Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Activist Interview - Manuela Rodrigues

Manuela Rodrigues is an animal activist originally from Brazil, now living in the United States.  She is the Assistant to the Director @ Amazon CARES (Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety).  I first met Manuela via the website Change.org and have become friends in the fight for animal rights.

What got you into activism?
I have been working as a volunteer since I was 16 years old. Back in 1996 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where I used to teach Physical Education classes in poor communities, also helping taking care of abandoned/abused babies in a kindergarten in the slam. In 2002 I adopted my first dog, Biggie. He is still with me today. He was being sold on the streets, and the guy who was selling puppies had just Biggie left... He was going to leave him on the street at only 7-8 weeks old. I could NEVER leave him there, turn my back and sleep well, so I took Biggie to my home to stay with me. That's when I started with animal rights activism. In 2004 I came to live in US and brought Biggie with me. Animal rights activism here is much more intense than in Brazil, and I believe that is because Brazil has so much poverty that they don't think about the animals first. I love anything related to animal rights, and it has become ME, my life.

Are you vegan? If so, what caused the change?
 No. I am vegetarian but not vegan. Also usually I do not consume any milk derivatives, I have a high intolerance to lactose.

Could you tell us about what Amazon Cares does , how you got involved with them and what people can do to help the cause?

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety (CARES) was founded in 2004 by citizens with a desire to protect the countless stray animals that roam the streets and villages of Peru. Amazon CARES has received international recognition as an innovative charity based in the US and operating in the Peruvian Amazon region. Amazon CARES seeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings of the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.

I used to help Amazon CARES on Change.org, and I have been working as a volunteer for them since May 2009, and officially as a team member since last month!

Amazon CARES just released a new website (which we are still working on it) - http://www.amazoncares.org/

Anyone who wishes to help can join as a Supporting member (which we are giving a Free membership kit), or if you donate $25 or more you will receive a Deluxe membership kit (including the new 2011 Amazon CARES Wall sized Calendar) - Link: http://bit.ly/cDPFis ;. We are selling the new 2011 Amazon CARES Calendar, for $15 + $2 Shipping, and every dollar donated will be used to continue our journey in rescuing animals from the streets, giving them appropriated medical treatment, and then placing them in a lovely home. Any donation, of any amount, will help.

When you aren't doing animal activism activities, what do you enjoy doing?
 I love outdoor sports, taking my dogs for a long and nice walk in the park, love watching movies - I am a movies addict... I probably have 500+ DVDs at home! I also love cooking, trying new recipes.

Where do you see the animal rights movement in 10 years?
Great awareness in many countries about animal abuse, cruelty and neglect. Hopefully spaying and neutering will become more and more accessible, so less stray dogs and cats on the streets. Last but not least - people becoming less and less meat eaters.

What is the one thing you are most proud of?
I am proud of people whom fight for animal rights, and for those whom fight for good and needy causes - It surely is making a huge difference in the world!

It was my pleasure to have Manuela featured on my blog, as the first Animal Activist Interview!  She is a very passionate activist that I am proud to call my friend.  Thank you Manuela, for your time to do this interview, and for all you do to help animals all over the world.

Manuela, with a few of her best friends!

Animal vet Esther, with "Manuela", who was abandoned
in front of the Amazon Cares shelter.
The cutie was named in Manuela's honor.

For more information: Amazon CARES:

Blog - http://amazoncares.blogspot.com/

Follow us @AmazonCares on Twitter

Facebook Fan Page @http://www.facebook.com/AmazonCARESFans

On Causes Facebook: http://www.causes.com/causes/122522

Change.org http://www.change.org/amazoncares

Support animals whenever you shop online! We-Care Reminder Turns Shopping Into Givinghttp://www.amazoncares.we-care.com


  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity, it is such an honor to be the first person being interviewed for your blog. You are so dedicated with animal rights activism, and I am proud to call you a friend!

  2. You're doing great work! I saw first hand what the stray situation is like in Brazil and Peru and it's heartbreaking! Keep up this important work.

  3. Great interview. Manuela is an inspiration!


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