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Called “such a nice zealot” by The New York Times and “the L.A. punk’ who turned animal rights into a celebrity craze,” Dan Mathews is the creative force behind many of PETA’s colorful crusades. He has recruited a parade of stars to speak out for the cause and was the first person to interview longtime animal rights ally Sir Paul McCartney after the death of his wife, Linda.
Dan started out at PETA as a receptionist and soon rose through the ranks while devising ways to increase public awareness of animal rights issues. Dan launched PETA’s legendary “Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign by walking down the streets of Tokyo wearing nothing more than a banner. He also has promoted animal rights while costumed as a carrot in Kansas City and a cow in Denver, and he crashed a furrier’s fashion show dressed as a priest in Milan.
Dan’s accomplishments include convincing Calvin Klein to stop designing with fur after leading a raid of his office, pressuring GM to stop using animals in crash tests by storming the auto company’s float in the Rose Parade, and lobbying Gillette to halt tests on animals by wheeling a TV into the company’s cafeteria to show graphic undercover footage of the gruesome experiments.