Member Profile: James Costa
As someone who has devoted his life to helping worthy causes, James Costa has always had a bond with animals. But it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that the protection of animals became a central part of his life.
He began learning about the health and environmental issues raised by a carnivorous diet. He noticed that many people turn their backs on animal suffering, and he just couldn’t do that.
“You have to face it and be brave,” says James. “That little piece of meat or dairy product is not worth all the suffering it entails to get it.”
After James saw the movie Earthlings at an animal rights event, he decided he was done with meat. Going vegan was fairly easy, he found; it was just an adjustment of taste and feel. His motivation came from knowing he was easing suffering—of the environment, animals, and his health.
James believes in personal responsibility with the issues he cares about. He believes in getting involved, being more than a name on a check. With his partner John, he gives to organizations that they’ve investigated and developed close relationships with. He became interested in PCRM when friends described PCRM’s work on behalf of animals and people. But everything really fell into place when he met fellow PCRM member Cindy Landon, who encouraged him to get more involved (and who will be hosting PCRM’s 2010 Art of Compassion Gala at her Malibu estate).
To help make the PCRM’s 25th anniversary gala a huge success, James has generously taken a leadership role as chair of the steering committee, and he and John recently hosted a pre-gala kickoff event at their home in the Hollywood Hills.
“We all have to take responsibility,” says James. “We’re all on this earth together, and we have to take the initiative to make changes. The more we work together, the more power we have to change things.”