7 Celebrity Activists Who Love Helping Animals

In most instances, I couldn’t care less about what celebrities do with their private time. They’re just people, albeit with absurd amounts of money, and even that doesn’t make me interested in what they’re wearing or what stupid thing they named their baby.

Occasionally, however, a celebrity surprises me by acting like a contributing member of society. Every once in a while, celebrities actually put all that money and media attention to good use by attracting attention to a worthy cause or social issue.

Take the seven celebrities listed here, for instance. Each one has used their influence to create awareness about issues involving animals, from factory farming to eco-friendly products that protect pets and the planet from unnecessary toxins.

If you’re looking for some good news among all the crap about perfume lines and romantic scandals, this is the celebrity slideshow for you.

Ryan Gosling Animal ActivistImage: Xoyos.com

Ryan Gosling

Earlier this month, Gosling wrote an op-ed for The Globe and Mail. Rather than promoting his latest movie, the article took a stand against the horrifying conditions in which commercial animals are kept before they meet the unfortunate fate of becoming our food.

Pigs in tiny crates suffer beyond anything most of us can easily imagine, wrote Gosling. They are unable even to turn around for weeks at a time, so that their muscles and bones deteriorate. And these extremely social and intelligent animals lose their minds from being denied any social or psychological stimulation at all.

I applaud NFACC [Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council] for working to improve life for Canada’s pigs, and I join Farm Sanctuary and Humane Society International in asking that it close this dangerous loophole by prohibiting the pork industry from confining pigs for weeks at a time – something I would never dream of doing to George, and that no compassionate Canadian would ever do to any animal.

(Stand with Ryan Gosling and help pigs in tiny crates by signing this Care2 petition.)

Image: ronpaulrevolt2008

Ellen DeGeneres

There are dozens of reasons to love Ellen DeGeneres, not the least of which is the fact that she makes pet care and animal rights issues a regular element of her television show. Initiatives to find animals loving homes appear regularly on the Ellen website, and in 2008, she became part owner of Halo, a world-renowned holistic pet care products company.

Image via David Shankbone

Kristen Bell

A vegetarian since she was 11 years-old, Kristin Bell fostered animals from Michigan Humane Society and she now supports the San Diego based Helen Woodward Animal Center. She also took the top honor in PETA’s “World’s Sexiest Vegetarians” award in 2006, and told the organization of her how her love for animals led her to choose that lifestyle.

“I have always been an animal lover. 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!”

willie nelson animal activistImage: Wikimedia Commons

Willie Nelson

Making music isn’t the only thing Willie Nelson has been working on for the better part of the last 40 years. Nelson is also an outspoken animal rights advocate. In 2011, Nelson, a dog lover who lends his famous name to the Best Friends Animal Society, “spoke out in favor of Ohio House Bill 14, which would remove a law that declares certain breeds vicious, i.e., canine profiling. Nelson, a long time dog lover and animal rights activist, published a letter asking Ohio residents in support of the bill to contact their state senators.”

Kesha Animal ActivistImage via Wikimedia Commons

Ke$ha

If you’re over 30 years of age, you may have no idea who Ke$ha is, but rest assured your nieces, nephews, and younger siblings do. When not performing in over the top concerts, this pop music diva uses popularity as a mouthpiece for animal rights. “She has spoken out against cruelty to wild animals like seals, lions and sharks, as well as supporting cruelty-free cosmetics. Her outspoken approach to animal rights has earned her the 2013 Wyler Award from The Humane Society of the United States.”

Image via PetFoodIndustry.com

Rachael Ray

Like many of us, celebrity chef Rachael Ray was heartbroken by the number of pets who end up in shelters simply because an irresponsible owner abandoned them. To help create awareness of this problem and find these precious animals a loving home, Ray started her own line of pet food, called Nutrish. If you visit her website, you’ll find a page called “Rachael’s Rescue” which states that a portion of the proceeds from the sales of her products is donated to organizations dedicated to helping animals in need.

russell simmons animal activistImage via Wikimedia Commons

Russell Simmons

For many the name Russell Simmons is synonymous with some of the most notorious rap and hip hop acts of the past few decades. It may come as a surprise to know that despite his tough exterior, Simmons is also a vegan and animal rights activist who practices yoga. He was awarded the PETA 2011 Person of the Year Award, advocates for the reporting of animal cruelty, and started a vegan line of clothing that is fur, wool and leather-free.

What celebrities do you admire because of their willingness to speak up for animals? Share them in a comment!

Image via Thinkstock

186 comments

Anne C.
Anne C.9 days ago

Hi everyone. Please sign my petition to save Tomi the Bear who lives a lonely, miserable, hungry life in a filthy cage as entertainment for the customers to an Albanian restaurant. Tomi was taken from his natural habitat by tranquilizer. The bear's behaviour is distressing. He exhibits very strange behaviour. Please sign the petition so we can get him taken to a bear sanctuary.
https://www.change.org/p/liberty-bear-sanctuary-save-tomi-the-bear-from-his-lonely-miserable-life?

Sarah clevenger
Sarah clevengerabout a year ago

Jenna dewan-Tatum is all around awesome , Joaquin phoenix check out his movie earthlings , Ian somerhalder has an amazing foundation, James Cromwell, pink

There are many more , just hard to find those who practice what they preach

I'm just sick of celebrities (cough Beyoncé ) who go "vegan" but wear leather/fur, star in movies that use wild animals,; vegan is a lifestyle not a diet - you are a strict vegetarian who only cares about their body

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

I do what I can for the animals, but I am a nobody! When celebrities get involved, it is announced or written about. We need more celebrities to get involved!!

Elizabeth B.
Elizabeth B.1 years ago

THE ANIMAL RIGHTS AGENDA SETS FORTH THE GOALS FOR ENDING THE USE OF ANIMALS
The following agenda represents the "animal liberation plank" offered by animal rights activists for inclusion in the 1987 Green Party Platform. It was first published in Animals' Agenda magazine in November 1987.
1. We are firmly committed to the eventual abolition by law of animal research, and call for an immediate prohibition of painful experiments and tests. The billions of dollars disbursed annually by the National Institutes of Health for animal experiments should be rechanneled into direct health care, preventive medicine, and biomedical research using non-animal tests and procedures. In addition, the government should fund projects to develop and promote non-animal technologies where they do not yet exist so that animal experiments may be rapidly phased out. In the meantime, procedural mechanisms must be established to allow for greater public scrutiny of all research using animals.
2. The use of animals for cosmetics and household product testing, tobacco and alcohol testing, psychological testing, classroom demonstrations and dissection, and in weapons development or other warfare programs must be outlawed immediately.
3. We encourage vegetarianism for ethical, ecological, and health reasons. As conversion of plant protein to animal flesh for human consumption is an energetically inefficient means of food production, a vegetarian diet allows for wiser use of the world's limited food

Elizabeth B.
Elizabeth B.1 years ago

Animal Rights and Animal Welfare
Animal Rights is a concept that all animals are entitled to possession of their own lives and to end all human “Exploitation” of animals. This includes but is not limited to eating meat, hunting, rodeos, horse shows, zoos, using animals for veterinarian or medical research, dog shows, circuses, guide dogs for the blind, police or work dogs, rescue dogs, working animals and the practices of pet ownership.
Animal Welfare Is to prevent suffering and cruelty to animals. The desire to Implement Humane Treatment of animals in all aspects of the animal enterprise. To provide a sanctuary for homeless, abandoned, abused or unwanted pets. Adhering to responsible practices in all aspects of animal wellbeing, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia.

Animal Welfare or Animal Rights?

Here are some of the differences:
As animal welfare advocates. . .

• We seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals.
• We support the humane treatment of animals that ensures comfort and freedom from unnecessary pain and suffering.
• We believe we have the right to "own" animals -- they are our property.
• We believe animal owners should provide loving care for the lifetime of their animals.

As animal rights activists. . .

• They seek to end the use and ownership of animals, including the keeping of

Jackie Brush
Jackie Brush2 years ago

SPARKY IS A DIABETIC MINI SCHNAUZER WITH CATARACTS. CATARACTS ARE A COMMON RESULT OF DIABETES. HIS HUMAN HAD TO GIVE HIM UP BECAUSE SHE IS TOO OLD TO TAKE CARE OF HIM ANY LONGER. I AM FOSTERING HIM UNTIL WE CAN FIND HIM A NEW HOME. IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO PLACE DIABETIC DOGS, EVEN MORE DIFFICULT TO PLACE A BLIND DIABETIC DOG. I AM TRYING TO GIVE SPARKY A BETTER CHANCE TO BE ADOPTED. IT ALSO BREAKS MY HEART TO SEE AN ANIMAL GO BLIND. MY SWEET DOG BAILEY IS NEARLY BLIND AND I CAN SEE HOW FRUSTRATING IT IS FOR HIM. SPARKY AND I WOULD BE SO GRATEFUL TO ANYONE FOR ANY HELP. IF I AM ABLE TO RAISE ENOUGH TO GET THIS SURGERY I WILL POST THE BILL SO PEOPLE CAN SEE THAT THE MONEY WAS USED EXACTLY AS STATED, FOR CATARACT SURGERY. THE SURGERY FOR ONE EYE IS A LITTLE MORE THAN $2,000. I HAVE RAISED $1,000 SO FAR. http://www.gofundme.com/2v8pmc







Carmen Harris
Carmen Harris2 years ago

I think Pink is also a animals' rights activist?

Robyn Bashaw
Robyn Bashaw2 years ago

These are the kinds of celebrities it's worth looking up to. Thanks for sharing and add pauley perrette to the list. :)

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.2 years ago

Its great that these people lend their voices and time to animals in need. Ellen is doing it all the time and has adopted one or two dogs. I forget their names tho

Brittney Cee
Brittney Cee2 years ago

Kristen Bauer Van Straten (Pam, from True Blood) is also a well respected animal advocate!