Read more about: