My sis and I are known as the Barbi Twins. We use our seven-and-a-half minutes of fame each to express our opinions:
First up, we don’t feel we’re part of the 99%! We believe humans are actually the 1%, with animals and the environment making up 99%. Humans have become indulged, greedy, and arrogant in our speciesism, where animals are seen as something for us to exploit.
We want to begin with the animal protection movement itself, a broken system we call “management by death.” Consumption of meat, demand for fur, animal cruelty, and the killing of companion animals in shelters are increasing while the government and animal charities profit. There are even vegan animal activists who would kill pets. Killing isn’t working; it has opened up huge businesses for puppy and kitten mills and horse breeders.
We need to start over. First priority is to stop the killing of shelter and companion animals altogether! By taking killing completely off the table, new options arise for an activism driven by compassion instead of convenience, something we call the Live Movement.
My sis and I are campaigning for a new non-partisan movement called the Green Tea Party to fight government support for the business of killing and instead concentrate on protecting the real victims: the planet and animals. The government must abandon “business over life” policies, like the Animal Economic Terrorism Act, which names as top domestic terrorists anyone who exposes or protests animal abuse committed by a business. We have constitutional rights to force new policies that protect the voiceless. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless.”
We’ve also teamed up with Amy and Raelyn Nelson, true activists like their papa Willie Nelson. Raelyn dubbed us the Quad Squad when we appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” and worked together with the Animal Welfare Institute to help pass the anti-horse slaughter bill. Now we’re working with Dr. Jenny Conrad of PawProject.org to outlaw declawing, which is really the amputation of cats’ fingers, and other cruel practices that veterinarians profit from. Our Quad Squad also supports Nathan Winograd in the No Kill movement.
I’m most proud to share how my sis Sia diligently worked to name and find a notorious kitten killer. In 2010, after we promoted the anti-crush bill HR5566 in the media, we learned of a video of kittens being tortured and killed. Sia joined a secret Facebook group called Useful Individuals, which identified Luka Magnotta, who was arrested just a year-and-a-half later for a horrendous murder and dismemberment. It was Sia who first announced his name to the media on January 11, 2011 (via Camille Marino of NIO/Negotiation is Over).
We’ve been asked, “If a dog or child is drowning, who would you save?” We reply that compassion has no boundaries. We have to admit we are all hypocrites and part of the problem. We must adopt a practice of “act, don’t react.”
Our one hope for making direct cultural change is in the humane education of youth, teaching that no species has a right to live over another. Until we can respect those of a different race, sex, religion, or species we will always have crime and war.
Hugh Hefner documented the Barbi Twins as his “Legendary Playboy Celebrities,” and an E! Biography says their best-selling Playboy covers made them a household name. Now, Shane and Sia Barbi prefer to be known as vegan authors and animal activists. Shane’s husband, actor Ken Wahl, also helps with their animal causes by lending his name to their cause.