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Pamela Anderson: Calgary Stampede 'cruel'

MONTREAL - Pamela Anderson didn't do any dancing around when she was asked Thursday what she thought of the death of a fifth horse at the Calgary Stampede's renowned chuckwagon races.

MONTREAL - Pamela Anderson didn't do any dancing around when she was asked Thursday what she thought of the death of a fifth horse at the Calgary Stampede's renowned chuckwagon races.

"I think this is very cruel," the former "Dancing With the Stars" contestant said of the race, which is one of the main attractions at the Calgary event now underway.

"I'm not a fan. I never have been."

So far this year, horses have died from heart attacks, been euthanized after a shoulder injury and one broke its back from bucking too hard at the Stampede. A rider has also been seriously injured.

The disdain of the former "Home Improvement" cast member echoes that of a growing number of animal welfare organizations, who say the event is cruel to animals. Protests have spread as far as Britain.

Anderson, who gained fame as lifeguard C.J. Parker in TV's "Baywatch" in the 1990s, is an outspoken animal-rights activist who says she has cared about critters since she was a child.

Although the news conference was organized by the comedy festival, Anderson used it to launch a new animals-rights campaign sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a group she often supports.

The announcement was done at a trendy downtown restaurant after the city refused to give PETA a permit to do it at a public square in front of City Hall in Old Montreal.

In the advertisement, Anderson's bikini-clad body is covered in paint and mimics a butcher's diagram — with parts of her flesh marked up with words like "breast," "round," and "rump."

The caption reads: "All animals have the same parts. Have a heart — Go vegetarian."

City officials called the ad sexist and refused to issue a permit. Anderson called their reaction "silly."

"What I've heard is that people are a little shocked over people calling it sexist," she said.

"I think Montreal is known for its progressive attitude and it didn't make much sense."

However, she did see an positive side.

"Everyone's talking about it so we couldn't have asked for anything better. It kind of works to our advantage actually."

In an email to PETA nixing the plans, a city official wrote that the advertisement was not something Montreal could accept.

"We, as public officials representing a municipal government, cannot endorse this image of Ms. Anderson," wrote Josee Rochefort, an official in charge of issuing permits with the city's television and film office.

"It is not so much controversial as it goes against all principles public organisations are fighting for in the everlasting battle of equality between men and women."

Anderson said she tries to advocate for animals wherever she goes, saying she talked her father out of being a hunter when she was a child after she and a friend saw a dead deer being cleaned.

"We were all traumatized because there was this deer hanging upside down dead, no head, dripping into a bucket. I simply panicked and convinced my father to never hunt again," she said.

"It was my first time that I realized speaking out worked and I haven't shut my mouth up since then."

She said she also realized during "Baywatch" that, "I was getting so much attention for silly things I thought I could share the attention with something more meaningful."

Anderson, who grew up in British Columbia, said she was excited to appear at the Montreal comedy festival because she had enjoyed hosting "Saturday Night Live" in 1997.

The former Playboy model promoted her comedic appearance Thursday with a one-liner referring to that famous sex tape featuring her and her former husband.

"I think I'm not so known for my standup as I am for my lie down."

 
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