Fia Perera NoToDogMeat, TPM’s AllStar Animal Advocates

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Fia Perera is an accomplished and successful writer, actress and comedian. You can find out more about Fia’s professional life on her website, FiaPerera.com.

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Beyond her busy life in show business, Fia is a passionate animal advocate. She and her partner, fellow actor, Lori Alan, partnered to found NoToDogMeatUSA. Their goal is simple: to end the abuse and torture that is rampant in the global cat and dog meat trade forever.

Fia agreed to talk with The Pet Matchmaker, and answer our questions for AllStar Animal Advocates.

TPM: What inspired you to start advocating on behalf of animals? Was it a single event? Or a culmination of things?

Fia Perera, NoToDogMeat

Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved animals and was always rescuing them to my mother’s chagrin. “Fia Perera, get that seagull off the porch!” Growing up we always had pets, dogs, chickens and horses. I will however never forget an event that changed my life forever. An event that will always remain vividly, indelibly in my mind.

I remember walking in the woods when I was 8, behind our house in Washington, D.C. I cam across a bunch of boys who were urinating on an injured bird with a broken wing. I screamed at them and pushed them away from the bird. I threw rocks at them to stop. It was horrible. At a young age I knew that it was my mission to help animals and take a stand for them. My grandfather loved animals more than people. I take after him.

Harrison Forbes with Fia, Lori Alan and Katie Cleary of World Animal News.

Harrison Forbes with Fia, Lori Alan and Katie Cleary of World Animal News.

What is the best part of the animal advocacy work you do?

Working with the extensive network of deeply dedicated NoToDogMeat activists throughout Asia and the US who are tirelessly working every day to make the world a better place for the animals and who are trying to stop the carnage.

What is the most challenging part of the animal advocacy you do?

Looking at the eyes of all those poor dogs and and cats crammed in cages bound for slaughter and wishing that I could rescue them all. I never feel that I can ever do enough for them. I detest  the tendency for people to turn a blind eye to animal abuse under the guise of ” I don’t want to know.” However when I tell them that their dog or cat could be the one stolen and eaten here in the US then I get their attention.

What is the biggest misconception about the advocacy work you do?

That NoToDogMeat is anti Asia. In fact, we have a wonderful network of activists in Asia that we support and work with. We are clear that we respect cultural traditions but torturing an animal for food is blatant, indefensible torture.

What is on of the greatest memories you have from advocating for animals?

When I was working for the Humane Society of The US on the ” Protect Seals ” campaign to end the commercial seal hunt.  I took a research trip to Newfoundland to interview sealers for a film that I was working on. I think the fact that I remained in my chair throughout the interview and didn’t strangle this one sealer when he began recalling with relish and pride the first time he killed a baby seal was a big coup for me. Restraint is clearly a key component to effective advocacy for me.

How do you keep your emotional/physical strength doing the animal advocacy work you do?

I work out, take long hikes with my boyfriend and connect with nature. I also try to spend as much time around animals as possible. When I’m not advocating for animals I am onstage as my ” Inappropriate Classy Lady” self, making people laugh and writing comedies with my writing partner Dava Krause. I have found that comedy keeps me sane.

What do you think is one of the most effective ways to advocate for animals and protect them from abuse?

Social Media is a powerful tool for everyone to be able to help animals and campaign to end animal torture. The animal abusers cannot hide. In this world of modern technology, anyone with a phone has the ability to help protect animals by exposing animal cruelty and neglect.

I also think it’s key is think strategically – in terms of effective lobbying strategies – that we don’t keep preaching to the same proverbial choir. NoToDogMeat is engaging the masses and companies that can implement real change both in the US and in Asia.

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Do you have animals of your own? Tell us about them. 

I have a beautiful ten year old Chi/Datsch named Marley Pickles whom I adore. I rescued her from the San Bernadino shelter eight years ago, before they were going to euthanize her. She is my baby girl.

Recently, I had to put down my other beautiful baby, Tallulah (also a Chi/Datsch)  who was part of my family for 15 1/2 years. Tallulah was my BFF, traveling companion and confidante. Now she is my little animal angel pulling strings on the other side on behalf of the animals.

Who do you admire most in the world? Another animal advocate, or somebody else?

I can honestly say that I admire many animal advocates both alive and dead, not just one. To me, our work as activists should always be synonymous with never giving up. Gandhi was a true proponent of kindness towards animals. Jane Goodall’s incredible work on behalf of all the gorilla’s and chimps is beyond valuable. Daphne Sheldrick’s endless work to protect the elephants in Africa is vital.

What is the best way to directly help NoToDogMeat and the work you are doing?

Please go to our website, NoToDogMeat.com, join us and subscribe to our alerts.

Please sign this petition to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power and Chinese Officials. It is an Urgent Appeal for United Nations Intervention to Stop Yulin and Korea “Dog Meat Festivals”, which begin on June 21, 2015.

If you’re going to be in California, please come to our first annual “Putting For Pups” Celebrity Golf Tournament and Evening Gala fundraiser on Sept 13 in Pasadena at Brookside golf club.

The Pet Matchmaker wants to thank Fia Perera and NoToDog Meat for all the work they do on behalf of advocating for dogs and cats victimized in the global meat trade. There’s no better example of our AllStar Animal Advocates!

To read more about NoToDogMeat, see Fia’s partner, Lori Alan’s article: NoToDogMeat USA, We Are Searching for Heroes.

 

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