Activists + > Celebrity Interviews

YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD WOMAN DOWN!!!

Kim Hollingsworth came to notoriety due to a court case. She was thrown out of the NSW Police Training Academy when a cadet in 1995, because they found out that she once worked as a stripper and a prostitute. She bravely took the NSW Police Service to court, and won compensation and reinstatement. Even more bravely, she has decided she still wants to be a Police Officer!

Kim firmly believes that her past will give her special insight into assault and sexual assault cases and would also enable her to help protect sex workers.

She's a vegan, and she refuses to wear any wool or leather so she's now campaigning to have a special uniform and boots made for her. Not that our police are a totally bad lot, but a compassionate and caring officer such as Kim would surely be an asset. I spoke with Kim recently and was incredibly impressed with her honesty and integrity.

 

Interview by June Bird, June 2000.

June: Howdy Kim. I've heard that you're a vegan is this right?
Kim: Yes, I've been a vegan for four years but vegetarianism has always been a part of my life. As a child I would always throw the meat on my plate to my dogs because I had found out to my horror that the 'meat' was actually a slaughtered animal.
June: Have you had an difficulties with your veganism?
Kim: Yes, finding products can be hard but things are getting better there seems to be more products around. The Vegan Society here in Australia has made life a lot easier for me that's for sure!
June: What's the best thing about being a vegan for you?
Kim: I don't suffer hypocrisy well and I feel proud that I can proclaim that I am a true animal lover in all ways by being a vegan. I don't ignore animal testing for medical/cosmetic purposes I confront the horrific fallacy that the medical fraternity presents to the world. Experimenting on rats and mice and other animals is an utter waste of time and money. Hypocrites like those who pat animals at displays etc then go home and eat some for dinner are VERY SAD.
June: When you were growing up what helped you become the compassionate person you are today?
Kim:

Well, when I was 18 months old I distinctly remember carrying a white laying hen indoors (much to my mother's horror!) because it might be cold outside. I found out very early on where 'meat' came from so I just refused to eat it. At school, even though I was extremely shy, I would scream ''DON'T STEP ON THE ANTS!'

I was always very passionate about animals always protected even the tiniest of creatures. I have lots of pets but one particular, and very beautiful, mouse died in my hands and I made a promise to her that I would always be a vegan and that's I'd always look after animals. One of my rats even looked after a tiny baby mouse a while back ... I just love them!

June: I've got some lovely mice stories of my own ... we'll have to get together soon and swap 'em!! So, does anyone think your veganism is a fad?
Kim: Cynics say that my lifestyle is a publicity stunt but not those who know me well. A friend said recently 'God, if only they knew that your whole life has been spent defending animals. Those hours you spend in the supermarket reading ingredients on food packets! The number of beetles and snails you pick up off the footpath!' You know I would starve rather than eat an animal that's how dedicated I am to 'the cause'.
June: What do your parents and siblings think about your veganism?
Kim: My father says the media is ridiculing me for my beliefs but he just doesn't understand me. My mother says she'll always eat meat and my siblings say 'Good on you Kim!'
June: I hope that everyone could realise that they don't need to eat animals ... what about you?
Kim: Absolutely! I really hope people realise this fact before they die from blocked heart valves. I also know that curing disease is not the number one answer PREVENTING disease is; getting to the core of the problem. Education is the answer.
June: What do you like to eat Kim?
Kim: I devour copious amounts of soy yoghurt and I adore soy chocolates and carob biscuits. There is also a 'Thai flavoured' tofu that's particularly delicious. Any type of fresh fruit is heaven to me. Breakfast on a typical day would be three Vita Brits and strawberries with soy milk, with some orange juice and toast with marmite on it. Lunch might be bread with hommus and some fruit and dinner might be salad with tofu and bread. I also try to drink one litre of water throughout the day. I snack on my soy yoghurts and I can't resist soy chocolate! My pet rats love soy yoghurt too not to mention trying to steal my soy chocolate!

Left: Here's Kim with two friends. (She's wearing her NSW Police Service T-Shirt.)
Inset: At the academy before her removal. Right: At age 4 we think the animals lke her!

June: Are you a good cook? I ask this because vegan Lindsay McDougall from the punk band Frenzal Rhomb (see interview on this site) cooks up what he calls 'piles of filth' .... can I come around to YOUR place for dinner in complete safety?
Kim: No! Because I was turned off cooking for life as a result of my Home Economics classes at High School. The eggs ... the meat ... aarrgghh! I didn't know how to protest as the teacher was really strict, but I vowed never to cook again and I haven't. I do own some great vegan cookbooks and I'm seriously thinking about cooking up some gorgeous things for my darling rats! I must say though that the raw food/fruitarian angle is very appealing and makes more sense than cooking.
June: Yeah great ... another night for me in front of the telly with beans on toast .... So Kim, what about anyone making fun of your beliefs ... does it happen much?
Kim: Yes, but mainly it's only in a good-natured way well, with a few exceptions. Some unknown members of the public and a few media people were mean ..... and three recruits at the Police Academy laughed and sniggered at the dinner table over some feathers on their chicken just to be cruel to me.
June: How 'far gone' are you with regards to wearing leather and using any other animal products?
Kim: Ha ha I'm SO far gone I'm going to quote a member of the public who wrote into the national newspapers and said that I'm 'off the planet!' Well, I won't eat honey, I won't use beeswax candles, I check everything for animal by-products and if in doubt I don't buy it! I also won't wear silk/wool/leather in any quantity at all. The NSW Police Uniform will be modified for me even if I have to go to Court to enforce this. NOTHING WILL STOP ME!
June: Yup ... that's far gone alright ... and I love it! Can I now please have your thoughts on factory farming Kim.
Kim: It's hideous! I really want to shove all of the people who run these 'farms' into the same conditions their animals live in. I would cut off the battery hen farmer's nose (just like debeaking); I would ensure the pig farmer fainted from overcrowding, I would castrate the cattle farmer without anaesthetic and I would justify it by saying 'But you're just dumb humans'.
June: Zoos, circuses with animals and rodeos what's your thoughts here?
Kim: Well with zoos it's humans destroying animal habitats and with circuses I believe that the audience is as guilty as the circus owners who are promoting cruelty as fun. And as for rodeos well they're just crappy, cheap forms of an excuse for 'entertainment'.
June: Is there any particular area of animal exploitation that you find really disturbing?
Kim: Yes, feeding rats, mice and guinea pigs LIVE to snakes. The rodents have no chance to escape it's like a human being thrown into a pit with a hungry lion. Rats, for instance, are highly intelligent and are petrified as you can imagine. In the wild the rodent has a fighting chance to flee. This practice is outlawed in England and there are ways to make deceased rodents edible for snakes. I worked in a pet shop just to save all of the mice/rats/guinea pigs and to re-educate snake owners as to feeding practices and easing their snakes onto devouring dead rodents.
June: I absolutely ADORE rats and mice too ... can't wait to meet yours Kim! Okay, so what about vego police friends do you have many of them?
Kim: I have never met a NSW Police Officer who's vegetarian or vegan. I have heard of a very courageous Victorian Police Officer who is vegan though. Most are carnivores I have no friends here!
June: How has your health been since you went vegan?
Kim: What an improvement! I used to be tired all of the time and couldn't run for even 30 seconds. Now I'm alert, active and I NEVER get colds, period pains or sore throats anymore.
June: Stupid question I suppose ... but have you encouraged others to eat a veggie diet?
Kim: Of course! I do this though in a good-natured manner. For instance, I told one girl I would bring her lunch, so the next day I brought her in a tofu dish and she thought it was chicken! I told her afterwards that it was all vegan, and she couldn't believe it. I also introduced her to soy chocolate and soy yoghurt. People always comment on my figure and I take this opportunity to mention my diet and how I acquired this body! I guess you've got to relate to people with their interests in mind.
June: Vitamin supplements do you take them?
Kim: No, though I do have a bottle at home! It's never been opened and of course it's totally vegan. I give my animals Vitamin C tablets as a precaution guinea pigs can't manufacture Vitamin C. They must have a good supply through green leafy vegetables or tablets however, I provide both!
June: Protesting for animals rights what's next on the agenda for you?
Kim: Absolutely ANYTHING that I can do to further animal right you can be assured that I'll be there! I support quite a few Australian animal rights organisations and gaining permission to have a 100% vegan NSW Police uniform is high on my list of priorities at the moment. I continue to support causes like anti-battery hen groups and others but I really want to outlaw all animal cruelty including vivisection, medical/cosmetic experiments.
June: Do you think you've influenced many people towards a more compassionate way of living?
Kim: If I have been 'influencing' even just one person to be kinder to animals then that makes me feel wonderful. I just know that I won't EVER stop trying to alert people to the plight of the animals.
June: What do you want everybody to know about veganism and animal rights Kim?
Kim: I want people who don't care about animals to know that if they come back as an animal they'll sure know what I'm talking about! Veganism would solve a lot of the world's problems I'm absolutely positive about that.
June: What are your plans for the future Kim?
Kim: I hope to be a NSW Police Officer in a beautiful vegan uniform. I guess that nobody has ever refused to wear a NSW Police Uniform before, so this controversy gets them thinking. All through the court case the legal people all knew how strict a vegan I am. I think I've created a lot of discussion and I guess the smart ones will work out what's right in this world. I've devoted my life to actively help all animals and, in the name of my beautiful, big, squishy boy rat Casper I will continue this with a passion forever!
June: Thanks Kim great to talk with you. Can't wait to meet your rats and other assorted creatures ... and ... get some of that yummy soy choccy ready for me too!