If you had five minutes with President Obama what would you say to him or ask him? This very same scenario was presented to Kristin Bauer van Straten (Pamela Sywnford de Beaufort) by writer Robin Bronk for the website the Washington Scene. When she isn’t acting on shows like True Blood or most recently Once Upon a Time, Bauer van Straten spends her time advocating for animal and environmental causes. So she’s no stranger to the political. Among other things, Kristin was also asked where she would send the President if she had the choice and what book she would recommend to him.
Five minutes alone in the Oval Office with the leader of the free world is nothing to sneeze at. The president meets with many people every day to discuss various issues. If Kristin was given the opportunity, she says she’d ask him about two things close to her heart; animals and the way food is manufactured:
“I can’t imagine how full his plate is — mine is pretty full, and I’m not the leader of the free world — but he also has much more help than I.
I know he is aware of these issues and, of course, many more, but an area I am very concerned about is the safety and treatment of our animals and our food. At the least we have the right to know what we are eating with full labeling. Animals also have a right to not be enslaved and tortured, not to mention the devastating effect farmed animals and engineered food may have on our bodies and the body of Earth. The impact of factory farms makes cars look like air purifiers.”
But the actress told Bronk that she wouldn’t go as far as to give the President advice about his job because that would be like asking him for advice on how to be an actor. She did however express her concern about the roles corporations play in politics and how the money they donate to campaigns and to other political causes affect the planet in the end. The earth, she says, would be just fine without us humans. We however, really need Earth. As for one question she would ask him, Kristin kept her answer simple but it is none the less thoughtful:
“…When does the ends truly justify the means, and when does it not? Can you do mostly good, while being supported by and in turn helping corporations, whose only measure of “good” is profit, and how do you continue to weigh that out? As I believe we all must ask ourselves, in some measure, in our daily lives, if we are to get to continue to sustainably borrow Earth for our home, and also sleep in good conscience at the end of the day.”
The book Kristin would lend the President relates to the promise he made to label genetically modified foods. It is entitled the Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and she describes it as an even handed book with no political agenda that looks at food. Given the fact that the First Lady has an organic garden, she suspects that they might enjoy the read.
If she could send President Obama anywhere, Kristin takes a science fiction approach and states that she’d like to find a time machine and send him back in time to see Thomas Jefferson. But don’t expect her to take on a political career of her own any time soon:
”…I am an artist. Period. Plus, my dad used to say, “You sleep with dogs, you get fleas.” No offense to dogs, as I sleep with mine every night. But I’m hopeful that some good folks have skin thick enough to work there — I just hope they also have good memories: of a time of freedom with character.”
To read the interview in its entirety click here.
Source: The Washington Scene.the Hill.com- “My 5 Minutes with the President: Kristin Bauer”
Image Credit: Animal Legal Defense Fund