Amanda Blake: animal rights activist
Miss Kitty wasn't afraid to throw hands for paws.
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
While Emmanuel Kant used the then-default male pronouns, we'll go ahead and expand the quote to include everybody else, too. Because, really, we can just the heart of anyone by their treatment of animals. Big, small, in-between... Animals are here to cohabitate on this planet with us. Even beyond individual people, a lot can also be told about a population or a government by how it treats our furry friends.
Amanda Blake, Gunsmoke's Miss Kitty Russell, for her part, used her platform to ensure America did what was right for our pets and pests.
Beginning in 1976, Amanda Blake advocated for real, genuine legislative change. That year, she campaigned to change laws in Arizona that would stop canine euthanasia by decompression chamber. If that term sounds barbaric, well, you have Amanda Blake to thank for putting an end to the practice.
"People are mean when money's at stake," Blake told The Kansas City Star in 1978. "People had money tied up in those chambers, and oh, did I get threats! One guy at a county pound said 'If I lose my job on this bill, I'm gonna get Amanda Blake and all her damn animals.' So I had to get extra security."
Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Amanda Blake risked her life for the betterment of the animals around us.
There was also the Horse Protection Act, show dog legislation, and the work she did for the Kansas City Zoo.
Amanda Blake was also dead-set against the cruelty she saw in rodeos. Yes, Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke was staunchly anti-rodeo, and she once led a contingent to the Colorado statehouse to urge legislation against them.
"I was scared. There were only about six of us and, of course, the bill died in committee. Walking out, some goofball comes up to me and says, "Well, I'll never watch Gunsmoke again.' And I say that's fine with me and I just sock him."
Take it from Blake: If a cause is worth fighting for, those of us who can must fight.