The best part about staying home from school or getting up early on a summer weekday is being able to watch the ever-popular game show The Price Is Right. (If you have never seen this show, I highly recommend it!) In the show, contestants compete to guess the price of merchandise and prize packages. At the end of every episode, host Drew Carey reminds the audience, “Help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered!” This tradition comes from the show’s previous host (and PETA supporter) Bob Barker, who hosted the game show for 35 years.
How many animals can one person help in 92 years? A lot! To celebrate Bob’s birthday, here are the top reasons we love Bob Barker:
1. Bob loves animals just as we do.
Bob says he was born with a love for animals and is devoted to helping them. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Bob said, “As a kid, I picked up strays and tried in my clumsy ways to help injured animals. I’ve done it all my life, and now I’m doing it on a much larger scale.” His animal companion is a rescued rabbit named Mister Rabbit, who, instead of living in a cramped cage, gets to roam the house freely.
2. Want to major in animal rights or learn to fight for animals as your profession? Bob’s got you covered!
Bob gave $2 million to Missouri’s Drury University for the school to add an animal rights professorship and an animal ethics course to the curriculum. He has also donated money to several law schools to establish animal law programs.
3. He stands up for what’s right.
Along with hosting The Price Is Right, Bob hosted the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants for 20 years until he realized that the pageants were giving fur coats as prizes to their contestants. He asked those in charge of the pageants to stop supporting the cruel fur trade, and when they refused, Bob stepped down as host. Standing up for animals is not always the popular thing, and it’s not always easy, but it’s the right thing to do!
4. Bob cares about elephants!
He speaks out against cruel circuses, and earlier this year, Bob spent $1 million to transport Toka, Thika, and Iringa—three elephants from the Toronto Zoo—to a new home at the gorgeous Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in sunny California. The elephants traded their cramped zoo paddock for rolling grasslands, trees, lakes, meadows, a walnut orchard, three heated barns, and even a Jacuzzi! Bob not only paid for the elephants’ long trip to the sanctuary but also was there to greet them when they arrived. Iringa loudly trumpeted as she was unloaded into the sanctuary, as if to announce her newfound freedom and thank Bob herself.
5. Bob’s a total bad-ass!
The 91-year-old star has a black belt in karate and trained under Chuck Norris!
6. He spends his money wisely.
Bob has said:
Any time an animal can be helped anywhere in any way, it pleases me. I’ve had a wonderful life doing something I thoroughly enjoy on TV and being well-paid for it, but rather than just writing a will and leaving money to be distributed after my death, I decided to start giving it away. I would recommend that to other people; give your money away while you’re still alive.
Bob has donated millions more of his dollars to help other animal rights causes. He purchased human-patient simulators to replace cats in medical exercises at Washington University in St. Louis (and offered to find homes for the cats, too!), gave money to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to purchase a boat used to confront Japanese whalers, funded the SHARK program in Pennsylvania to help prevent pigeon shoots, and donated to countless other organizations that help animals.
7. He eats a plant-based diet.
Bob says that the key to living a long and healthy life—and preventing Alzheimer’s disease—is leaving animals off his plate and exercising. Bob told Vegetarian Times that he went vegetarian to help animals and later realized that it’s the healthiest way to live!
8. He’s the spay-and-neuter guru!
Not only did Bob spread the spay-and-neuter message at the end of every show, he also founded the DJ&T Foundation, a nonprofit foundation devoted to supporting low-cost and free spay-and-neuter clinics. Every year in the U.S., an estimated 6 to 8 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters. The ONLY solution is to spay and neuter your companion animals!
9. HE PAID FOR OUR L.A. OFFICE!
Last but definitely not least, peta2 loves Bob Barker for helping fund our beautiful office in Los Angeles! Thank you, Bob, for being an inspiration and a hero to animals!