"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way in which its animals are treated."
The quote is from Gandhi but, coincidentally enough, it was cited by both Christine Ebersole, the Tony Award-winning star of "Grey Gardens," and another Broadway icon, Bernadette Peters, to express how deeply they feel about animal rights.
"When you're made aware of animal exploitation for big business, it's unconscionable," Ebersole says. "Animal research is completely unnecessary. We don't have the same biochemistry as rats."
Although animal-rights activists have targeted everything from the fur trade to the humane treatment of livestock, people like Ebersole, Peters and others are focusing on the less conspicuous, more pervasive aspects of animal cruelty. She champions groups such as Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (pcrm.org) and other such sites like the vegan-oriented vegetarianshoesandbags.com as entities committed to the fair treatment of animals.