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Vegetarian Action.

Are Those Brains Vegan?--Linnea Quigley: A Vegan in Zombie's Clothing

Sometime last autumn I was reorganizing the VRG library when I came across an old issue of Vegetarian Times from 1990 with "Scream Queen" Linnea Quigley on the cover. As a fan of horror films I took note of the issue, but shelved it along with the rest of 1990. A few weeks later, after having watched her in Return of the Living Dead, Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout, and Burial of the Rats, I recalled that article and wondered what it was about--what was her connection to vegetarianism? I spoke with her to find out.

Linnea Quigley is best known for her role as "Trash" in 1985's Return of the Living Dead. She has done over 60 movies since her first role in Fairy Tales (1978). Some are forgettable (even she's forgotten the names of a few), but many are quintessential viewing for the horror fan. Linnea's books, I'm Screaming as Fast as I Can and The Linnea Quigley Bio and Chainsaw Book, offer a personal view of horror movies, their makers, and the fans. She came across as very likeable and genuine, and the anecdotes of her unusual life in film are often rather humorous. This star of Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama has a clear grasp of the absurdity of it all. Ms. Quigley, who has been devoured by the ravenous undead and gored by a deranged Santa Claus, has been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for 14. Like many vegetarians, she started by eliminating red meat, then chicken and fish, and eventually dairy and all other foods from animals. She said, "It made no sense; I'd been saving animals since I was a kid, so why, was I eating them? ... It was a natural progression."

She has managed to bridge her professional life with her ethical stances. She makes certain there is ample vegetarian food available on her movie sets. She has also asked to have scenes rewritten if the original draft includes something about animal cruelty. She explains that she would turn a role down if the content conflicted with her beliefs. She attends horror conventions every year and uses these appearances as a platform to discuss vegetarian ism, adopting companion animals from shelters, spaying, and other related issues.

When asked about the movie industry, she replied that she's found it to be "more animal friendly. ... They seem to have a more sensitive nature. There are the ones who just want to get a shot [of the scene]." However, she is vigilant about monitoring how the animals are treated: she has even reported a well-known director to the Humane Society on allegations of animal cruelty on the set.

She describes her animal rights stance as "right in the trenches. Walk the walk. I go and rescue and place. I've rescued hundreds of [animals]--dogs, cats, even giant African rats." Once, she rescued a dog on his last day at the pound and presented him to a fan as a gift. "The dog was gorgeous and I would have loved to keep him, but I knew he would place fast."

In addition to the "surprise adoptions" to her fans, she uses her fame to help animals otherwise slated for euthanasia at various shelters. She's sponsored events, such as "Win a Date to the Pound with Linnea" through Fangoria, a magazine devoted to horror. She says she is "always talking (not preaching) about" animal rights. She has also donated props from her movies to auction to raise money for organizations she supports. She's involved with PETA and has even done a risque "Dress Up Your Veggies!" poster for them. She's led some of her fans to vegetarianism. She told me, "I just got a letter from a fan who stopped meat and dairy, lost a lot of weight, and is so happy."

Ms. Quigley certainly shows how people, no matter what their professions, can not only live by their beliefs, but also live as activists for those beliefs.

For additional information on Linnea Quigley's filmography, visit the internet movie database at <,+Linnea>, or to view her website, go to <>.
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Author:Breier, Davida Gypsy
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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