With shock and sadness I write to tell you that Cliff
Kaminsky was killed in a hiking accident last weekend. He was 34.
Cliff was a friend and activist well known to us in Los
Angeles, but also to many throughout the country, due to his significant
involvement with many national animal protection groups. His warm and easy
manner, intelligence, and his attention to detail, made him the perfect
person for event planning; he served on many committees for fundraising
He also wrote countless letters on behalf of the animals.
When Cliff first became involved in animal rights, in 2000, he volunteered
for some time as a correspondent for PETA.
And he was "out there," protesting and contributing in
various ways. He took footage of elephants chained and swaying at
circuses, footage used by groups working to end the abuse.
His professional work was in acoustics.
Cliff was a talented musician, who played on Friday nights
at Sloopys in Manhattan Beach. He could listen to a song on the radio and
figure out how to play it immediately. Parties at his house turned into
You'll find a picture of him with his Detroit band, Ape 7,
Cliff, the vocalist, is in the foreground of the photo -- the man kind of
giving the thumbs up sign.
The funeral will be in Maryland, where Cliff's mother
lives, this Tuesday, June 8. If you would like to be kept abreast of
details of the funeral and information on where the family would like
donations to go in Cliff's name, you can get back to me on email. Anna
West, a friend of Cliff's from PETA, will keep us up to date.
Cliff's legacy is impressive. I share with you, below, one
of the last contributions I know he made -- a letter printed in the Los
Angeles Times. It is hard to understand why he, of all people, was taken
Los Angeles Times
May 12, 2004 Wednesday
FOOD; Features Desk; Part F; Pg. 2
It is troubling that after such a noticeable lack of
coverage of the foie gras issue, the Los Angeles Times would choose to
print such a load of drivel as David Shaw's article (Matters of Taste:
"They're Quacking up the Wrong Tree," May 5). First he says that animal
rights activists make "the anti-abortion movement look positively
passive." Rubbish. No animal rights activist has ever shot and killed a
doctor. Most animal rights activists are against harming any living being.
Second, he argues that the suffering of ducks doesn't matter because the
ducks were raised for that purpose. Many slaves were born in captivity
also. That doesn't mean it was any less painful or more humane.
Go on to Do Or Die
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