Betty White, she’s hilarious and an animal lover!
By Stefanie Gibson
At the age of 92, Betty White is the sassiest little old lady in town. From her role in Golden Girls, the Facebook petition to have her host SNL, her amazing one-liners that flood the Internet, and her hilarious role on Hot in Cleveland, there’s no denying Betty’s level of awesome. You know her work well, but you may not know that she is working to support her true love: animal activism. Betty has dedicated her life to her love of animals, telling TVguide.com in 2008, “I have to stay in show business to pay for my animal work.”
She comes by it honestly. Betty’s parents also had a great love for animals. From a young age, her parents often brought home and cared for stray animals.
Betty maintains that her favorite roles aren’t the sitcoms that made her so famous, but the lesser known, animal-centered programs she hosted. Betty created, produced, wrote and hosted the 1970-1971 show, The Pet Set. On the show, Betty interviewed celebrities who dropped by with their pets and hosted discussions of pet care and wildlife preservation. Betty also hosted and produced a daily radio show, Betty White on Animals.
Betty has also put pen to paper to show her love. She’s written two books about animals: Pet-Love: How Pets Take Care of Us and Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo. The former is a book dedicated to explaining the role pets play in the care of people and the latter is a dedication to Betty’s love of zoos and the importance of the transition zoos need to make from animal collection to animal preservation.
Betty’s work with animals has shown most significantly in her role as an activist. She has received countless awards for her work with animals, including being title a saint by the Animal Liberation Front and being made an honorary forest ranger in 2010. Her sponsorship and work has led to real breakthroughs in diagnosing and treatments for cancer and other animal diseases, post-surgical pain management, and increased funding and legal protection for wildlife researchers.
Betty’s lifelong dedication to animals truly makes her to coolest lady around.
Photo credit: Morris Animal Foundation