So, just a quick question here, is it possible for us to love Ian Somerhalder any more? The Vampire Diaries actor is the founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation which focuses on sustainability and animal welfare, he spoke to congress about putting an end to poaching by banning ivory, he has several rescue animals and treats them like his children and we’re just going to go ahead and say that looking at him doesn’t suck.
Now he is joining forces with other mega-celebs for Animal Asia’s “No Voice No Choice,” a campaign designed to end the use of animals in entertainment. The campaign is also championed by the likes of Ricky Gervais, Kristin Bauer and Michaela Strachan, just to name a few, all of whom are urging people to stop attending animal performances.
“At the IS Foundation, we actually believe in spectating the innate, majestic beauty of our fellow creatures. The truth is that you don’t need cages, prods, or handlers to be an audience to our diverse and breath-taking wildlife. We were all born with a ticket to the most phenomenal animal show there is: the natural wilderness of our planet,” Somerhalder said in a statement.
The statement goes on to say, “That is the ‘greatest show on earth.’ The opportunity to feel blown away by nature and all her magnificent creatures is all around us and certainly not within confinement. All living beings – regardless of aptitude, social structuring, cuteness, relatability – belong outside of cages, shackles, and the suffering of animal performance shows. Animals Asia’s No Voice No Choice campaign has ISF’s full support.”
Animals used in entertainment are taken at a very young age and forced to endure a “breaking” process in order to render them docile enough for training. They’re very often kept in tiny cages and compelled to do their tricks using cruel prods and hooks. Food and water is withheld as a means of “motivating” animals to perform unnatural behaviors. And all of this cruelty is done for the sake of making money. Watching animals perform is neither educational nor beneficial to the species’ conservation. It’s merely a means of amusement.
With 21,000 pledges, Somerhalder is one of many people that find the organization’s goal valuable. You can be a part of this incredible mission as well by pledging here. By refusing to partake in an animal show like a circus, dolphin encounter or photo op, you have the ability to make a difference. After all, these shows cannot continue if they have no audience!
Listen to these people, they know a thing or two about entertainment and they say it shouldn’t involve animals.
When celebrities use their fame to spread a message of compassion, the audience it reaches is vast and varied. Thanks to Ian Somerhalder, Ricky Gervais and all of the other incredible people who use their notoriety to champion their cause, the plight of animals suffering for entertainment won’t go unnoticed.
Raising awareness is the first step in breaking the cycle of tradition that has fueled this industry for too long. Thanks to the ISF, Animals Asia and all of these passionate celebs, these animals won’t be choice-less or voice-less anymore.
Lead Image Credit: The Ranking