“Don’t eat f—ing meat. It’s disgusting,” songwriter Diane Warren told an intimate audience while accepting the humanitarian of the year award at the Humane Society of the United States Los Angeles gala on Saturday (May 7). “Realize that when you eat meat, you’re not eating something, you are eating someone — someone with a mother and father.”
Thus the activist tone was set for a night that raised money for and celebrated the Humane Society’s farm animal protection campaign. Several celebrities came out to show their support for both Warren and the Humane Society, including The Veronicas, Zendaya, Ian Somerhalder and Kate Mara, who worked with the Humane Society to promote Meatless Mondays in schools.
“I have always been a profound lover and respecter of animals, so it is a true privilege to be here with like-minded people,” Zendaya said while introducing Warren. “[Warren] cares so deeply for all who suffer needlessly, especially animals without a voice for themselves. She is authentic, fiercely brave and we all know that Diane will never hold her tongue when it comes to speaking out against animal cruelty — or anything else, for that matter.”
Killed it @KeshaRose. I could feel your pain. Girl these boys won’t be in charge forever. The wisdom of women is rising. Let’s get louder
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) May 8, 2016
“I want to dedicate this song to every man, woman, child and animal that has ever been abused,” Kesha said before singing “Til It Happens to You,” accompanied by Warren on the piano and a collage of animals packed into corporate farms setting the tone. Earlier in the night, Warren had noted that the song, written for documentary The Hunting Ground, is “helping people and saving lives.”
“I get letters and [co-writer Lady] Gaga just told me too, there’s not a day that goes by that people aren’t stopping her and thanking her for the song,” Warren said.
To end the night’s festivities, Tyler took the stage for a performance of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith’s only No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart.
“When [Warren] sang [“I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing”], I sat on the floor and I did cry. [When] I heard the song for the first time, I heard the depth and breadth of the song.”
The night’s events were hosted by artist Moby, a longtime vegan and animal rights activist who was inspired to become involved in the cause by a rescue cat.
“When I was 19, I was petting a rescue cat that I had and I realized that this rescue cat had two eyes and a central nervous system and a profoundly rich emotional life and I just suddenly realized: Every animal with two eyes and a central nervous system at the very least wants to avoid pain,” Moby said. “At that moment I realized that I couldn’t, in good conscience, be involved in anything that contributed to animal suffering.”
By the gala’s end, the Humane Society had raised over $140,000 and counting to fight animal cruelty.