Alicia Silverstone is hoping to make a powerful point about animal rights by baring (almost) all.
Silverstone stripped down for a new People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign, unveiled Tuesday. Shot by photographer Brian Bowen Smith, the ad shows the “Clueless” actor striking a “Birth of Venus”-style pose in a cacti-filled desert, wearing nothing but a pair of faux leather boots.
“Don’t be a prick,” the campaign’s slogan reads. “Wear vegan.”
In a behind-the-scenes video released in conjunction with the ad, Silverstone explained that she made a conscious decision never to appear nude in film or on television over the course of her Hollywood career.
Doing so for a good cause, however, was a different matter entirely.
“There’s this idea that leather is somehow better for the earth,” she said in the clip. “But what they don’t realize is the amount of resources, water, food, oil for transport, the amount of energy that goes into making leather is extraordinary. It’s just not sustainable. The earth can’t handle it.”
Watch a video from Alicia Silverstone’s PETA campaign below.
Later, Silverstone urges consumers to opt for plant-based leathers, such as those made from mushrooms and pineapples. In a sentiment that would no doubt be shared by her “Clueless” character, Cher Horowitz, she’s hopeful such products would one day be embraced by high fashion, too.
“My dream is to get these earth-friendly, vegan materials into the hands of the greatest designers,” she said. “I’d rather go naked than wear animals.”
A billboard featuring Silverstone’s ad was unveiled this week in New York’s Times Square ahead of the city’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Silverstone went vegan in 1999 and, since then, has emerged as a staunch advocate for animal rights and adapting to a plant-based lifestyle.
Calling herself “a professional salad maker,” the actor told Bustle that she believes her most famous character would share her values.
“I love to think that Cher would totally be on board with being vegan,” she quipped in April. “Because she woke up at the end, she stopped being materialistic and started to understand, with the help of [Paul Rudd’s character] Josh, that the world could use a lot of healing and love. So I like to think she would have evolved into someone that would be on my side.”