Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Talking with Twiggy

Posted: 14 April 2007


ADI: This year, ADI rescued two lions and a tiger from Portugal, where they had been seized from a circus, and took them to a life of freedom in South Africa. You helped get them there with an on-line video appeal for donations towards the rescue operation. What was it that touched you about the plight of these animals, and how did you feel once you knew that they were finally safe?

Twiggy: Unfortunately throughout the world there are still too many animals being kept in terrible conditions in zoos and circuses. I was very happy to help ADI. I was saddened to hear that the second tiger died just weeks before the rescue. ADI has done a wonderful job in relocating these animals to their sanctuary in South Africa and we hope they will flourish and have a safe and happy life there.

ADI: You’ve been involved in our campaigns for a long time, having appeared in our ‘Spotlight on Suffering’ video, which you delivered to 10 Downing Street, together with a 250,000 signature petition calling for a ban on animal circuses. What particularly shocks you about the use of animals in travelling circuses?

Twiggy: The use of animals in travelling circuses is unacceptable. ADI have proved that most of the animals are not well treated, and I don’t think animals should be used to entertain people in this way. Well done to ADI for bringing attention to this cruel practice.

ADI: Tony Blair must be getting used to receiving messages from you on behalf of ADI because last summer for International Primate Day you made an appeal to him to halt experiments on primates. Why do you feel so strongly about this issue? And you were one of the first to respond to our LDF Human Tissue appeal; do you think that showing there are better ways of performing research than using animals is important, and are you opposed to all experiments on animals?

Twiggy: I personally hate the idea of experiments on all animals, but especially primates because they are so bright and aware, and no animal should be made to suffer in the way they do with these experiments. I find it abhorrent. That is why I am completely behind the Lord Dowding Fund’s Human Tissue appeal to replace animals in research. It is very important to show that there are other and better ways to do research than making animals suffer.

ADI: As one of the world’s most famous models, does it concern you that fur is creeping back onto the catwalk? Do you think some designers are deliberately courting controversy by using fur for the sake of their reputation and image, without any genuine consideration for what happens to animals trapped in the wild or on fur farms?

Twiggy: I’ve been very distressed over the last couple of years, as a lot of the fashion designers are using fur again. I’ve been an opponent of fur in fashion for over thirty years, and it seemed for a while that it was fading from the fashion front, so I feel very sad and angry that certain designers have brought it back into their collections. I wish they would all follow the lead of Stella McCartney. There is absolutely no reason for any woman to wear fur. It has no place in fashion.

ADI: So what are you working on at the moment, when you’re not campaigning with us?

Twiggy: I have had a very busy year. I’m working on a new Marks & Spencer’s advertising campaign and also appearing as a judge on the TV show “America’s Next Top Model” which airs worldwide.

ADI: What do you do to relax?

Twiggy: My hobbies are sewing, jigsaw puzzles and reading.

ADI: What are your favourite movies?

Twiggy: I tend to like independent small movies, rather than blockbusters. One of my favourites last year was ‘Capote’. This year I loved a film with Kate Winslet called ‘Little Children. I also love all the old 30s and 40s musicals, especially the ones starring Fred Astaire.

ADI: Your favourite TV programmes?

Twiggy: I love period dramas like the recent ‘Lilies’ or documentaries, which I think British TV does better than anyone else.

ADI: What are you listening to at the moment, and what would your favourite all time music be?

Twiggy: At the moment I’m listening to James Blunt and my all time favourite Nancy Griffiths. Generally I love country music and Gershwin and Cole Porter, depending on my mood.

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