Former Baywatch star, director, actress, environmental and animal activist.
"I met Alexandra at a recent city counsel meeting, we were both there to speak in favor of the then proposed (and currently being passed) fur sale ban in Hollywood. When someone introduced us I told her that maybe we had met before because she looked so familiar and then everyone around me was like 'no she looks familiar because you've seen her on Baywatch'! And they were right!! Since having the opportunity to correspond with Alexandra and work with her, I have to say she is unbelievably nice. She treats everyone with kindness and is just a patient, down to earth, good person. Beside being a very successful actress, model and director, she is an athlete (she will be swimming a 12 hour *TWELVE HOUR* race this month) and an incredible animal and environmental activist. Eloguent, inviting and charismatic - her voice is so valuable for the animals." -Melissa Schwartz
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
AP: I had been a vegetarian for 33 years, since I was 14, and I gave up leather, wool and silk in my 20s. I wanted my diet to fully align with my values, and I knew how awful factory farming of cows is, but I think I was afraid to make that last step as I feared I would fail. Finally, October 8, 2010, sitting in the prison visiting room visiting my brother Jonathan, who was at the tail end of a 3 year sentence for helping burn down a horse slaughterhouse, and in my head I suddenly knew it was time to commit to being vegan. Now, I had visited him many times before, and Jonathan has been vegan for 30 years, so I cannot tell you why that particular day was different from any other. I had one last frozen yogurt driving home from the airport, and I realized it didnt really taste that good. That was that.
SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes what was difficult and did it get easier?
AP: The irony is that I waited so long to become vegan and it was so easy when I finally stopped. I cannot explain it, except that I guess I was ready. Traveling is a bit of a challenge, but I bring my food everywhere anyway. At first, my diet was not so great, as I was figuring out what to eat. What I find interesting is that I have a real sweet tooth, but I have never been tempted to take a bite of anything with dairy in it in the last year. My ethics just totally dominate so it is not even an option, just like meat has not been an option or a temptation for over 3 decades. Anything from an animal is as inedible to me as eating plastic.
SS: What are some animal rights related things that you participate in?
AP: In my acting contracts since 1989, I have included a clause which states that I only use makeup not tested on animals, and that I wont wear fur. On Baywatch, I asked to be written out of a storyline which included SeaWorld and would not let them include Johnson & Johnson product placement with my character. I have been on a Hunt Sabotage organized by my brother, been to Fur Free Friday events, handed out pamphlets on college campuses for Vegan Outreach. In this second half of my life, I plan on focusing on alleviating suffering, specifically of animals. I have spent many, many years on environmental issues, and now am shifting to be more vocal on animal issues. It is time.
SS: What are your favorite animal rights organizations?
AP: Last Chance for Animals. LCA's founder, Chris DeRose, is a man of much courage and integrity. He has given his life to the animals and has earned my undying respect. Sea Shepherd Society, because Paul Watson is also a man who is uncompromising and his tv show is helping push mainstream suppport towards activists. PETA, because Ingrid Newkirk is also a person of great honour. PETA has helped make animal rights mainstream, and that is huge. I also support most of the ALF actions. What is being done to the animals "legally" is so egregious that it is often more moral to break the law. Today's animal rights terrorists will be tomorrow's heroes, as people look back in horror at how humans treated animals in labs, zoos, aquariums, rodeos, factory farms and slaughterhouses.
SS: What would you say to somebody who is considering going vegan?
AP: I would tell them that they are doing something vitally important for themselves, the planet and millions of animals. Becoming vegan is one of my proudest accomplishments, way more important than starring in any movie. I just regret it took me so long.
SS: Do you have any memories that stand out in your mind about someone saving an animal? Or relating to an animal in a unique way?
AP: My brother has been a liberator of animals for over 20 years, and he has dedicated his life to saving them. So he is the gold standard for me when it comes to saving animals.