Best Friends Blog

Becoming mainstream

The cover of the December issue of Vanity Fair features a striking photo of Scarlett Johansson. For many, an equally striking photo appears on page 168 of the same issue. This image features Esther (who happens to be my sweet little dog), an almost toothless, rather chubby, old Chihuahua mix rescued off the euthanasia list at the South Los Angeles shelter. She’s seated on the lap of her rescuer, Gregory Castle (who also happens to be my husband). The photo was taken at Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah and appears in the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame section acknowledging the groundbreaking and historic work of Best Friends Animal Society.Gregory Castle

We are honored by and greatly appreciative of such recognition, but more importantly, we are really excited by the elevation of our no-kill mission to the pages of such a mainstream and culturally significant magazine. Others honored as Hall of Famers include Oprah Winfrey, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Tom Hanks and Bill Clinton. Pretty mainstream, I say!

I can still remember when I first embraced Vanity Fair as a mainstay in my reading diet. It was an issue featuring John Malkovich as he appeared in character for “Dangerous Liaisons.” Moreover, the sharp tone and daring views of then contributing editor Christopher Hitchens really spoke to me. Never did I dream that the no-kill cause I held so dear and, at the time, the obscure organization in remote Southern Utah that I had just started volunteering for would be on the pages of such a mainstream publication, let alone be recognized in their Hall of Fame.

Bringing about a time when there will be no more homeless pets may be a crusade that is fought in the trenches by tireless waves of activists and advocates, but it won’t be won until the mainstream public owns and claims the victory as their own. The acknowledgement of Best Friends and our mission in the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame is one of the markers of public ownership of our cause that will continue to weight the scales of public opinion in favor of no-kill.

This is welcome exposure, not just for Best Friends but for all of you who work every day to save lives and end the killing of homeless pets. The world is watching and taking note, and we are honored to share in this with you.

To read the Vanity Fair piece, click here.

Julie Castle
Senior Director, Communications

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  • Carol in Michigan

    Leaving Best Friends this morning after volunteering for my 1st time this week (my new “vacations with a purpose” mantra). Met your husband and several Founders at lunch and at last night’s volunteer appreciation event. I am convinced you have a unique and wondrous nonprofit model here that is deserving of many Hall of Fame recognitions! Thanks for setting the bar of Best Practices high for the rest of us to reach.

  • Christy Summerfield

    I’ve been a supporter of Best Friends since it was Angel Canyon. I get Vanity Fair and was thrilled to see Best Friends honored as it should be. I love following all the animals you care for and seeing the progress they make. My dream is come out and spend a week, along with a grandkid or two. Thank you for all you do. Blessed be.

  • Robinfravel

    Keep up the good work……………..spread the word all over the world………..never stop.

  • Laura

    Congrat’s!  This is awesome!

  • Jackie Stoutamyer

    Thank you Best Friends! Tonight I received a call from a nice person named Gabrielle, thanking ME for volunteering at Best Friends. I just want to thank all of you for having me. Wish I could have stayed long enough to really make a difference. Sincerely, Jackie Stoutamyer

  • This is my first visit to your site. Today I have got a new site. I am really happy to be here. I am stay tuned here for your next blog…

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  • Mxipp

    This is great! I love it when BF gets the recognition it deserves.