The Ghosts In Our Machine

Bob Barker

Bob-Barker-w-Dog-1000px

“My life has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities. From being the host of one of the favorite game shows in history, to my work and role in supporting the efforts of so many good people and organizations whose aim is to help animals, my life has been and continues to be full and meaningful.

After leaving The Price is Right, I have been able to focus extensively on my desire to help animals. My support for and involvement in animal advocacy has ranged from helping to establish animal ethics and animal law curriculums in universities across the country, to providing organizations with the tools they need to do their good work – like ships and air conditioned transport trailers, to helping to build more sanctuary space for rescued animals, to helping to get them out of harm’s way and to sanctuary, I feel privileged to be able to do what I do and to have come to know so many wonderful, skilled and committed people who share my vision. One of my most recent efforts is to provide funding to transport elephants at the Toronto Zoo to a wonderful elephant sanctuary in California. Actually, I feel I cannot do enough to help animals and I am thrilled at every opportunity I am afforded to do so.

You may remember that I also used The Price is Right to advocate getting your companion animals spayed or neutered to help curb the overwhelming problem of overpopulation. This always seemed like such a doable goal and indeed we have made tremendous progress in the US. But even an issue like unwanted cats and dogs, such a visible problem that has such an easy ‘fix’…pun intended, is something that still requires vigilance and continued resolve to truly end. With this in mind, my own experience with helping those we see all around us, I am so grateful for the work of Liz Marshall and Jo-Anne McArthur, whose vision is focused on the ‘ghosts’ – those we do not see in the streets and back alleys – who suffer terribly behind closed doors.

Jo-Anne’s photography and Liz’s filmmaking have together created a masterful and inspiring documentary of the many ways in which animals suffer at our hands. While ‘pet overpopulation’ is there for all to be aware of, what goes on behind laboratory doors, on factory and fur farms and in entertainment, must be exposed so that caring, thinking people can do something. It will start, just as having your own family animal companion spayed or neutered does, with new and different individual choices by everyone who watches this film. While the problem is society wide in every country in the world, the solution is in the hands of not just governments and industries, but in each and every one of us.

As I gently reminded people at the end of every daily episode of The Price is Right to do what was right and not allow their dogs or cats to contribute to the millions of unwanted animals in the US alone, this film reminds people that the food they eat, the clothes they wear, their health and entertainment need not include the immeasurable suffering and sacrifice of millions of animals each year.

I take comfort and pride in knowing that Marshall and McArthur are the next generation of advocates — smart, talented, committed. We all can do what we can. And I never for one minute forget that all of us together can and will change the world for the better for the wonderful animals with whom we share this planet.

Thank you Liz and Jo-Anne for being who you are. I am proud to call you friends and colleagues.”

Bob Barker
Television Personality
Photos courtesy of CBS

Bob Barker has been a notable public figure for decades. Perhaps most well known on television sets as the host of the game show The Price Is Right for a remarkable 35 years.

Barker also hosted the game show Truth or Consequences for 18 years prior. Other film and television credits include being the host of the Miss USA/Universe pageants from 1967-1987, host of CBS’s coverage of the Rose Parade and feature film Happy Gilmore. Mr. Barker has received 19 Emmy Awards for hosting and producing, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Daytime Television, and has been inducted into both the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Hall of Fame.

Mr. Barker has taken a significant stance for nonhuman animals, advocating for their welfare and rights throughout his legendary career. Known for his memorable sign-off, reminding viewers to spay and neuter their pets, on The Price Is Right, and encouraging pet adoption. An example of Mr. Barker’s commitment to the lives of other animals was when he stepped down from his years of hosting the Miss USA/Universe pageant because of their refusal to remove fur coats from its presentations. This action spurred nation-wide attention and momentum for the anti-fur movement. Similarly, since leaving the show, Bob has also raised issue with The Price Is Right, protesting prizes to SeaWorld and the Calgary Stampede.

Mr. Barker has also contributed millions of dollars towards numerous campaigns, organizations, institutions and causes in an effort to protect, advocate and ensure happy and healthy lives for nonhuman animals. His organization, The DJ&T Foundation, named in memory of his wife and mother, provides support for neutering programs for companion animals. Among his diverse areas of support, Barker has purchased a ship for the Sea Sheppard Conservation Society, expanded habitat at the US federal sanctuary for chimpanzees, and supported wolf rescues in both the US and Canada. He has contributed funds to support animal rights law programs at eight of the country’s finest law schools and a professorship at Drury University. Mr. Barker has also spoken out and taken action against various zoos in cases of mistreatment and poor conditions. He has been central in the Toronto Zoo case, offering to pay for the transport of their three elephants, Iringa, Toka and Thika, to PAWS, an elephant sanctuary in California. This case has not yet been concluded.

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. D. Turner September 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Bob Barker has been the most beloved celebrity to me, as a father figure and animal advocate, since I first saw him hosting my favorite TV game show called “Truth or Consequences”.

    In the past HALF CENTURY, he has never let me down and my love & affection has only grown stronger every year! As a lifetime animal lover, I always wanted to become a Veterinarian, but settled for being an animal rescuer & animal rights advocate through most of my adult life to the present.

    I can’t help but think fondly of Bob Barker, for lighting the initial spark that led a lonely child toward this noble goal! To speak up, to stand up, to be a strong voice for the voiceless, the vulnerable, the suffering, the invisible, the forgotten, the victims of inhumane humans ~ at every opportunity.

    For all that Bob Barker stands for, for all the good that he has done in his lifetime, for speaking truth to power, honoring his beliefs, walking his talk from the start, I am so grateful, and humbled.

    My hope now is that others will honor and respect him as much I do with an ongoing commitment & pledge to Never Be Silent, for as long as we are alive & have a voice. Thank you. xXx

  2. Coach Donna September 16, 2013 at 6:33 am

    One of my fondest memories is attending a Fur-Free Friday march that Bob Barker led in NYC many many years ago. He is such an inspirational speaker and so very compassionate. He was late coming to the march, because he stopped to help an injured pigeon that morning. Because of his outspoken concern for animals, people of all generations were aware of the plight of animals.

  3. Annabelle January 1, 2014 at 3:51 am

    I love Bob Barker. He has done so much for animals and continues to make such a difference. I have so much admiration for the fact that not only does he work tirelessly to speak for animals but that he uses his the wealth he has earned throughout his career to so generously fund all kind of specific projects or causes and in ways that have a direct effects on campains – or in some cases create huge positive changes for individual animals.

    Let’s face it, unfortunately it isn’t a common thing for people who’ve acquired or were born into money. Sure, there’s the token philantropy pr most celebrities engage in but not many actually involve themselves, give their time and so generously as Bob Barker. It’s sad to say but it’s true. So thank god for Bob Barker. He’s just awesome.

  4. Terri January 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you so much for your example. I vow to do all that I can on behalf of the animals. I pledge to remain joyful and approachable as a mostly plant based vegan, with a vegan desert here and there. Happy New Years and Blessings, Terri

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