Parade Magazine

CSI's Jorja Fox on Animal Advocacy on TV and in Real Life — August 12, 2013

Dog fighting rings, canned hunting, factory farming, and even the cruelty behind shark fin soup have all been topics on the popular CBS drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, and actress “‘Jorja Fox”’ takes pride in her shows coverage of these issues. Jorja plays forensic scientist Sara Sidle on the long running series. In real life, she volunteers as an ambassador for Animal Defenders International.

“Calling attention to these issues”whether it is on “CSI” or with Animal Defenders International”is a passion of mine,” says Jorja. ““CSI"s writers care about these issues too, and do such a great job in weaving them into the show.”

“‘ADI Ambassador”’

Jorja, who has been on “CSI” since its inception in 2000, considers herself fortunate to have landed a role that she cherishes. She also is grateful to be a spokesperson for Animal Defenders International (ADI). “Tim Phillips and Jan Creamer, the husband and wife team who founded ADI, have done so much to call attention to rescue and to stop animal abuse,” says Jorja. “Im honored to work with them and to serve as an ambassador for ADI.”

ADI, which was launched in 1990, publishes reports, educates the public, and drafts legislation for animals worldwide. One of their latest animal welfare projects was exposing the cruel treatment of circus animals in Bolivia. “They went undercover to rescue and relocate 29 circus lions via airlift to safe sanctuaries in the United States,” says Jorja. (A short film about the rescue can be seen on ADIs website.)

Through her work at ADI, Jorja has done public service announcements and testified before Congress. Jorja is a 2012 recipient of ADIs Animal Champion Award for her dedication to sustaining safe environments for animals in entertainment.

“‘A Long Time Love Affair with Animals”’

Born in New York City, Jorja moved with her family to Melbourne Beach, FL, when she was about three. “Its a barrier island, and there was a lot more wildlife back then than there is now,” she laments. “You could see dolphins in the ocean, sea turtles, and even alligators. It was the wilderness for my parents, who are both from New York.”

“I learned a lot about conservation from my grandmother, and my family always cared about animals,” she adds. “Caring for the environment impacts all of us”people and animals. We had a family dog, and lots of wildlife around us, which I grew to appreciate.”

Today, she has a three-year old rescue dog, which she says, “is the most brilliant dog in the world.”

“‘Animals and the Environment”’

“A lot of people dont see the connection between animal extinction and the environment,” says Jorja, who recently produced an award winning documentary called “How I Became An Elephant”, which tracks the journey of a young girl who travels to Thailand to rescue an elephant. “People dont know that without elephants there would be horrible droughts,” she says.

Elephants are known as a keystone species because of their impact on their environment and their impact on other species that share their space. “Elephants are very good at finding underground water,” Jorja explains. “They locate water and dig watering holes. Without that water, other animals and humans would be harmed. Mass extinctions could occur.”

Elephants also disperse seeds through their digestive systems. Thanks to elephants who spread these seeds, more plants appear, which other animals are dependent on. “Its an important cycle,” says Jorja. “That is why we all need to care about animals.”




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