Lane is also known for her animal rights activism and, until 2009, ran an animal sanctuary, Animaline, in Horsted Keynes, West Sussex. Animal rights is a theme that has appeared in her writing; for example, the character Darwin in Luv is a member of an animal rights group. Lane was awarded an OBE in 1989, but returned it in protest at the CBE awarded to the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a contract animal testing laboratory.
In the 1960s she wrote short stories and radio scripts. Her first successes came in collaboration with Myra Taylor (died 22 March 2012), whom she had met at a writers' workshop in Liverpool, before she embarked on a solo career. Carla and Myra would often meet at the Adelphi hotel in Liverpool to write.
Lane returned her OBE in 2002 in protest at the award of a CBE to Brian Cass, managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences. HLS has been at the centre of numerous animal rights protests for its use of animals in the development and testing of drugs. Upon returning her award, she received a handwritten reply from Tony Blair who said that she deserved the honour and that it would be kept in case she changed her mind and wanted it back.
In 1997, she was deceived by Chris Morris and his satirical TV show, Brass Eye, into taking part in a fake discussion, where she claimed that before one of her pet guinea pigs died, it had "washed its little face". It remains unclear Template:Citation needed whether she actually said this, or whether it was the result of editing by Morris, who uses such techniques in other episodes Template:Citation needed.
- 1969–78, 96 The Liver Birds (with Myra Taylor and others)
- 1971–76 Bless This House (with Myra Taylor and others)
- 1974 No Strings
- 1975 Going, Going, Gone... Free?
- 1977 Three Piece Suite
- 1978–83, 2000 Butterflies
- 1981–83 The Last Song
- 1981–82 Solo
- 1984–85 Leaving
- 1985–87 The Mistress
- 1985 I Woke Up One Morning
- 1986–91 Bread
- 1992 Screaming
- 1993–94 Luv
- 1995 Searching