On Tuesday, the Animal Kingdom lost a dear, compassionate friend and ceaseless advocate for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Sir Roger Moore died in Switzerland at the ripe old age of 89.
Sir Roger was an incredible, sophisticated, eloquent and kind chap. From 1973 to 1985, he was best known for playing secret agent James Bond in seven feature films. I saw them all when they were released at the box office; often more than once. Like millions of others, I was a fan.
Decades later, I had the privilege of knowing another side of one of the most recognized movie stars on the globe. Sir Roger dedicated much of his time to animal rights groups.
The long-time PETA supporter sounded the alarm on the cruelty of foie gras. He spearheaded the removal of foie gras products from Selfridges department stores, as well as successfully undertaking the Stop Circus Suffering campaign putting an end to animal circuses in the U.K.
Sir Roger loved the oceans and in particular cetaceans. When the killer whale named Morgan was stolen from the sea, he said, “It’s clear to anyone with a brain and an ounce of compassion that dolphinariums or marine parks are nothing more than concrete prisons which cause captive marine animals a world of suffering.”
The world was repulsed when Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, lured Cecil the lion away from his reserve and wounded him with a cross bow. For 40 hours, this beauty of a beast endured excruciating pain until Palmer and his wretched tracker, Theo Bronkhorst, shot him dead with a gun.
My Cecil the lion broadcast on MSNBC brought me in touch with Sir Roger who responded with a poignant statement:
“Sport” hunting is a sickness, a perversion and a danger and should be recognised as such. People who get their “amusement” from hunting and killing defenceless animals can only be suffering from a mental disorder. We know that we should protect the most vulnerable and helpless in society, not destroy them – much less derive pleasure from doing so. Thankfully, those of us with a conscience are appalled by the idea of gunning down animals for the sake of a thrill or a photo. Interest in hunting in Great Britain and elsewhere is steadily declining since decent people prefer to hike, take photographs, kayak and generally enjoy the outdoors without killing other beings.”
With Animal Defenders International, Sir Roger assisted in freeing and relocating to Africa 33 lions that suffered years of brutality and confinement in Peruvian and Columbian circuses. Their work was recorded in the action-documentary Lion Ark.
Sir Roger Moore, the man with a “golden heart” was an exemplary force of unstoppable goodness for our friends – the animals.
Earth Dr Reese Halter’s upcoming book is entitled “Save Nature Now.”