Although he plays a vampire on TV, actor Paul Wesley has a surprisingly warm-heart, especially when it comes to animals (go ahead – swoon).

As a child Wesley spent summers in Poland with his grandparents and took note of how different the food system was there than in America. In an interview with HSUS, Wesley explains “my grandparents and I did not go to grocery stores. If we wanted milk, we went to a farm. For honey, we went to the beekeeper.” After watching a series of documentaries on how we get food in America (cf. factory farms) Wesley decided it was time to use his fame to education the next generation.

Taking on the appalling practice of holding sows in gestation crates, Wesley has already written a letter to the CEO of Seaboard foods (the third largest pork producer in the U.S.) urging the corporation to end this form of torture. Gestation crates are wire structures just barely the size of a full grown pig that are used to house breeding sows for their entire lives. These crates are too small to allow the sows to even turn around for their entire lives and to make matters they are forced to live over their own waste and breathe toxic ammonia fumes. Under these conditions it is estimated that 80 percent of pigs have pneumonia when sent to slaughter.

If fellow heart-throb Ryan Gosling could help get gestation crates banned in Canada, there is no doubt that Wesley will be able to rally many-a-teen supporter to help get freedom for American pigs.  But Wesley’s vision goes beyond this one victory, as he tells the HSUS, “I hope I can educate the younger generation and hopefully reform the way we consume food in America. We need to respect all animals as if they were the pets we love at home.”

You go, Paul! He’s got my  vote…

Image source: Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia Commons