Sarah McLachlan: Animal Rights Activist
- Thursday, 03 November 2011
The sweet, crystal clear notes of Sarah McLachlan’s voice have soothed and inspired us for two decades. We’ve seen her launch the successful Lilith Fair festival of female solo artists and female-led bands that took place during the summers of 1997 to 1999 and again in 2010. We’ve seen Sarah gracing the cover of Yoga Journal, and launching a cookbook (A Collection of Sarah McLachlans’ Favourite Recipes).
Not content to sit on her laurels, McLachlan has made a point of giving back to the wider community through her participation in many philanthropic enterprises. She contributed to the AIDS-benefit album No Alternative. Lilith Fair gave $1 from every ticket sold to the fair’s i4c Campaign, which supported ethical and fair-trade farming around the world. McLachlan participated in tsunami relief telethons in both Canada and the US, and along with such artists as Peter Gabriel and Sting, she participated in a CD – Yoga Revolution – to raise money for in-school fitness and yoga programs in the USA.
More recently, however, we’ve been aware of Sarah McLachlan as the spokesperson for animal rights. She has been the face of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) since early 2007. Her incredibly moving plea for donations features heart-rending images of dogs and cats in need of rescue, accompanied by her haunting song Angel.
The alliance with the ASPCA came about when Canadian production company Eagle-Com was working on a project for a small animal shelter in Vancouver, British Columbia, that McLachlan supported. They asked if she might be interested in doing similar work for the A.S.P.C.A. After researching the organization, she decided to help, and the rest is history.
In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, then ASPCA senior vice president of development and communications Jo Sullivan stated, “Sarah made it possible to do in two minutes what took thirty minutes before,” referring to the long-form use of celebrities in the past. “She literally has changed the way we fund-raise.”
Her ad – “The Ad” – went on to raise $30 million since it aired – enough to assist thousands more animals in need.