Changing Planet

Real Housewife Joanna Krupa is the Real Deal When it Comes to Animal Activism

dddt.aspxRenowned celebrity animal activists, the Barbi Twins tell me she is the “it” girl. I don’t know what that means, but I wanted to find out more about the Polish-born actress/model’s life off the runway and off the screen, including the Big Screen. After all, Joanna Krupa is one of the biggest celebrity animal activists on the planet.

In fact, she is considered to be PETA’s most successful model from their famed anti-fur campaigns, which have drawn worldwide acclaim over the years, making “fur-bearing” anything, but trendy on anything but animals.

Joanna also joined the Barbi Twins and other celebrities in supporting Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd (

Joanna Krupa has been featured on Dancing with the Stars, Poland’s Next Top Model, not to mention other Primetime shows like CSI and Las Vegas. She currently stars on The Real Housewives of Miami.

Ms. Krupa is not just another model to emerge on the scene as a hardcore animal welfarist. She is an animal rescuer and started her own non-profit to help rescue the voiceless. She may be one of the most sought after models on the internet and frequently voted one of the sexiest models in the world, but she is grounded and dedicated, and like the Barbi Twins, she walks the walk.

On Thursday Dec. 10th, the supermodel will host an inaugural celebrity-packed fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire to help Angels for Animals—her LA based, non-profit animal rescue organization.  The event is just over a week a way, but I got a chance to sit down with Joanna and learn about her advocacy work.

Skeptics might say that this is just another celebrity trying to make a name for herself by starting an animal charity, but Joanna, like the Barbi Twins, is the real deal. She and her friend—LA-based Gabi Gutierrez teamed up in the independent rescuing of companion animals in need and then as their passion and dedication started to pay off, decided to start their own animal rescue organization.


Jordan: Can you tell us about your LA-based animal rescue organization and how you got started in advocacy?

Joanna: Gabi first became interested in rescuing animals when she was 15 and started volunteering at the Carson Animal Shelter. Seeing all the animals in need made her want to make a difference and help save them so over the course of a few years she quickly learned the ropes of what it takes to rescue animals . With the help of her great mentor and friend Randee Goldman she started learning the “ins” and “outs” of animal rescuing. She and I became friends during this time.

I was always a huge animal lover, but it wasn’t until 2005, when I saw a life-changing video of the fur trade and how innocent animals suffer. It was after that video that I essentially became an avid animal rights activist.

Jordan: I hear you also have a soft spot for wildlife. What is your favorite cause?

Joanna: I helped organized a protest against the Kardasian-owned Dash retail clothing store for their selling of a fur vests earlier this year, that turned out successful and they stopped selling fur!

Together Gabi, my partner in Angels for Animal Rescue, and I hope to make a difference in the lives of animals by saving them and by being their voice. We speak up for the voiceless. We save the forgotten who are left behind. I save those who are truly in need of rescuing. I am an animal rescuer.”

Jordan: Tell us about your upcoming event on behalf of companion animals?

Joanna: I hope everyone can make it to support my own animal rescue. There is no fee to get into the event, but we will be selling raffle tickets for those that are interested to win a pink sapphire necklace made especially for Angels for Animal Rescue. You can RSVP at

Jordancschaul headshot.jpg Dr. Jordan Schaul is an American zoologist, conservationist, journalist and animal trainer based in Los Angeles, California.

With training in wildlife ecology, conservation medicine and comparative psychology, Dr. Schaul's contributions to Nat Geo Voices have covered a range of environmental and social topics. He draws particular attention to the plight of imperiled species highlighting issues at the juncture or nexus of sorta situ wildlife conservation and applied animal welfare. Sorta situ conservation practices are comprised of scientific management and stewardship of animal populations ex situ (in captivity / 'in human care') and in situ (free-ranging / 'in nature'). He also has a background in behavior management and training of companion animals and captive wildlife, as well as conservation marketing and digital publicity. Jordan has shared interviews with colleagues and public figures, as well as editorial news content. In addition, he has posted narratives describing his own work, which include the following examples: • Restoration of wood bison to the Interior of Alaska while (While Animal Curator at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and courtesy professor at the University of Alaska) • Rehabilitation of orphaned sloth bears exploited for tourists in South Asia (While executive consultant 'in-residence' at the Agra Bear Rescue Center managed by Wildlife SOS) • Censusing small wild cat (e.g. ocelot and margay) populations in the montane cloud forests of Costa Rica for popular publications with 'The Cat Whisperer' Mieshelle Nagelschneider • Evaluating the impact of ecotourism on marine mammal population stability and welfare off the coast of Mexico's Sea of Cortez (With Boston University's marine science program) Jordan was a director on boards of non-profit wildlife conservation organizations serving nations in Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. He is also a consultant to a human-wildlife conflict mitigation organization in the Pacific Northwest. Following animal curatorships in Alaska and California, he served as a charter board member of a zoo advocacy and outreach organization and later as its executive director. Jordan was a member of the Communication and Education Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CEC-IUCN) and the Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (BSG-SSC-IUCN). He has served on the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society and in service to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Bear TAG). In addition he was an ex officio member of council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management. Contact Email:
  • Josh

    As is often the case with celebrity causes, Ms Krupa has failed to educate herself as to the facts of this topic and instead, has allowed herself to be influenced by the militant organization, PETA.

    She fails to either realize or acknowledge that the use of fur for fashion and comfort is far healthier for the environment that most of the alternatives. Unlike the alternatives, fur is green, organic, and renewable and does not require the use of chemicals or petroleum products that must be extracted from the earth or whose derivatives are pumped into our air and watersheds.

  • Stephanie

    Josh, where does she once advocate the use of faux fur in the interview? She doesn’t. No living being should be tortured for fashion or the comfort of humans. It’s 2013 and there are plenty of green alternatives.

  • Josh

    Hi Stephanie,

    Note that I never indicated nor implied that she is advocating faux fur. What I did state is that by objecting to the use of fur, she is indirectly promoting the alternatives to fur…most of which (other than wool) require the use of chemicals and petroleum products during one or more steps of the manufacturing process.

    I agree with you that no living being should be tortured for fashion or comfort. What is important to point out that the use of fur does not require torture.

  • Sia Barbi

    “I think Ms Krupa did a very good job educating herself, by watching footage of animals being skinned alive for the purpose of vanity, not for being “green”. Some people are motivated by selective denial and justified excuses to condone such animal cruelty while others like Ms Krupa has nothing but compassion and empathy for these innocent beings, no other agenda.
    The fur farms themselves are unnatural to the environment, therefore not even close to being “green”. And since when do we call animal cruelty more green. That is like saying the movie Hostel…is more “green”, by using humans vs animals and not anesthetizing them.
    Why should animals pay for our destruction of this earth? It would be a lot more “green” to donate our bodies for food and our skin for products, but that wouldn’t be considered “humane” to many people, the way many of us see using animals as “inhumane”.
    Condoning animal cruelty by saying it’s more GREEN to skin an animal alive than to use other products, is not an educated answer, it’s barbaric. ” -Sia Barbi

  • Ann

    Celeb’s that care about the cats and dogs should speak out.
    It’s conflicting to understand how celebrities fail to educate themselves on PETA. While I’m “anti-fur” I still would NOT support PETA ever. Celeb’s need to understand they are supporting a organization that has only “one” shelter in Norfolk, Va. that is NOT so fortunate for the dogs and cats that enter the shelter. The “New York Times” published a substantial article as countless other news agencies. A average of 2,000 dogs and cats each year are killed at the Norfolk, Va shelter.! ONLY 19 cats and dogs were adopted in 2012 and 24 in 2011 according to state records. It was last stated Virginia wanted to take away PETA 501 (c) shelter status because they are not operating as a “shelter”. A reporter in Norfolk, Va went to the shelter she could only find 1 cat other’s have attempted to adopt at the shelter but they have no cats or dogs available because they are killed by PETA. PETA is accepting thousands of cats and dogs to then euthanize the masses of them affording them no hope of homes or medical care. This organization has a 31 million a year budget. If you support PETA you are also supporting a organization that is accepting domestic animals into it’s Norfolk shelter to euthanize the masses of them with no efforts to promote or adopt these animals. Any animal advocate or celeb that has allowed PETA to use their image should find this concerning, sad and would not want their name associated with such a cruel heartless policy of not even high kill rather mass kill. It’s conflicting to be involved in animal rescue while supporting PETA kill rate of cats and dogs.

  • Ann

    I’m firmly “anti fur”. However, on the subject of “green”. Do you understand Sia Barbi the euthanize California shelter animals are taken by thousands to the “rendering” plant both in Southern CA to North CA to be reused for what would be considered “green” products by standards such as cosmetics, crayons, tires, shampoo… (tallow) I was “shocked” to read the FYI sheet I obtained from LA Animal Care and Control. I think American’s have a “right” to know that our unwanted cats and dogs are rendered into tallow and sold to companies for everyday products. We have cruelty free products..why the silence on this subject. I never thought I needed to hope to advocate for “shelter free” cosmetics and products. Sadly, it’s easier for the shelter systems to dispose of animals then promote adoption and I’m sure profitable for the companies are supplied the shelter animals. It’s time to demand that our riches animal welfare organizations step up in a meaningful way for shelter animals of America. They can MORE then afford to do more for our beloved cats and dogs and simply don’t. Shelter animals should not be a commodity for products it rather reduces the shelters efforts to work harder to market for loving homes and is simply unfair it’s a “true” yet little known subject anyone care to discuss. I don’t want “fido” in my lipstick as much as I don’t want to see animals used for fur.

  • Brittany

    Fur clothes is not “green” All the fur you see on racks have been dyed with harmful chemicals that usually get mixed into the drinking water of towns closeby; especially the fur farms in China. Not only is the fur trade harmful and painful to animals but hurts humans as well.

  • Josh

    Sia Barbi:

    You said, “I think Ms Krupa did a very good job educating herself, by watching footage of animals being skinned alive for the purpose of vanity, not for being “green. Some people are motivated by selective denial and justified excuses to condone such animal cruelty while others like Ms Krupa has nothing but compassion and empathy for these innocent beings, no other agenda.”

    Compassion and empathy is no substitute for ignorance. Ms Krupa clearly failed to educate herself on the facts of the practice, but rather, came to a hasty generalization based on video footage provided to her by an organization with an obvious agenda. Had she chosen to educate herself and come to an informed opinion, she would have learned that skinning animals alive is neither necessary nor common in the use of animals for fur.

    You said, “the fur farms themselves are unnatural to the environment, therefore not even close to being “green”. Based on this statement, you MUST also condemn solar energy, wind energy, and corn-derived ethanol as not being green either since solar farms, wind farms, and corn farms are similarly unnatural to the environment.

    You said, “condoning animal cruelty by saying it’s more GREEN to skin an animal alive than to use other products, is not an educated answer, it’s barbaric.”

    I am not condoning that animals be skinned alive. Skinning animals alive is neither an inherent nor requisite part of raising/harvesting animals for their fur. You, like Ms Krupa, are succumbing to a logical fallacy known as a false cause. The fact that dogs and cats have reportedly been skinned alive in China does not make that an integral part of the process anywhere else; that’s like saying that the use of harmful pesticides on crops grown in Mexico makes crops grown in America unsafe to eat.

  • Josh


    You said, “Fur clothes is not “green” All the fur you see on racks have been dyed with harmful chemicals that usually get mixed into the drinking water of towns closeby; especially the fur farms in China.”

    First of all, fur is rarely dyed…besides its insulative properties, the natural coat colors of various animals (bobcat, chinchilla, mink, etc) is part of the appeal of a fur coat, so it would be counterproductive to say the least to dye the fur. If you are referring to the process of tanning (curing) the skin, that is typically done with the use of tannin, which is derived from the bark of some species of trees, or minerals.

    Given their poor track record regarding pollution and humane care of animals, I would not be surprised if the Chinese do indeed dump chemicals into their drinking supply. However, even if this is true, it has no relevance on the practice of using fur for human clothing. As is the case with skinning animals alive, dumping chemicals into a water supply is not a requisite part of the use of fur, so one has nothing to do with the other.

  • Koichi Ito

    I never heard that Joanna Krupa is vegetarian? In fact I know that Bob Barker is a vegetarian!

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