Activist Spotlight: Cristina Fernandez

PETA’s Action Team works with activists across the United States and Canada every day pushing for change to better the lives of animals. Recently, a remarkable activist in Florida saw some animals in need of help, and she jumped right in!

Cristina Fernandez was at a local restaurant when she saw an arcade-style “game” that uses a claw to grab live lobsters and drop them down a shoot in order to be cooked and killed. It’s shocking that these barbaric “games” even exist, but it’s even more shocking when you see the filthy, cramped conditions in which the animals are forced to live.

Cristina contacted a PETA Action Team coordinator, and we were able to give her some tips on how to talk to the restaurant’s manager. She jumped into action by sending an e-mail and had a quick meeting with the manager. After hearing about how these sensitive animals suffer, he agreed to have the contraption removed! Something as simple as sending an e-mail and having a quick conversation has saved countless lobsters from lives of misery! Have you seen an arcade-style “game” with lobsters in it in your area? E-mail us to find out how you can get it removed.

We wanted to learn more about Cristina, and here’s what she had to say:

How did you contact the restaurant, and what was its reaction to your request?

I first contacted the corporate offices of the Carolina Ale House along with Adam, from PETA. I then contacted Andy Dukes, the manager for the Carolina Ale House in Doral, who was willing to help me remove the machine!

Do you help animals in other aspects of your life?

I have helped animals all my life. I am proud to say I have always been the proud companion of animals less fortunate than most, whether they be from shelters or the streets. As a youth, my family could not keep up with the animals I would find and make homes for.

Do you live with any companion animals? If so, please tell us about them.

I live with a cat named Yuki. She was found in a dumpster in Orlando, Florida. She will be 8 years old this year and lives a happy life with me and my family.

What is the most common question that you receive about animal rights, and how do you normally address it?

Why not put your talent of being a voice to good use and help out people instead of animals? I usually respond with this: “I have helped both people and animals. I have been a part of giving back to organizations that help less-fortunate children. Why can’t I help animals, too? They cannot speak for themselves. I am a voice for all I believe in.”

Do you have a favorite PETA celebrity supporter? If so, why?

Pamela Andersen. She has been involved in helping animals since I was young. She is beautiful inside and out. She seems to have a really good heart. Nothing beats a good-hearted person. Kudos to her.

Do you have a favorite activism tip?

Just be a voice, and take it as far as you can. You would be pleasantly surprised to see how many people are willing to agree with what you are fighting for. In my instance, I was extremely lucky to have Andy Dukes of the Carolina Ale House believe in what I was fighting for and help me do something about it, along with PETA. It doesn’t hurt to try.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind