Are you sick of hearing about about celebrities that are jumping in and out of rehab, posting selfies, and being arrested in Toronto for allegedly assaulting a limo driver a week after being arrested in Miami? Don’t despair! There are actually celebrities who use their high-profile star power for good, drawing the media’s attention to messages of advocacy. Check out some stars who spend their private time helping animals and fighting against animal cruelty.
British comedian Ricky Gervais, the mastermind behind the original The Office and Spaced is known for his biting wit, but he doesn’t find animal testing at all amusing. A well known animal lover, Gervais is the spokesperson and public face for Cruelty Free International, an organization working with the sole purpose of banning the worldwide use of cosmetic animal testing. In a video with Cruelty Free International, a subdued and serious Gervais asks for the ending of the “cruel and unecessary” product testing on animals. Animal testing for cosmetics is still allowed in most of the world,” he says. “That means thousands of animals can continue to die for the sake of a new shampoo. Which is ridiculous.”
Gervais has also worked with PETA, and voiced a video with them against the use of fur in fashion. He has also been involved with Animal Defenders International, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Humane Society International, Tiger Time, Hauser Bears, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
Watch Gervais’ video for Cruelty Free International here.
Sherlock Holmes star Jude Law has made news lately testifying in the UK phone hacking scandal that revealed an immediate family member was selling salacious stories to the press detailing information about his private relationships with Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller. However, when Law makes his own news, he uses his star power to discuss animal advocacy. As well as being a spokesperson for Cruelty Free International alongside Gervais, Law has been known to take things into his own hands. Days after the beginning of the 2013 seal hunt in Canada, Law wrote a letter to the World Trade Organization on PETA’s behalf, asking that the European Union uphold their EU wide ban on seal fur. Law is involved in various other charities and not for profits, including Peace One Day, Greenpeace, and Make Poverty History.
You wouldn’t be able to tell from watching The Walking Dead, however the actor who plays Daryl “shoots everything” Dixon is actually an animal lover. That’s right. Reedus has joined Ricky Gervais and Jude Law in supporting Cruelty Free International, this time urging the US to ban cosmetic animal testing. He’s quoted by the Huffington Post as saying, “Please support Cruelty Free International and its global campaign to ban cosmetic tests on animals… if we all do just that then perhaps we can make 2014 the year in which we helped to save the lives of thousands of animals.”
Television personality Ellen DeGeneres is very outspoken when it comes to charitable causes, and supports over 30 charities and foundations that look improving situations for humans and animals alike. DeGeneres has been a vegan since 2008, and has used her show to shed light on animal abuse and mistreatment, and to advocate animal rights.
Despite the controversy of Ellen working with Covergirl, a company owned by Proctor and Gamble who conduct animal testing, she has been recognized by PETA as Woman of the Year 2009 for making an amazing effort for activating for animal rights to a large audience. She has worked to expose the mistreatment of animals through family farming by bringing numerous animal activists on to her show, and has spearheaded campaigns to encourage people to adopt pets from local shelters.
Ellen has also worked with The Gentle Barn, Best Friends Animal Society, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Farm Sanctuary, Halo Pet Foundation, Heifer International, The Humane Society, and the Society for Animal Protective Legislation. Ellen is quoted by the Examiner as saying, “I’ve always said I like speaking for animals, because they can’t speak for themselves.”
Hey girl, help me fight against gestation crates. Canadian heartthrob Ryan Gosling spends a lot of his free time campaigning against animal cruelty. In April 2013, he penned a letter on behalf of PETA to the CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation urging him to require farmers to phase out the practice of dehorning dairy cows, a cruel practice that involves burning (with either a hot iron or chemical compound) and gouging sensitive tissue with sharp tools (like a guillotine dehorner, or a saw), and asking for the breeding of naturally unhorned cows.
Gosling also wrote an article, called “A Tiny Cage is Not a Life” for The Globe and Mail in July 2013 against the practice of gestation cages for female pigs, where pigs are kept in cages so small they can’t even turn around while they are impregnated, give birth, and then are re-impregnated. The Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council released a code of practice that disallowed for female pigs to spend their whole lives in gestation crates, but left a loophole that allowed for them to be locked in gestation crates for up to five weeks at a time. As Gosling says, “Over a pig’s short life, which is just four years long, this amounts to about nine months of solitary confinement in a cage so small she can’t even turn her own body around.” Gosling also owns a dog, George, which he has taken on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Yes, Tyrion Lannister is a champion for animal rights too! Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage has been a vegetarian since he was 16, and says in a testimonial he did for PETA, “I love animals. All animals. I wouldn’t hurt a cat or a dog— or a chicken, or a cow. And I wouldn’t ask someone else to hurt them for me. That’s why I’m a vegetarian.”
He also has joined Norman Reedus and Ricky Gervais in supporting Cruelty Free International to help promote alternatives to cosmetic animal testing, and is also a supporter of Farm Sanctuary.
Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell has been a vegetarian since she was 11 years old, and is a tireless advocate for animal rights. She spoke out alongside Ryan Gosling for the better care of pregnant pigs, has worked with The Humane Society to launch a project to help rescue dogs and cats from extreme situations, and was voted Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity in the female category in 2013. Now a vegan, she says, “I had a hard time disassociating the animals I cuddled with—dogs and cats, for example—from the animals on my plate, and I never really cared for the taste of meat. I always loved my Brussels sprouts!” PETA reported.
Kristen has also done work with The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, The Onyx and Breezy Foundation, and the Humane Society.
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