Actress Betty White is a national treasure. For decades, the bubbly gal has been in front of a microphone or camera making audiences laugh. She also is a vehement animal rights activist who takes that role very seriously. Whether she knows it or not that animal love helps keep her vibrant.
White has been an animal lover for her entire life. In an interview with Smithsonian, White sited a lifelong passion for all types of critters. Because her love for animals was “embedded” into her personality, she longed to be a zookeeper as a child. Because of her professional success entertaining people, she has been able to fulfill her dream of benefiting members of the animal kingdom.
Her commitment to protecting animals is rumored to have kicked in the 1970s. At that time, she produced and hosted a syndicated series, “The Pet Set.” The show high-lit the relationship celebrities had with their pets.
Soon after, Betty also became a trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation. That organization launched in 1948 as a way to transform the health of animals.
Fueled by those animal-centric opportunities, Betty joined the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association board of directors in 1974. She acted as a Zoo Commissioner for years and is currently listed as a member of the GLAZA Foundation.
Her commitment to animal well-being still continues. Betty still makes sizable donations to her favorite causes. In addition to making cash donations to the Los Angeles Zoo, she is a committed supporter of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
At age 92, Betty is still going strong. In addition to animal activism, acting on “Hot in Cleveland” and hosting “Off Their Rockers,” she is also a New York Times bestselling author. One of her books, Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo shares engaging stories regarding White’s relationship with some of her animal friends.
Betty’s zest for life is only one factor that helps keep her going. Aside from supporting ocean and zoo animals, Betty has continually opened her home to various adoptive pets during her lifetime. It is the role of a pet owner that helps her continue to thrive because of the health benefits linked to that behavior.
Pet ownership can help reduce blood pressure; stress hormones and can protect heart health. In White’s elderly-but-spunky demographic, the advantages go even further by preventing feelings of loneliness and depression, and can help minimize agitation in Alzheimer’s patients.