Dan Mathews: Connecting Animal and Gay Rights

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Dan Mathews, vice president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is the originator of many of that organization’s most controversial campaigns against animal cruelty, notably their “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign. An openly gay man, Mathews has long seen a connection between the cause of animal rights and the struggle for GLBT equality. At the age of 42 he has already lived a varied and adventuresome life, one that has enabled him to travel extensively and also landed him in jail many times for his PETA demonstrations. Now he has written a memoir that describes some of these adventures, Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir (Atria, 2007), which is as much about his activities as a gay traveler as it is about his activism in the fight against cruelty to animals. This interview was conducted over lunch in Boston this past April.

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