From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1999:

“The last rodeo that animal rights
activist Eric Mills remembers running out
of town was the Gay Rodeo five years ago,”
began Venise Wagner of the San Francisco
Examiner in a June 16 article about Mills’
opposition to the Juneteenth Black Rodeo, held
in Golden Gate Park on of Emancipation Day.
Wagner never mentioned that Action for
Animals founder Mills also works for gay
rights––a charged omission in a city known for
militant gay activism. Mills said the demo was
a huge success anyhow.

Last Chance for Animals founder
Chris DeRose, a regular on the recently cancelled
TV magazine series Hard Copy, produced
a pilot for a series of his own called
Hollywood Animal Crusaders in early 1999,
aired as a one-hour special in both April and
June. Guest stars included John Tra-volta,
Cher, Don Johnson, Esai Morales, Greg
Louganis, a n d Rikki Rockett. “A n i m a l
Planet funded the production and had 60 days
to buy first rights for 13 episodes,” LCA executive
director Eric Mindel told A N I M A L
PEOPLE. “Animal Planet decided not to pick
it up, no reason provided or necessary.”
DeRose, recalled Mindel, “was not very
active on Hard Copy after Putting People
First ran a campaign to get him pulled off it,”
but his popularity outlived PPF, now defunct,
“and he built back up to being a regular contributor
to its animal segments. Over the past
two years, Chris did 32 stories for Hard Copy,
including two in its last week. One was an
expose of the Canadian seal hunt, using
footage Chris himself shot in late March
1999.” In November 1998, Mindel continued,
a DeRose story about dogs who had been hurt
in leghold trap aired the night before California
voters approved Proposition 4, the antitrapping
initiative. “Hard Copy,” Mindel concluded,
“was an incredibly effective vehicle
for animal causes. More campaigners need to
learn how to work with media, give them stories
they want, and pitch them effectively.”
David Brower, 86, founder of the
League of Conservation Voters ( 1 9 7 0 ) ,
Friends of the Earth (1971), and E a r t h
Island Institute (1982), abandoned candidacy
for president of the Sierra Club a day before
the May 22 vote and instead backed re-elected
incumbent Chuck McGrady, 46, identified
by Glen Martin of The San Francisco
C h r o n i c l e as “a Republican summer camp
owner from North Carolina.” Phillip Berry,
62, the longest-sitting Sierra Club board member,
told Martin that Brower alienated much
of the board in 1996 by ripping U.S. President
B i l l C l i n t o n’s environmental policies right
after the board endorsed Clinton. Brower was
Sierra Club executive director 1952-1969. He
was fired for openly bucking board policy.
J. Chris Peterson, 47, is new executive
director of the Virginia Zoological Park
in Norfolk. Peterson previously led gray
whale watches to San Ignacio Lagoon,
Mexico, for Baja Expeditions; was an educator
for the San Diego Zoo; supervised animal-assisted
therapy at the Helen Woodward
Animal Center in San Diego; did wildlife
rehabilitation at Wildlife Safari in Oregon;
and promoted mobile neutering for the Critter
Crater Rescue Ranch in Arizona.
Boston attorney Steven Wise is to
teach the first-ever Harvard Law School
course on animal rights law, starting this fall.
New York governor George Pataki
in June named S u p e r m a n star C h r i s t o p h e r
Reeve to the newly created state Spinal Cord
Injury Research Board, which is to review
project funding. Once an animal rights movement
ally, Reeve was loudly booed at the June
1990 March for the Animals in Washington
D.C., after telling the 24,000 marchers that,
“If you want to get things done, the worst
thing that can happen to you is to be identified
as the fringe.” A quadruplegic since he was
thrown from a horse in 1995, Reeve now
defends animal use in biomedical research.

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