Paul McCartney Serenades Capacity Crowd at PETA's 35th Anniversary Event

PETA 35th Anniversary Gala - H 2015
Getty Images/Courtesy of PETA

PETA 35th Anniversary Gala - H 2015

Celebs including Alicia Silverstone and Jason Biggs were recognized for their animal activism and treated to an exclusive performance by Sir Paul.

Animal activism took center stage at the Hollywood Palladium during the 35th anniversary of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Sept. 30, and while the org's furry friends received their share of the spotlight, it was Paul McCartney who stole the show. 

After the attendees were presented with an all-vegan meal followed by a parade of celebs during the awards ceremony, the ex-Beatle played an exclusive show featuring such hits as “Looking for Changes" (a song written specifically for animals rights), “Let it Be,” “Hey Jude,” "Lady Madonna" and "Drive My Car."

Pamela Anderson and Anjelica Huston hosted the celebration where Alicia SilverstoneJason BiggsBill MaherJames Cromwell and Jillian Michaels, among others, accepted awards. These celebrities have influenced individuals to become vegan — rapper RZA and actress Maggie Q. were recognized for their vegan campaigns — and to think more sustainably with their fashion choices, honorees said. 

Huston, who opened the awards ceremony, delivered a remark that had an impact on the audience: "Did you know that tortoises can play computer games? That pigeons can solve logic puzzles? That sheep can recognize and remember human faces? Animals have complex languages."

One of the lighter moments of the night came courtesy of comedian George Lopez. He filled the room with laughter when making personal remarks about Donald Trump’s oft-controversial campaign rhetoric. “They told me not to say this, but PETA and I have joined up and we started PETL — People for the Ethical Treatment of Latinos."

When Biggs was presented the Humanitarian Award, he used the opportunity to take a jab at SeaWorld. “Thank you, SeaWorld. Without you, those gorgeous orcas would be free to swim with their families in the oceans they belong in. Instead, they are jailed in your horrible excuses for theme parks, and as a result, I get to stand up here accepting this award.”

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said she was overjoyed by the turnout. “I ask each of you to pledge tonight that you will never ever be silent in the face of cruelty to animals, ever,” Newkirk said. “For 35 years, PETA has had help from Hollywood’s brightest starts to show the world how vital it is to recognize the rights of animals and how easy it is to live without harming them.”

As for longtime PETA supporter Anderson, the actress said she felt right at home. “It’s like family, I know everybody here pretty much and everyone’s an animal lover, it’s the most comfortable place to be,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.