A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

James Cromwell: They’re Not Pets and I Don’t Own Them


Actor James Cromwell is about as passionate for animals as it gets. Ten years ago, he was even arrested during an animal rights protest in Fairfax, Virginia, at a Wendy’s and then ordered to stay out of all Wendy’s restaurants in Fairfax County Virginia unless he intends to eat there … which, one would imagine, he has no intention of doing.

In his latest interview with Take Part, he says he upgraded from vegetarian to vegan when he was in Australia filming the movie Babe:

At the end of the school year—in which the kids had learned about pigs [in a Four-H program] and fed and taken care of them—the pigs were slaughtered. So when the kids came back in the beginning of the school year, there were no more pigs. So I get involved in that, and that led to narrating some footage on the factory farm system, especially around pigs. Then it went to chickens, and then I got involved with an organization called Farm Sanctuary.

Asked a question about pets, he replies:

They’re not pets. “Pets” has a connotation that we’re a superior species and they are an inferior species. We’re here to take care of them because they can’t make it on their own. They are companion animals, hopefully, if they choose to be, and we certainly do not own them. Now what was your question?

Then he describes how, after filming Secretariat, he learned more about the horse racing industry.

A horse race has eight, ten, 12 horses in it. What happens to [the horses that don’t win]? They are abused, neglected, destroyed needlessly. There are hundreds of hundreds of horses that are destroyed.

And what we can all do to fight factory farming:

If you care about the planet … and you care about the life you are going to leave your children, it doesn’t take a cent. Start with one meal a day, then up it to one day a week, then one week a month. Work your way into not consuming animals and animal products and inform yourself. It doesn’t take anything at all, and it’s very easy to do.

Check out the whole interview here.