In this captivating series, "Wildlife Whys," we will ask influencers, activists and experts to answer our burning questions about their passion for wildlife. Join us as renowned actors, scientists, and public figures share their interests and experiences with the animal kingdom.
This week, actress and activist Kristin Bauer explores the 'whys' behind her love for the wild and wildlife.
Animals have done nothing to deserve all the harm done to them.
Only 1% of all charitable donations go to animals.
Please describe an experience in the wilderness and what it meant to you.
There are too many to name, actually. I grew up playing in the woods, romping around in the creek, and riding horses. We saw deer and bears. As an adult, we traveled a bit and saw more. All wildlife is special. My life has been about finding wilderness to balance the adventure of city living. To me, wilderness means BALANCE. It's a connection back to real life, the laws of nature, and God, whatever that is to each of us.
What particular issues affecting animals are you most interested in and why?
I am interested in all issues affecting animals. Animals across the board do not even have legal protections in most cases. At best, they are property and worth what you paid for them. In the wild, they have some protections in some places, thank God, thanks to people who work around the clock for them. There is not an animal that I do not care about. Why? It's hard to explain why I care. I just do. They are voiceless and innocent and deserve to be here as much as anyone. Maybe we could ask, why don't we all care?
Is there a defining moment when you realized you could do something to help animals? Do you have any experiences helping animals that you would like to share?
There was no defining moment when I realized I could help animals. Like anything, it's an evolution. We learn, and then we can do better, over and over and over - we can grow to be better and better people in all areas of our lives. Being kinder and fairer knows no boundaries between species, sexes, or ages... no boundaries.
Which of the following Asian species would you most like to help: Rhinos, elephants, tigers, pangolins, or any others?
All of the above. Pangolins are the most trafficked animals in the world. "Trafficked" is a cleaned-up word - they are sweet animals who get scared and curl up in a ball. This makes them easy to scoop up and put in a bag, and ship to people who will buy and eat them, imagining there is medicinal value. That is entirely crazy from start to finish and mean as hell - but so is any harm to any species mentioned.
Do you have a wish to all animals?
I would wish FOR them, not TO them. Animals have done nothing to deserve all the harm done to them. Only 1% of all charitable donations go to animals. The wish is for humans to pause and pay more attention to who we are and who we could be, which would be wiser, kinder, and more ethical for our souls and those we harm, knowingly or unknowingly.
Kristin Bauer is an American film and television actress, notable for her roles as vampire Pamela Swynford De Beaufort on the HBO television series True Blood, Jerry's girlfriend Gillian ("man hands") on Seinfeld, and as Maleficent in the ABC series Once Upon a Time.