To most of us Pippa Black is a very familiar face. As one of Neighbours' most memorable characters, Elle Robinson, Pippa graced our TV sets nightly. (And if you were tuned into City Homicide recently, then you'll be as glad as we were to see Pippa's friendly face back on the airwaves as Emily Rigby.)
Who could forget a Neighbours character with as much intrigue as Elle: bitchy and manipulative, yet also with a softer side. Pippa once described Elle as "unafraid of standing up for what she believes — even if others don't see things her way." And well, we'd say the same about Pippa!
A passionate animal activist since her teens, Pippa is a proud vegetarian and always willing to speak up for animals. Lucy Pig and the Unleashed Team caught up with Pippa recently to snap a few fun photos and talk about helping animals...
Do you have any pets?
Pets have always been a part of my family growing up. I think that's another reason that turned me off eating meat. As I look at our pet — a member of our family, I couldn't think of eating another four- legged creature!
Why is it important for you to use your celebrity status to speak up for animals?
Animal ethics and welfare is the thing I am most passionate about in life and as I have a public profile it is an opportunity for me to add my voice to the dedicated and hard working animal rights organisations and charities that are working tirelessly for better conditions and rights of animals.
No-one likes to look at images or footage of chickens being de-beaked, plucked and scolded alive and living in filthy, cramped conditions never seeing natural sunlight, but it is a reality and the more these squalid conditions are exposed and talked about instead of being hidden away the sooner something can be done about it.
To add to this disgrace, animals bred and brought up in these environments are prone to infections and diseases and are fed antibiotics — which in turn you as a consumer of factory farmed meat — are digesting too, along with hormones to rapidly increase the animal's size.
What advice do you have for Unleashed supporters who want to go veg?
Get yourself organised and educated on a healthy vegetarian lifestyle — you really need to find out and research what foods to replace the nutritional value of the meat you have in your existing diet. If you are someone who eats meat everyday then you might start by reducing the amount you have per meal and replacing it with a vegetarian protein, or to wean yourself by cutting back to every second day and so on — everyone is different and has different reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet so make sure you choose the best and healthiest way for you.
Start by checking out some websites — Unleashed has an extensive cooking section on their website. 'The Kind Life' is Alicia Silverstone's website and 'The Kind Diet' is her book (which I absolutely love!!) and has loads of easy and healthy recipes to introduce people to the wonderfully tasty and cruelty-free world of meatless eating!
I personally love to try out vegetarian, vegan and raw food cafe's and restaurants to taste new things and inspire me to make for myself at home. Check out cafes in your area. I have recently taken part in a cooking class that was held at a cafe near me and I had so much fun and learnt so many new things!
And if you want to look as trim and terrific as Pippa, and be the ultimate friend to animals, then take the pledge to be veg :)
Pippa Black, TV star and committed vegetarian, is a friend to all animals! (Much to Lucy's delight!)
Pippa agrees, pigs are for hugging, not eating!
Pippa and Lucy vegging out in the park.
Pippa put her beliefs into actions by going veg: 'I was a lover of animals and killing one to eat — I just couldn't stomach the idea.'
'As I look at our pet — a member of our family, I couldn't think of eating another four- legged creature!' — Pippa Black