When thinking of environmental figures, Pamela Anderson may not be the first name to spring to mind. However, long-term vegan and member of Vivienne Westwood‘s Climate Revolution gang, the actor-turned-activist’s green credentials are more impressive than most.
A lifelong animal rights advocate and committed environmental campaigner, the philanthropist is linked to countless charities. In 2014 she went one step further, setting up her own foundation aimed at “funding the efforts of those who defend the planet”.
In light of COP21 and as part of Konbini's collaborative work with Vivienne Westwood, we took the chance to chat about nature protection, Miley Cyrus and the future of our planet with one of the green battle’s kindest warriors.
Konbini: When and why did you decide to become an activist?
Pamela Anderson: I cannot avoid the consequences of doing nothing. I have a unique platform. For whatever reason, fame has its responsibilities. It was not something I pursued. But I am grateful I can use it to bring awareness. I have always had an opinion and grew up on Vancouver Island, Canada, where my family taught me to take care of the earth. The oceans, wildlife… It is in me. It is my purpose.
The environment is not always the most racy of topics… Could you be the figure to modernise this image?
Ha… Let’s hope so! I will take that as a compliment. Earlier I was saying just that. The image is changing.
Using your image and body to campaign, like you did with PETA, is a bold move. Was this your idea or did it come from the teams with which you work?
I have no management. I am ‘unmanageable’ as ‘they’ say. I march to my own drummer. I follow my gut, my instincts. I go where I need to. I don’t wait to be asked or invited. I just do things I feel are right.
Do you consider yourself to be close to movements like Femen in Europe?
I don’t consider myself a feminist. I am a girl with a fearless determination to make a difference. And all my ‘girl’ qualities have only helped – and men listen.
Are you the new Brigitte Bardot?
That’s a very big compliment. She is a wonderful woman. We speak on occasion and she has given me plenty of advice.
Who are your role models for environmental activism?
Vivienne Westwood is brilliant and fearless, I learn a lot from her. Her blog is very important. Everyone should look. Also Paul Watson from Sea Shepherd and Ingrid Newkirk from PETA.
Which green campaigning projects are you most proud of?
My animal conservation. Protecting endangered species, creating animal welfare laws, protecting the biodiversity of the oceans. And exposing the captivity practices.
Can you recommend something that anyone can do to contribute to the protection of nature?
Go vegan, demonstrate. Write letters, share information.
How has your life changed since adopting a vegan diet?
I feel the best way to help the planet is to go vegan. It is something you can control yourself. Factory farming is the leading cause of global warming. I feel doing your best is a good start. Not many of us were born vegan. So it is a big change. I have created a little cooking show online called The Sensual Vegan. Compassion is sexy. It is a different image.
Does green-living infiltrate every aspect of your daily life? Is there anything not particularly eco-conscious that you still do?
I do the best I can. I have leather shoes and handbags in my wardrobe. I do not purchase any new leather. I have also created a line of vegan shoes and bags with Amélie Pichard. And a line of boots for sun/snow called Pammieslife.com. We are creating products using recycled fabrics; electronics and plastic from ocean pollution. We have just found a beautiful faux cashmere option.
What would be your advice to the public, especially to the millennials who admire you?
Just fucking do something. I’m happy kids like Miley Cyrus are on board with loving animals, being vegan. She texts me for advice. She doesn’t have to care. But she does. I’m happy that new artists are compassionate. Not as desensitized as they look. Miley gives me hope.
Which battles remain to be fought?
So many… But we all need to focus in what we believe in the most. So we can circle the wagons. I have solar panels in my home. My own organic garden. I shop at farmers markets. I use my bicycle a lot. What we all do in our daily lives adds up. I just bought my parents a hybrid car. Renewable energy is a huge and valuable idea.
What is your dream for the future of the planet?
I have children. I’m sure we all want to leave a healthier planet behind. I want my grandkids to be able to surf. And also respect that we have to be more responsible.
What animal would you be in another life?
I am a puma. I have dreams about it. And a golden eagle.