Having grown up poor and gay, with a penchant for punk rock and Lawrence Welk, Mathews, who is now campaign chief for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, had a rough start. But his camp, cosmopolitan and crass memoir is like a life lesson from the Island of Misfit Toys: a study of the unwitting heroism and adventures of an outsider dedicated to a cause. Less a treatise than a picaresque tale, his book wouldn't be complete without a bit of persuasion, whether detailing the horrors of the fur industry, factory farming or animal experimentation. But he's as willing to make fun of himself as he is of his many targets—including Vogue editor Anna Wintour (who, he says, "looks as if she has constant, painful gas") and deli-meat–hurling Iowan children. Then again, this is a man who dresses up regularly in a carrot costume. Aided by humor, luck and friends like Pamela Anderson and Morrissey, Mathews makes clear there is savvy to his controversial methods. "The flair you bring to a protest is as important as the issues themselves—if you want to reach beyond the small core of whoever might care about an issue." Those at odds with Mathews's ideals are bound to find him irritating, but open-minded readers will discover a charming polemicist. (Apr. 17)
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Animal rights activist Mathews is the exuberant mastermind behind many of the audacious, headline-grabbing protests that have made PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) such an effective and controversial organization. And just as PETA's approach to raising awareness of scientific, agricultural, and industrial cruelty toward animals involves strategic high jinks, saucy irreverence, and shock tactics, Mathews, an "agitator by nature," mixes outrageous humor with dishy anecdotes and searing revelations to create a wildly entertaining memoir and a spirited overview of a serious social issue. Openly gay and steeled by the bullying he endured as a boy, Mathews has always felt empathy for animals. Initially a receptionist for PETA in 1985, he proved to be an outside-the-box thinker and daredevil protestor, possessed of as much charm as daring and, at six foot five, impressive good looks. Mathews has enlisted the likes of rockers Morrissey and Chrissie Hynde and sex symbol Pamela Anderson in the cause, and he has advocated and been arrested all over world. The force of his convictions and his love of life electrify every page. Donna Seaman
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I'm not vegan but do support some animal rights issues and knew of Dan Mathews' work, so I was really interested in reading this book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by T. Jackson
It was well written and interesting. I enjoyed this book a lot. You will enjoy it. Thank you. I'm sure Dan Matthew's will be glad you read it.Published 18 months ago by SSF
This is a great read about an interesting person that I knew nothing about. it was recommend to me and I liked it a lot.Published on March 3, 2013 by Grayson
I was thoroughly entertained and educated throughout, often finding people around me asking what was so funny. Read morePublished on February 23, 2013 by Elspeth
Best book EVER! Delightful, witty and honest! Loved it! Could not put it down...Of course, anyone who helps and love Animals is a winner!Published on February 5, 2013 by Claudine Erlandson
I know that a lot of vegetarians and people who support PETA are buying this book but that is not necessarily what the book is about. Read morePublished on January 17, 2012 by Daniel A. Dubay
Imagine being stuck inside a large, hot, sticky, sweaty, itchy costume. A giant cartoon-like carrot costume to be exact. Chris P. Read morePublished on December 9, 2009 by J. Welleman
First of all, I totally agree with those who find this a hilariously entertaining read. How can you not love a gay guy who quite enjoys going to Hooters because "it's much like a... Read morePublished on August 12, 2009 by John Bonavia