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Even if you’re not an avid baseball fan, you’ve probably heard of Tony La Russa, one of the greatest managers of all time, who made headlines this week by announcing his retirement right after steering the St. Louis Cardinals to their dramatic victory in this year’s World Series. La Russa is also an all-star for animals who is a longtime vegetarian and PETA supporter, as well as the founder of his own animal protection group, the Animal Rescue Foundation.
La Russa has been defending animals for decades. When seedy Las Vegas showman Bobby Berosini was caught on tape beating orangutans with bars and punching them in the face in 1989, La Russa flew to Vegas with other sympathetic celebrities to condemn the abuse. After his case wound through the courts for years, Berosini was ultimately forced to pay PETA $400,000 in court costs and relinquished custody of the orangutans.
La Russa also led PETA supporters in a “fur funeral” outside the Seattle Fur Exchange to bring attention to the fact that animals on fur farms are kept in cramped, filthy cages and are killed by genital electrocution. In the “eulogy” that he delivered, La Russa stated, “Fur is something to be ashamed of.” He also starred in a PETA ad against American Express when the credit card giant was selling fur in its catalog (the company eventually bowed to pressure and pulled the pelts).
We congratulate Tony La Russa on a long and successful career and wish him the best in his retirement!
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan