Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Heather Mills, End the Crucifixtion, Says Campaign Group

Viva! Director slams the latest attack from US publicist on patron

Release date: 
Monday, September 8, 2008

Juliet Gellatley, founder and director of Viva!, Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian organisation, has slammed the latest verbal attack on the group's patron, Heather Mills. It stems from a personal and intemperate tirade by Ms Mills' ex US publicist, Michelle Elyzabeth, who has launched a media campaign against her former employer in the US and which has been widely reported in the UK. Ms Gellatley was indirectly responsible for Ms Mills and Paul McCartney meeting when he attended the Pride of Britain Awards in 1999 to present Ms Gellatley with the Linda McCartney Award for Animal Welfare. Ms Mills was present at the same event to make a disability presentation. After her marriage to Paul McCartney she became involved with Viva! and accepted the position as patron in 2005. She is also patron of the health charity, the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation (VVF), of which Ms Gellatley is founder and director. 'there is an almost insatiable appetite for negative stories about Heather and if you want your five minutes of fame this is the way to achieve it, says Ms Gellatley. You're guaranteed to have your comments " no matter how ludicrous or self interested " trailed on the front pages and given splash coverage inside. "Over the past two or three years, Heather has been portrayed as a woman I simply do not recognise and there has even been a concerted attempt to destroy her reputation as a committed vegan and her charitable record. As far as Viva! and the VVF is concerned, Heather is the kind of patron you dream of having. She is totally committed, gives her time generously and is even prepared to put herself at great discomfort to help expose animal cruelty. I can think of no one else in her position who would be prepared to traipse across ploughed fields in the middle of the night and enter a filthy and disgusting intensive pig unit in order to guarantee publicity for the plight of the animals. "As far as donations go, she is extraordinarily generous " the most generous donor in our 14 year existence. Heather also gives to other charities " because she believes in them and not for publicity. On a personal level, I find Heather a trusted friend, kind, warm, humorous and extremely gutsy. How she has coped with the constant attempts to crucify her I have no idea but I am full of admiration for the way she's coped. Having been at several functions with her and read the spiteful and inaccurate reports that resulted, I have some idea of what she has to tolerate. It's time to give it a rest!' ENDS Juliet Gellatley is available for interview. Contact Tony Wardle on 0117 944 1000 or 07971 622606. Note to Editors. Since becoming patron of Viva! and the VVF, Heather Mills has funded the following campaigns. ' It's time to go Veggie magazine: one stop shop to everything veggie given out free. ' Piggles campaign " exposing factory farming. ' Ducks out of Water: ongoing campaign to end the factory farming of ducks. ' Ban the Farrowing Crate - in March 2007 Heather filmed at a pig breeding unit and called on the government to end the use of farrowing crates in pig production by handing in a giant Mother's Day card with the words No Happy Mother's Day for Britain's Pigs " Ban the Farrowing Crate to Tony Blair. ' Factory Farming " It's Gotta Go (to be launched) ' Environment campaign including the Diet of Disaster report, HOT! materials and latest biodiversity materials "Your burger could cost him his life' (Heather also launched this campaign). ' Two staff salaries ' White Lies campaign: including our ground-breaking report containing over 200 references and authored by Dr Justine Butler, is the first review of dairy and health ever undertaken. We show the way forward, including providing delicious dairy-free recipes. ' And other campaigns we are currently working on, including new education materials for all secondary schools ' Get Healthy with Heather booklet