Katie Cleary always knew she was destined for bigger things. Her interest in becoming an actress drove her to move from the Midwest to Los Angeles, shortly after graduating college with a business and marketing degree. However, she also had a passion for helping animals and eventually used what she learned in the entertainment industry to further pursue her need to help save wildlife from around the world. Katie founded her charity Peace 4 Animals at a young age and went on to create the first four-legged-focused, global information channel called World Animal News.
This August, Katie released her second award-winning documentary, Why On Earth, featuring Clint Eastwood, which she directed and produced. The film highlights the negative effects of deforestation, illegal wildlife trafficking, and the people fighting on the ground to save these animals from extinction and is currently working on her third film about the wolves of Yellowstone Park.
Herein the big-hearted artist details how she did it.
Find your passion
“Growing up in Chicago, my family and I would find injured wildlife such as birds that had fallen out of a nest, baby squirrels or orphaned raccoons and take them to our vet and then rehab them. When they were strong enough we would release them back into the wild. In 2012, when I started my foundation Peace 4 Animals, we focused on the protection of endangered species while working to help save all animals. The key is to make your passion your work. It’s what drives me every day. I wake up knowing that I want to make the world a better place, because of my love for this planet that we call home.”
Find your allies
“Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals that have a mission to pass legislation for animal protection is also very important. To create real change, you need to pass laws on a federal and state level. Teaming up with people in the film industry so as to create eye-opening documentaries has also been critically important to mainstream animal welfare on a global scale. Our first film, Give Me Shelter, premiered on Netflix in 2015 and our latest film, Why On Earth, premiered last month on streaming platforms including Apple, Amazon, and Google Play.”
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Find your belief system
“My faith has really been the main factor in my success while helping me get through some difficult times. I have prayed for clarity on which direction to take and God has always shown me the right path. I am very thankful that I can use my career in entertainment as a platform for something so much greater.”