Written by Michelle Kretzer
The world is remembering Michael Clarke Duncan as "the most gracious of a man," "one of the finest people I've
ever had the privilege to work with or know," "the most gentle giant,"
and a "treasure."
The Oscar-nominated actor had a history
of serious heart trouble, more complicated than diet alone could cure, which
finally claimed his life on Labor Day. But he had a "heart" like no other—"Big Mike"
cared about even the smallest of animals. We’re sure it was a sight to see him
cuddling his beloved
chinchilla, Chucky. When Chucky passed away, PETA sent Michael a condolence card, and he later told
us that he kept that card in memory of his friend and out of love for the
In the video he shot for PETA, he
explained why he went vegetarian, and he described all his animal companions with his trademark warm smile:
Remembering the day she spent with
Michael at the video shoot, PETA's Michelle Cho said, "He was one of the
happiest and most genuine and heartwarming people I've ever had the pleasure of
working with. I'm so grateful that he used his deep, soulful voice and that
contagious smile to encourage people to care about animals."
Perhaps Frank Darabont, Michael's director in The Green Mile, summed up everyone's
sentiments best: "Michael was the gentlest of souls—an exemplar of
decency, integrity, and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible."
Rest in peace, friend.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.