Do all celebrities line up behind causes just to give themselves a bit more publicity? Do they really care about the Keystone Pipeline, homeless animals or the victims of Superstorm Sandy?
I can’t speak for all of them, but there’s no doubt that these five, my top picks for celebrity activists of 2012, are motivated by a deep sense of commitment to their causes.
1. Ted Danson may be better known for his acting roles, such as playing Sam Malone on the TV series “Cheers.” But for over 25 years, he has also been an environmental activist working to alert the world to the critical condition of the Earth’s oceans.
Danson is the co-founder of American Oceans Campaign (AOC), an organization devoted to safeguarding the vitality of the oceans and our coastal waters, and his passion for the ocean dominates his life. He’s even been known to chase senators into elevators trying to get them to listen. His work on this cause has earned him respect and a high profile in both environmental and political circles. His wife Mary Steenbergen is also an activist.
2. Lou Wegner heads up one of the country’s fastest-growing animal rescue organizations.
Wegner, a 16-year-old actor and singer from Columbus, Ohio, started Kids Against Animal Cruelty on Facebook when he was 14. The organization works to encourage adoptions at high-kill animal shelters and has helped 20,000 pets escape euthanasia in two years. The teen became aware of euthanasia at shelters when he went to Los Angeles to make the short film “Be Good to Eddie Lee.”
When the director suggested that he volunteer at an animal shelter, he discovered that far from being a safe haven for animals, many shelters were killing their occupants. His group now has more than 12,000 U.S. members and 50,000 members, supporters and partner coalitions across the globe.
First Photo: gloriadawsonphoto; second photo: screenshot from YouTube video
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