Dan Mathews is the Senior Vice President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He is known for heading PETA's most controversial and attention-getting campaigns, including the "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" ads, as well as campaigns involving celebrities such as Morrissey, Pamela Anderson, Pink, and Paul McCartney.
In 2000, he was named by gay lifestyle magazine Genre as one of the most influential people of the new century.[volume & issue needed] When asked by the magazine whom he considered an influential gay person, he replied, spree killer "Andrew Cunanan, because he got Gianni Versace to stop using fur." In 2007, Mathews was ranked 37th in Out magazine's "50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America".
Mathews has written a memoir, Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir, which he characterized as "an adventure story. It's like 007 wearing freaky outfits". Committed was published in the USA by Atria books in 2007 and in the U.K. by Duckworth Overlook in 2009. The book tells the story of how he became a public person, the various exploits he's undertaken for PETA, and different campaigns he has done.
In May 2009 he commented on the actions of the governor general of Canada who, in participating in an Inuit tradition, consumed a raw seal heart. He is quoted as saying to the Toronto Star, "It amazes us that a Canadian official would indulge in such bloodlust. It sounds like she's trying to give Canadians an even more Neanderthal image around the world than they already have." Although Mathews admits to being attracted by extremes, he states that he and PETA engage exclusively in legal activities, but they do not necessarily condemn the actions of animal rights extremists.
- Oxfield, Jesse, Idov, Michael (March 4, 2007), ‘Out’ Ranks the Top 50 Gays; Anderson Is No. 2, New York Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
- Wilson, Craig (April 11, 2007), Crusader's 'Committed' is a monument to PETA power, USA Today. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir (review)". Book review & textbook buyback site BlueRectangle.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- Mitch Potter. "Row erupts over Governor General's seal taste" The Toronto Star May 26, 2009
- Emma Brockes. "Dan Mathews of Peta: 'I've always been drawn to extremes'" The Guardian May 28, 2009
- Mathews, Dan, 'Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir, Atria Books, 2007. ISBN 0-7432-9187-5
- Mathews, Dan, 'Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir', Duckworth Overlook, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7156-3846-0
- Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoirs from Duckworth Overlook site
- Dan Mathews in conversation with Richard Fidler (audio available)