Je ve apprendre le francais. I have a long way to go.
I'm very happy to be here tonight.
I have been coming to the South of France over the last 20 years for photo shoots, and vowed when my kids were grown I'd live here at least part time. Well that time has come and I'm excited to be sharing the summer with you this year. A dream come true.
Now, I'm sure you are expecting this.
I must use this moment to share some of the issues my foundation, we as animal lovers -
And, lovers of France face today. .
France has so many things to be proud of – but the fact that it is home to Marineland, Europe’s largest marine park, is not one of them. This abusement park confines orcas to tiny barren concrete tanks and forces them to perform meaningless tricks for food. They are denied everything that is natural and important to them, and many do not make it past half their natural life span because of the stress and loneliness caused by their living conditions. When flash floods hit the South of France in October 2015, Marineland left the orcas swimming in mud for days- killing Valentin- one of their whales. Orcas are highly intelligent and social creatures who suffer immensely both physically and mentally when held in captivity. We are calling on Marineland to free these animals and immediately transfer them to coastal sanctuaries –
In the meantime,
we can all do our part by refusing to visit these animal prisons because we can easily entertain ourselves in ways that do not harm or exploit animals.
I was so shocked and saddened to find out that some people are still clinging to the tradition of stabbing bulls to death in bullfighting arenas in the south of France. I had no idea France still allows this archaic, violent spectacle in which the bulls always lose. Each bull used in fights is speared, stabbed and weakened, until finally, the exhausted animal's spine is severed with a dagger. Sometimes, the bull drowns in his own blood – other times, he's still alive as his broken, bleeding body is dragged out of the arena. For many tourists, seeing this horrible spectacle just once is enough to make them swear off attending another bullfight.
Unfortunately, every ticket purchased – whether by a naive visitor or an uncaring resident – provides bullfight promoters with the funds to torment and abuse more animals.
Tormenting and butchering bulls for entertainment belongs in the Dark Ages – not in 21st century France. We can all do our part to prevent these animals from suffering by refusing to attend bullfights and telling everyone we know to do the same.
Last year I spoke at the French Assembly calling for a ban on foie gras production since France is one of the only countries in Europe which has not done away with the barbaric practice. Foie gras is made by ramming metal tubes down gentle birds' throats in order to force-feed them until their livers swell to up to 10 times the normal size, pressing against their lungs and making it hard for them to breathe. The scientific consensus on force-feeding is crystal clear: it's cruel and should be banned. Every animal-protection organizations in the world condemns the production of foie gras. The EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare has catalogued a long list of ways in which foie gras production is inherently abusive. Foie gras isn’t tradition – it’s torture, and it’s time France joins the long list of countries which have banned its production. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to turn to speak out against it, because if restaurateurs and retailers understand the despicable cruelty, most make the compassionate decision to take off the menu.
There is a Popular French Charity Funding Horrific Animal Experiments :
My friends at PETA recently obtained eyewitness video footage shot inside France’s Alfort National Veterinary School, where dogs are deliberately bred to develop crippling and painful muscular dystrophy (MD). As the disease ravages their bodies, they struggle to walk, swallow, and even breathe. A laboratory worker admits that some puppies become completely crippled before they’re six months old and half of them endure agonizing deaths before the age of ten months. Far from addressing the suffering of people afflicted with crippling Muscular Dystrophy, these cruel experiments add to the amount of pain and misery in the world. This laboratory deliberately breeds golden retrievers, beagles, and other dogs so they develop the debilitating muscular disease – yet decades of experiments on these animals have not resulted in treatments that cure or even reverse muscular dystrophy. The experiments at the veterinary school are funded by the well-known French charity AFM-Téléthon. PETA and I are calling on Téléthon to stop funding cruel experiments on animals and to fund only modern, non-animal, human-relevant research projects. I hope you’ll join us.