On Animal Protection: An Interview with Erin Connor
Erin Connor made a name as an experienced actress in Australia. She has also proven her talent as an exceptional voice-over actress and presenter. With such a fierce passion for film and the arts, it may be surprising for some to know that she is among those Australian celebrities who love animals and a strong advocate for animal protection and preservation.
Even when she is working on set, her tenderness and warmth towards animals never go unnoticed by the people she has worked with. There are many things that have influenced her love for animals. From an early age, she was exposed to a life of caring and looking after animals – a trait she still carries up to this day. In this interview, Erin shares how it all started as well as how it has shaped her as a professional actress.
Q: When did your love for animal protection start? Can you recall an experience that really changed this aspect of your life?
A: My love for animal protection started at a very young age. I learnt through my parents especially my mother who was the daughter of a prolific explorer, Captain Neptune Blood. He studied and discovered many species of fauna and fauna in the 1940s and 50s, particularly the highlands of Papua New Guinea where my mother and my big sister were both born.
My mother went on to be a nurse but also became the ‘go-to’ wildlife rescuer (of our own) rehabilitation centre – our family home in the stunning tropical northern New South Wales of Australia, near the famous Byron Bay area.
I watched and learnt everything about animals and I care so very deeply about them.
Q: How did it shape your career as an actress?
A: I definitely think my upbringing around animals and on a tropical fruit farm has shaped my career. I find I can relate to and gauge environments better somehow. I am known for my love of and skills in these areas and so I’m asked to be a part of productions that require them.
Q: Have you turned down certain projects because of this?
A: I have only turned down presenting types of campaigns that were promoting circuses that I don’t believe were the healthiest environments for the wildlife they had involved. I actually then protested with friends. This was years ago; things have improved a lot in Australia since then, I’m pleased to say.
Q: How does this passion for animal protection affect your daily life?
A: I just do my best to lead by example. I don’t push my opinions on anyone, only if there is something against the law or close enough to home will I step in. I feel guilty about how much destruction humans have caused to the natural world. I encourage children to be curious and interact and learn and love animals in my day. If I can keep doing that then that's how I feel I can contribute. I have some documentary projects I’m working on that will be another excellent pathway to contribute in the best way I can.
Q: Why do you think should people care more about this?
A: Society, I believe, could learn so much for animals. So many are missing out on just how incredible animals are: birds, fish, reptiles, mammal, amphibians and invertebrates. I wish that every child could have the opportunity to look after an animal.
I’m so lucky in my life. It has opened my heart more in a way and I have so much care and empathy in life and for one another.
Q: If you have a message to the audience, what would it be?
A: All creatures great and small can teach us so much. We must protect it for our grandchildren. As the legend David Attenborough said,
“People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and pleasure.”