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 random incidents and soul-searching that inspired a reluctant party boy to devote his life to a cause, without ever abandoning his sense of mischief and fun.
"Everyone has a tense moment in their career that makes them wonder, how the hell did I get into this mess?" writes Mathews. "For me, it was when I was dressed as a carrot to promote vegetarianism outside an elementary school in Des Moines, and a pack of obese pig farmers showed up and peeled off slices of bologna for kids to throw at me." As the irreverent force behind the colorful crusades carried out by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), one of the most effective and enduring pressure groups in the world, Mathews has strutted naked before a fur convention in Tokyo, halted GM's use of animals in crash tests by storming the carmaker's float in the Rose Parade dressed as a rabbit, and crashed a fashion show in Milan dressed as a priest. With self-deprecating wit and candor, Mathews reveals all the edgy details of his unorthodox coming-of-age and equally outrageous career.
With backdrops such as the rock scene in Hollywood and London, the inner sanctums of New York high fashion, jails in Hong Kong and Boston, and a psychiatric ward in Paris, Committed spotlights the adventures life can offer when you don't abandon your youthful ideals and imagination.
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.