Dan Mathews

Dan Mathews (born October 24, 1964) is the senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He is known for creating PETA's most newsworthy campaigns, including the "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" ads, as well as campaigns involving celebrities such as Alec Baldwin,[1] Pamela Anderson, Pink, and Paul McCartney. He has been profiled by the NY Times, USA Today, and Wall St. Journal and has lectured on animal rights and veganism at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Oxford and Cambridge.

Dan Mathews
Dan Mathews in 2010
Born (1964-10-24) October 24, 1964
Alma materAmerican University
Occupation(s)Senior Vice President of PETA and an author

Mathews is best known for heading PETA's successful fashion campaigns, having persuaded designers like Michael Kors and Calvin Klein to stop using fur,[2] and working with Tim Gunn[3] to promote animal-free materials at Fashion Week events and through programs at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).[4] In 2020, Mathews convinced Tommy Hilfiger to ban exotic animal skins after reports showed that the wild animal trade posed risks to spawning zoonotic diseases like COVID-19.[5]

In 2000, Mathews was named by gay lifestyle magazine Genre as one of the most influential people of the new millennium, and in 2007, Mathews was ranked 37th in Out magazine's "50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America".[6]

Mathews has written two acclaimed memoirs published by Atria/Simon & Schuster.[7] Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir was published in the US and Australia in 2007, and in the UK, Italy, Germany and France over the following decade. "Committed is a bold, offbeat globe-trotting memoir that shows how the most ridiculed punching bag in high school became an internationally renowned crusader for the most downtrodden individuals of all - animals.".[8] Like Crazy: Life with my Mother and her Invisible Friends was published in 2020. In this book, Mathews writes about caring for his clever, schizophrenic mother in her last years. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote "Mathews conveys potentially heavy and gut-wrenching family crises with page-turning style and heaps of wit."[9] In 2021, Jeopardy host and neurologist Mayim Bialik featured Mathews on her mental health podcast Bialik's Breakdown to launch the paperback edition of "Like Crazy".[10]

See also


  • Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir, 2007[11]
  • Like Crazy: Life with my Mother and her Invisible Friends, 2020[12]


  1. "Dan Mathews | Here's the Thing". WNYC Studios. August 18, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  2. Fickenscher, Lisa (December 16, 2017). "Michael Kors will no longer use fur in its designs". New York Post. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  3. Holmes, Elizabeth (March 10, 2011). "Less Paint, More Parties". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  4. "How PETA Became a Sustainability Resource". cfda.com. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  5. Feitelberg, Rosemary (September 10, 2020). "PVH Corp. Said to Agree to Stop Using Exotic Skins, After Appeals by PETA". WWD. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  6. Oxfield, Jesse, Idov, Michael (March 4, 2007), 'Out' Ranks the Top 50 Gays; Anderson Is No. 2 Archived June 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, New York Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
  7. "Dan Mathews". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  8. "Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir (review)". Book review & BlueRectangle.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  9. "Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends by Dan Mathews". www.publishersweekly.com. August 11, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  10. "Bialik Breakdown". www.bialikbreakdown.com. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  11. Mathews, Dan (2014). Committed: a rabble-rouser's memoir. Atria Books. OCLC 893123943. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  12. Mathews, Dan (2021). Like crazy: life with my mother and her invisible friends. OCLC 1255766172. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  • Dan Mathews in conversation with Richard Fidler (audio available)
  • MikeyPod podcast interview with Dan Matthews.
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