Cruelty to animals is no laughing matter. That’s why, just in time for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which once again plays host to some of the UK’s top comedy talent, PETA is listing five animal-friendly comedians who stand up for animals – both on stage and off.

  • Alan Davies: Davies – of Jonathan Creek and QI fame – is a passionate animal rights advocate. When he’s not performing at the Fringe, he’s narrating hard-hitting video exposés, such as Wasted Lives, about the carnage and suffering involved in animal experiments in the UK. In the film, Davies notes, “It’s crazy, but researchers try to recreate human problems in animals who never suffer from them”.
  • Russell Brand: On Alan Carr’s Summertime Spectacular in June, Brand – a vegetarian since the age of 14 and vegan since October 2011 – mused, “I don’t see why something’s life should end just so you can have a snack”. Brand famously became vegan after watching Forks Over Knives with then-wife Katy Perry, leading the star to tweet, “I’m now vegan, goodbye eggs, hello Ellen”. Brand’s commitment to animal rights has earned him at least one honour so far: He was named PETA UK’s sexiest vegetarian male in both 2006 and 2007.
  • Ricky Gervais: When he’s not cracking up audiences, Gervais is picking cracks in animal exploitation. He teamed up with American rocker Pink to provide the voices for a PETA TV advert in which a computer-generated alligator and rabbit demand their skins back. He also sent a letter on behalf of PETA that urged then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown to immediately order the Ministry of Defence to stop commissioning Canadian black-bear pelts for The Queen’s Guards’ caps. “The issue I am writing to you about today is not a laughing matter”, wrote Gervais. “I understand and appreciate the importance of uniforms, but continuing to use real fur in the 21st century is inexcusable, regardless of ‘tradition’.”
  • John Bishop: Bishop stopped eating meat in 1985 after seeing a cow being slaughtered. He told an interviewer, “The cow was hanging up looking at me as if to say ‘you did this’”. In May, Bishop teamed up with PETA to mark National Vegetarian Week with a billboard facing London’s iconic Borough Market. The ad showed Bishop with three baby chickens perched on his shoulder and the caption “Chicks Love a Vegetarian”.
  • Bill Bailey: A supporter of International Animal Rescue, Bailey has been instrumental in the organization’s campaign to liberate dancing bears and also campaigned against dog killings in Kerala with his Balinese dingoes, Bule and Teddi, who were brought back to the UK from an Indonesian rescue centre. Having being reunited with Teddi after the pooch went missing, Bailey tweeted, “[T]hanks to the microchip Battersea were able to get in touch and tell us they had Teddi – every dog owner out there should get it done”.

Find out more about PETA UK here.

Thanks to Ben Williamson, PETA UK

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