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Pamela Anderson promotes Island animal sanctuary with billboard campaign

Island celebrity pushing animal compassion, vegan lifestyle, on behalf of RASTA Sanctuary
Ad campaign promotes Pamela Anderson on one side and the RASTA Sanctuary animals on the other of highway signage. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson is turning people on to a different kind of sexy in a new awareness campaign in support of the Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals in Chemainus and the vegan lifestyle.

The Ladysmith-born actress appears on a stationary billboard situated on the Pat Bay Highway on the Saanich Peninsula and on three rotating electronic displays south of Duncan across from the Old Farm Market. She’s featured alongside Zeus the turkey, Ella the cow and Eddie the steer, and special needs pig Pirate.

The message conveyed is “Compassion is Always Sexy, choose vegan.”

“As a life-long advocate for animals starting here on Vancouver Island as a little girl, I am honored to support RASTA, a sanctuary that allows threatened animals to live in community and be happy and safe together, ” Anderson said in a statement. “I’ve visited many sanctuaries around the world and I was proud to find a sincere sanctuary close to home.

“My family loves to visit and volunteer regularly. In times like these we can’t forget that peace starts on our plate and that pandemics are caused by eating animals. Slaughterhouses, international animal abuses are dangerous to every species, including humans. End species-ism, eat your vegetables, support your local sanctuary. Animals are our friends, not food.”

Lucie Cerny, who runs the RASTA Sanctuary, said Anderson’s support means the world to the organization. Anderson also recently provided funds and labour for the building of a new barn to house animals at the sanctuary on Chemainus Road that’s already taking shape.

Related story: Pamela Anderson pledges to help build barn for Vancouver Island farm animal rescue

“It’s a tremendous honour to have the endorsement of Ms. Pamela Anderson which essentially enables our message of compassion for all animals to reach a much larger audience,” said Cerny.

RASTA is paying for the billboard advertising till the end of June and having Anderson as the spokesperson brings instant recognition for the organization’s aims and ambitions.

“Being our 20th year in rescue, it’s all coming together now,” said Cerny. “It’s been a hard, rocky road even since we moved to the Island.”

RASTA originated in Alberta before Cerny moved to Chemainus in part for a better climate to shelter the animals. About 115 animals are currently housed there.

“This collaboration aims to bring attention to the work the sanctuary does on behalf of abandoned and abused animals,” noted RASTA’s assistant manager Andrew Hill.

“The message ‘Compassion is Always Sexy’ compels viewers driving by to consider the way in which we view and love various species of animals in our society, drawing on the long-time advocacy of both Ms. Anderson and of RASTA Sanctuary. We hope that this message will be able to reach a wide audience, and will draw support for the work the sanctuary does as we face new challenges during this unprecedented time of COVID-19.”

Since moving to the Island, Cerny has hoped to enhance the educational aspects of the sanctuary and this campaign will make that happen. “This has been a dream of mine for over a decade,” she said.

With Anderson funding a new barn, it will ease a significant burden for Cerny in housing and caring for the animals.

The foundation for the walls was due to be completed this week. “We’ve been delayed a bit with the weather,” Cerny noted.

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Highway signs place Pamela Anderson alongside various RASTA animals, including Pirate the pig. (Photo submitted)
Nibbles the pot belly pig offers a friendly greeting to a visitor. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Volunteer Sierra Mirau tends to some of the animals at the RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Work is underway on the new barn for the RASTA Sanctuary, funded by actress Pamela Anderson. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Pamela Anderson is putting herself out there to promote the RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus and the vegan lifestyle. (Photo submitted)