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If you know Ian Somerhalder from “Lost” or more recently from “The Vampire Diaries,” you know already know that he’s a seriously talented actor. But, did you also know that he’s an avid environmentalist and a major animal lover? Born and raised in Louisiana, his love of animals and connection to nature began early as he observed the diversity of his own back yard. “Being from a state like Louisiana, especially the Gulf Coast area, where it’s an extremely delicate ecosystem, you also have a deeper understanding of wild animals and the environment because you realize how fragile that balance is.”

For Ian, it was the disruption of that balance that took him from merely observing and appreciating nature and the animals within it to truly unleashing his inner Green Monster. After witnessing the devastation that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused to the environment and wildlife in his beloved Gulf, he was inspired to take action in the hopes of effecting real change. “I felt the most awful feeling of vulnerability and helplessness,” He said of seeing the destruction the spill had caused. “I never want to feel powerless again.” 

With that motivation, he started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, an organization that tackles environmental issues and fights to end animal cruelty. With programs that deal with humane spay and neuter practices and projects in the works including an animal sanctuary for abused animals, he has poured his passion into helping animals and the world they live in. He’s proven that he’s anything but powerless, and thanks to him, countless animals won’t have to be either.


1. He loves rescue pets and currently has 6 dogs and 2 cats. “I literally wake up and there’s just fur everywhere, it’s so awesome.”

10 Amazing Ways Ian Sommerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!

2. He also calls himself dad to an adopted horse named Eagle that he shares with girlfriend Nikki Reed.

10 Amazing Ways Ian Sommerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!nydailynews.com

3. Believing strongly in the interconnectivity of all living things and our environment, he started The Ian Somerhalder Foundation in 2010.

10 Amazing Ways Ian Sommerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!huffingtonpost.com

4. He’s currently working on building the ISF Animal Sanctuary, which will teach compassion to children dealing with anger and bullying issues as they work alongside animals that have behavioral problems.

10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!


5. He testified before congress to end elephant poaching and urged a domestic ban on the cruel ivory trade.

10 Amazing Ways Ian Sommerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!

6. He participated in the #MovetheUN campaign to get animal protection on the global agenda.

10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!

7. His Twitter feed is filled with tweets about animals, activism and awareness, with a few tweets about ‘The Vampire Diaries’ mixed in here and there.


10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!

8. He helped deliver his rescue dog, Nietzsche’s, puppies. He was so excited about it on social media that “Good Luck Nietzsche” started trending on Twitter!

10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!intlheat.com

9. A native of the Gulf Coast region, he took an active interest in the BP oil spill disaster’s effect on wildlife, shooting PSAs for the local Humane Society and participating in the CNN telethon to raise funds for the cleanup. 

10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!


10. Having his own rescue animals isn’t the only way he supports shelters. He also has the ISF Emergency Medical Care Grant for Animals, which provides sorely needed financial assistance to qualifying shelters, rescues and rescuers.


10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!

 Lead image credit: styleandwisdom.com

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207 comments on “10 Amazing Ways Ian Somerhalder is Changing the World for Animals!”

Click to add comment
Ima Somer
11 Months Ago

Ian Somerhalder is one of the biggest hypocrites in the environmental movement; an utter disgrace and a perfect example that the PR industry\'s spin is more powerful than authenticity that every day people are committing to for the greater good.

Ian pays to have animals tortured and killed to satisfy his selfish first-world appetites. And he supports hunting.

You know who actually helps animals? 1) People who love animals and don\'t eat them, 2) People who support animal welfare and don\'t eat animals, 3) People who support animal rights and don\'t eat animals, 4) People who understand the environmental destruction wreaked by the animal agriculture industry and don\'t support it, how? By refusing to eat animals! 5) People who don\'t hunt animals. I could go on.

Look at the facts objectively. Not only is Ian Somerhalder only an "animal lover" when it\'s convenient for him or his PR image but he\'s also only an environmentalist when it suits his lavish lifestyle and isn\'t an inconvenience. We have words for that: fraud, fake, poser, liar, etc.

When you\'re done licking his boots, try to tell the real story instead of this trite garbage.

Dave Walls
3 Years Ago

It\'s an IMPORTANT point about the leather jacket. We need to be mindful about this. an immense amount of suffering is required to make a jacket like that. And apparently he is a heartthrob, so lots of girls and women will get the message "this is what the really cool people wear". It\'s not trivial. As for it being fake leather, I had a fake leather jacket and it didn\'t look like that. I decided not to wear it unless I could get a patch that said "fake leather" put on it.

I emailed a well known vegetarian about his choice of a certain hybrid vehicle. It was inly available with leather seats. To a rich celebrity, it might seem like an awesome luxury hybrid to show off in. I would rather drive a Honda civic with cloth seats. I wondered if he got caught up in the moment, thinking how the SUV was fuel efficient, low polluting, and very luxurious. Maybe he just didn\'t think about the seats. Maybe he bought it over the phone; isn\'t that the way wealthy people do things? But the point is we need to be much more mindful.

Jason Moroney
3 Years Ago

all sounds great. at the same tho man, being an influential figure with the leather jacket, we think about that one...

27 Apr 2015

Wow that\'s a valid point. Maybe it\'s not real leather? If it is, it\'s good he\'s making a difference in a few respects. He could simply not care. And who knows, maybe one day he will go completely cruelty-free. :)

Sam Ragil
3 Years Ago


Maga Gatsby
3 Years Ago

Dalinda Zafiro Perez

Bree Renée
3 Years Ago

Jennie-Lee Schloffer

Terri Exel
3 Years Ago

Love celebrities who use there fame for good causes!

Sylvia Jackson
3 Years Ago

What a lovely man. A good example of someone who is not Vegan, but makes a big difference.

27 Apr 2015


Carol Kelly Yarborough
3 Years Ago

As long as he doesn't bite them

Jodie Graham
3 Years Ago

A true hero!


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