Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Russell Simmons’ Holiday Survival Guide

Written by PETA | December 6, 2010

Are you one of those people who dread going home for the holidays because of the inevitable arguments over what who you choose not to eat, wear, or chain up in the backyard? Russell Simmons—hip-hop mogul and author of the upcoming self-help book Super Rich—has some sage advice about making peace with less ethically evolved friends and relatives.

PETA V.P. Dan Mathews recently interviewed Russell for the PETA Files:

“People are uncomfortable with anyone who’s different for any reason, whether they’re vegan or gay or black or whatever,” he said. “They feel threatened, and there’s nothing we can do about it but try to lead by example and not make people feel they’re on a different side. I tell this to my assistant Simone, the supervegan: ‘Stop whipping bitches’ asses. You have to love the people you want to change.’ Obviously anyone who loves animals has some compassion in their heart, but it’s easy to get frustrated and block out compassion for the people we want to change. They’ll change easier if they don’t feel hated.”

But even Zen master Russell can lose his cool when it comes to fur. Dan asked him what he says when he encounters people who wear fur: “I say, ‘You know how they chop those motherfuckers up for that coat?!’” 

Written by Alisa Mullins

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  • Jen says:

    Great advice! I laughed when I read this article because I was dreading the usual holiday family battle. Russell hit home for me! My family doesn’t know it yet but they are all getting cruelty free gifts and I am not going to tell them until they rave over how cool their present’s are! Hey, if they want a gift from me, its the only way I shop. Happy Holidays!!

  • Linda says:

    I knew nothing about Russell until I started watching his show. Would like to see Russell do some public announcements. Condemning the cruelty humans bestow on our earthly brothrin’, what we do to them, is unforgivable. . Wonder why our lives are getting so crappy? You cannot do bad things and expect good things to happen. Besides how can you live with yourself.

  • susan adams says:

    Way to go Russell, keep up the good work! You are an inspiration to everyone who cares about animals.

  • Michele says:

    Way to go Russell!! I wish I could say something that bold to fur-wearers, but I don’t want to get decked! Also, many of my co-workers are sporting those horrid “Canada Goose” brand jackets with a large coyote cuff around the hood – if I told them what I really thought, I would be in HR, explaining why I shouldn’t get suspended :( I have been giving people on the streets a look of shame though, when I see them wearing animal carcasses on their coats, etc.

  • nancy says:

    I’m a big fan of his now. I only recently learned what a compassionate and beautiful person he is.