Committed is a bold, offbeat, globe-trotting memoir that shows how the most ridiculed punching bag in high school became an internationally renowned crusader for the most downtrodden individuals of all -- animals. This irresistibly entertaining book recounts the unorthodox coming-of-age that inspired a reluctant party boy to devote his life to a cause, without ever abandoning his sense of mischief and fun.
Mathews is the irreverent force behind the colorful crusades carried out by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), making animal rights the "it" cause with campaigns involving nude protestors, odd costumes, and celebrities as diverse as Pamela Anderson and Sir Paul McCartney. With self-deprecating wit and candor, he reveals the edgy details of his outrageous career, which has found him arrested naked on the streets of Hong Kong, dressed as a carrot outside grade schools in Iowa (where he was pelted with luncheon meats), and impersonating a priest to crash a fashion show in Milan.
From the rock scene in Hollywood and London to the inner sanctums of New York high fashion and from jails in Boston to a psychiatric ward in Paris, Committed spotlights the adventures life can offer when you don't abandon your ideals and imagination with your youth.
Dan Mathews was born and raised in Orange County, California, by a single mother who encouraged her three boys to bring home stray animals. In high school, he was beaten up for being gay and credits those rough times with helping him develop the thick skin needed to be an animal activist. He spent two years in Italy working as a fashion model and bit-part actor before returning to the US to earn a degree in history from American University in Washington, DC. Shortly afterwards, he began working at PETA as a receptionist and within a year was organizing protests. As PETA’s Director of Campaigns, he helps increase awareness of the rights of animals through high-profile events. He has been arrested for his activities more than twenty times but usually gets released from jail within a day. Through a unique combination of sex, humor, and glamour, he has turned animal rights into one of the hottest causes of the last two decades.