Brigitte Bardot: «Pinniped Rehabilitation Centers - That's Great»

Brigitte Bardot is one of the most beautiful actresses and is perhaps the most well-known animal advocate. In 1973, she finished her film career, and since then, more than anything, she cares about the fate of our little brothers, the problems of environment, extinction of endangered species. Her Foundation is working to establish shelters and rehabilitation centers around the world, appeals to abandon fur and barbaric hunt of dolphins and whales. It all began with protests against killing baby seals. Madame Bardot told about all this in an exclusive interview to our site.

I have always loved animals, and always believed that I can help them. Once I realized that they need me more than the cinema does. I have been protecting animals for 43 years, and during that time nothing has changed, on the contrary – the situation has only worsened. Industrialization, globalization, development and production of heavy industry increased the consumption of animal products by man, depriving animals of the natural environment and natural environmental conditions. It is very inhumane towards them.

Each individual animal is part of ecological chain, and the dominance of man disrupts that natural balance and, unfortunately, this situation is exacerbated by the growth of the population. In nature everything is interconnected, and we need to understand that the loss of any species will be dramatic also for human. Therefore, it is important to save the endangered population.

Мадам Бардо с одним из своих любимцев

Demonstration against the slaughter of seal pups in Paris in 1977 was my first campaign, the first experience of struggle against cruel treatment with animals. It was especially difficult because then I have not had support in the face of my charity fund, I was alone. It takes courage to protest alone. This was more than once in my life. I was the only one who made scandal in Canada, to show the world the horror of this mass massacre: the murders of young pups and adult seals for the fishery. I had to wait for 30 long years till the European Commission on a regular basis completely banned the import of products from seals in the European territory.

I was lucky enough to chat with seal pups and it was an incomparable experience. I remember myself lying on ice and cuddling one of the small pups to my heart. Now, when I'm telling you about it, my eyes are welling with tears. This magical and pure feeling will stay with me forever.

Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Society for protection of marine fauna called my name a trimaran which is a very fast ship with the crew that fought against whaling. My Foundation took part in purchasing this trimaran. Our struggle against the brutal killing of marine mammals lasted for 40 years, and Paul repeatedly risked his life to protect the marine life. This is the strongest and most brave person I ever know. I love him!

Russia is a very big country, and, of course, it is difficult for the authorities to effectively control each subject, but I am very grateful to Vladimir Putin for his efforts to preserve animals that are threatened with extinction. In particular, for the fact that in 2009 he banned hunting for seal pups. This is the beginning of something big. I'd really like to get acquainted with Russia, although perhaps it's too late... I am very close to Russian temperament, I like your traditions, Russian dance and music.

I believe that it is very important to create rehabilitation centers for wild animals, such as the Center for conservation and research of marine mammals in St. Petersburg. It's wonderful that people are saving rare animals, treating and returning them to natural habitat! Bravo! It's great that the St. Petersburg Vodokanal supports The Baltic Ringed Seals Friends Fund. I'm grateful to them for it. Large companies rarely care about animals or help them.

My Foundation does not receive any subsidies, the government does not provide us financial support. We exist only through the help of people who increasingly respond to our call to pay attention to environmental problems. Thanks to them, the Fund has the ability to continue operations. We have large and loyal contributors, but the biggest contributions are from private individuals. And in the beginning, at the base of the Foundation I gave a part of my fortune for the foundation of animal rescue.

I know how important it is for any noncommercial organization to attract the attention of press, society, government representatives and business. I can't give any advice – I think everyone should be guided by their experience and intuition. But I sincerely thank and appreciate those who help animals in whatever way they did.

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