Democracy Dies in Darkness

Reliable Source

Cause Celeb: Kate Mara petitions USDA on animal abuse records

By Emily Heil

June 7, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Kate Mara on June 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Humane Society of the United States )

Cause: Getting the Department of Agriculture to restore deleted records of inspections and violations of animal cruelty laws at facilities like puppy mills, zoos, circuses and animal research centers.

Celeb: Actress Kate Mara (yep, she's also the scion of the NFL-team-owning Rooney/Mara families), who played ambitious journalist Zoe Barnes on the dark political drama "House of Cards" — a character who made waiting on a D.C. Metro platform an anxiety-producing exercise. Mara is starring in the movie "Megan Leavey" about a Marine and her service dog, making the cause of animal rights a perfectly on-brand one.

Scene: Mara, looking edgy-professional in black jeans, blazer and oxford shoes, joined a cluster of sign-wielding Humane Society activists on the Mall near USDA headquarters, where they planned to deliver a petition with 155,000 signatures to the agency seeking to make public the records, which were taken down from the agency website in February. As Mara stood behind a mic with Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), several stray tourists stopped to gawk.

Sound bite: "I am just one of millions across the country who demand transparency and demand decency from the USDA," she said.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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