Get Leashed explores the animal passion behind the bombshell
By Stefanie Gibson
Inarguably one of the most recognizable sex symbols of the 20th Century, Brigitte Bardot requires no introduction. Making a name for herself as an actress, singer and model in the 50’s and 60’s, Bardot’s renowned beauty was celebrated worldwide. Today, Bardot is known as much for her animal activism as for her looks, and so when we heard she recently celebrated her 80th birthday, we wanted to honor the former bombshell by taking a look at the wonderful work Bardot has done around animal welfare.
Bardot first became dedicated to helping animals after retiring from show business at the age of 40. She said at the time, “I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.”
It all began here in Canada when she publicly opposed the seal hunts in the 70’s by lending her celebrity to Paul Watson of the Sea Sheppard. Her protesting presence during the seal hunt garnered great media attention and brought significant awareness to the issue. A cause that Bardot still fights for to this day, she has lead several campaigns against the hunt.
Establishing the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals, she has raised millions of dollars to go towards the many animal causes she supports, even going so far as to sell many of her personal effects at auction to support various causes. Her selfless dedication has withstood the test of time, cementing her as one of the greatest animal activists in recent history.
Taking political leaders to task and relentlessly fighting to keep causes in the public conscience, Bardot’s efforts have had real results in animal welfare. From helping stray dogs, to tackling industrial farming practices, to shedding light on the inhuman transport and slaughter of horses, there are few animal causes where Bardot’s presence has not already been felt.
Clearly Brigitte Bardot’s unabating persistence is a reflection of her tremendous passion–it’s no wonder that she’s credited as being the first “sex-kitten.” This passion has long outlasted her film career and it can safely be said that Bardot’s contributions to animal welfare are truly her greatest gift.