Be Mine, Ben Stein

Posted by Lisa Franzetta, ALDF's Director of Communications on February 12, 2007

Call it Geek Love. Call it a schoolgirl crush, ripened over time like a fine wine. But the truth is, even though I personally disagree with a lot of his politics…I totally heart Ben Stein.

What makes my Valentine’s ode to the former Nixon speechwriter/Ferris Bueller’s Day Off scene-stealer (“Bueller?… Bueller?…”) especially heartfelt this year? It’s also the start of my official countdown to six short weeks from now, when, on March 31st, sometime after a lovely vegan dinner and before, oh, 9:00pm or so, Ben Stein himself will be delivering the keynote address at ALDF’s Future of Animal Law Conference at Harvard Law School.

The valedictorian of his own law school class at Yale, Ben Stein is more than the character actor I grew to know and love and attempted to outsmart from the comfort of my parents’ living room back when I was a teenage devotee of his eponymous talk show, Win Ben Stein’s Money. By turns an economist, professor, writer, and comedian, Ben Stein is a Republican Renaissance man who, it turns out, is also an advocate for the humane treatment of animals.

A sense of compassion for animals–and a call for justice in cases of abuse–isn’t an issue limited to any one end of the political spectrum. And so I was not at all surprised to read a column Ben wrote for the conservative news magazine The American Spectator last spring about his respect for the Good Samaritans who came forth to rescue stranded animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the “amazingly sadistic torment of caged chickens who live and die in an area the size of a sheet of paper,” banning the slaughter of wild horses, and his determination to eat a lot less meat. For the record, he added “If I were President, I would make a more humane life for animals my very first priority.”

I’d vote for that, Ben. ‘Til then, you have my heart.