I want to talk about your charity work because animal rights is something that’s extremely important to people. When and how did that become an area of importance for you?
That became an area of importance to me about 13 years ago. I was contacted by a man named Dr. Grey Stafford PHD who is also a fan of General Hospital. He contacted me because he knew that I had a love of animals and wanted to make sure that I really had all the facts about things that I was posting. And it turns out, I didn’t. And I absolutely admitted it and said I will never do that again. So he has taken it upon himself to point me in directions where I got tremendously educated. I am not an animal activist, I’m an animal advocate because I understand the need for real world solutions to real world problems. As opposed to shutting down all the zoos, no no no.
You need to embrace your modern zoos and aquariums. You need to shut down the ones that aren’t so hot. You need to work with the people who are trying to save species as opposed to other organization that don’t. We really kind of fall down on the side of rationale reason and right because we lose one hundred and fifty species a day on this planet. And if I can facilitate any type of assistance to stave that off, then I feel like I will have earned some good karma points. But the problem, it’s just massive. So, I do what I can and and I’ve been doing it for about 13 years now.
I have to admit that I have always had a – probably unfair – level of disdain for the zoo and aquarium industry because of what you see as opposed to what they do. But as you states, you are a supporter. What would you like those like myself to know about the work they do?
They are the last arc of preservation. If you want to shut down zoos and aquariums – even the modern ones that are high profile. The Columbus Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, San Diego Zoo – simply because you feel that you don’t want to see animals behind bars, well then you will be dooming these animals to extermination. Because if you simply want to see them run free, you might as well hang a sign around their necks that says ‘kill me.” Because they will. They will be poached. And by the way, sanctuaries are not the be all end all that everyone thinks they are. Animals are sort of left alone to forage for themselves.
They do not have the 24/7 365 days a year incredible veterinary care should something go wrong that modern zoos and aquariums do. And cement enclosures, those are are a thing of the past. If you go to a zoo and you see an animal that is not in an enclosure that you find appropriate, it is incumbent upon you as a patron to say something to the nearest employee that you see and get it changed or have it explained to you in depth why this area is perfect for this animal. So, you have the choice to educate yourself. And should there ever come a time when we can release certain species even back out into the wild, because of modern zoos and modern aquariums, we have those gene pools now to repopulate.
To simply say “I don’t like zoos because I don’t like what I see,” I hear you. But I’d rather see for instance Billy the bull elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo with his six and a half acres to roam and to splash about in his pond and his waterfall and the people that he loves and his enrichment. As opposed to having left him in the Thai jungle at the age of four to be killed. I’d rather have him happy and alive as opposed to dead.
You are a woman of many trades and seem to always have your hand in a little bit of everything. What else can fans expect to see from you in the new year?
A movie called The Swing Of Things with Chord Overstreet, Luke Wilson, Matt McCoy and Linda Purl. St. Agatha, which comes out at the beginning of February. I’m also penning the sequel to The Swing of Things. We shall see what other delights come up. Hopefully, I’ll be back on General Hospital as well.
Let’s not gloss over that! You’re writing a movie? We know you’ve written children’s books as well as The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli. But writing television, film and even theatre is something you have in store?
Of course! Absolutely. Why not?