October 24, 2014
Q and A with Alicia Silverstone
The actress discusses her recent book, The Kind Mama
The 1995 hit comedy Clueless cemented Alicia Silverstone’s status as a star, but it also affected her life in a more profound way. During filming, Silverstone, who was 18 then, adopted Sampson, a scrappy mutt she found on the streets of Los Angeles.
It was Sampson who inspired Silverstone to spend time in animal shelters. “There were days where I literally thought my heart would break,” she says, remembering the urge to bring all the animals home with her. Before long, she was educating herself about other animal protection issues. “I saw millions of animals around the world, on farms, in forests … [who] were suffering, and they were just as soulful as my beloved dogs and cats. I made up my mind once and for all to stop using my dollars to purchase meat and other products that are created through violence or cruelty.”
In 2009, Silverstone shared her message of compassionate living through her book The Kind Diet. She also launched thekindlife.com “for like-minded people to gather and share advice for living the healthiest, kindest life possible.”
In this edited interview with staff writer Ruthanne Johnson, Silverstone discusses family life, animal advocacy and her recently published book, The Kind Mama.
How do you and your husband teach your kind life philosophy to your son, Bear?We try to lead by example. Bear sees us making choices on a daily basis that benefit our planet. Someday he will have to make his choices all on his own, but I hope that the foundation we give him will inspire him to continue along this path.
Why did you write The Kind Mama?
I saw some women in my life having the most blissful experiences with pregnancy, birth and motherhood. That was so inspiring to me and in stark contrast to what we’ve come to accept as normal: pregnancies full of ailments and less-than-ideal deliveries. I began researching and speaking with experts. My goal was to provide women with a guide to have that blissful experience and to show families that they can set their children up to be a generation of healthy, happy and compassionate individuals.
What are the biggest challenges in animal advocacy work?
Getting people to accept the awful truth about what is happening and the simple fact that their choices can help end or perpetuate it. That said, I think we’ve made great strides. I remember going on Letterman many years ago and saying that I was a vegan and being received like I was an alien. But now it’s actually cool to be a vegan.
I’m working on my next book, The Kind Diet Cookbook. As an actress, I am always on the lookout for interesting roles, but my most important role is the one I play within my family. I want to ensure I’m being the best mom and woman I can be.