Arrow actor Paul Blackthorne cares deeply about wildlife. When he discovered that Vietnam is the largest buyer of rhino horn from Africa, he made his way to Hanoi in May to raise awareness on the matter.
In a phone interview with Blackthorne, he mentioned that social media is a great way to talk about things he is interested in: “If you are on a television show that is popular around the world, some people are interested in your life and interests.
“And obviously Arrow is something I am passionate about, so it’s fun to talk about the show. Also, it’s great to highlight causes that I care about deeply such as saving elephants and rhinos. The community on social media is really receptive … and it’s great when social media works in such a positive way.”
Apart from Blackthorne, here are five other stars who stand up and fight for the rights of animals.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
The Oscar-winning actor supports a number of worthy causes, one of which involves elephants. Since 2014, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation initiated “Donate To The Elephant Crisis Fund” (leonardodicaprio.org/donate-to-the-elephant-crisis-fund/). On the website, it states: “At least 33,000 elephants are now being killed each year in a devastating wave of poaching that is sweeping across Africa. This equates to one elephant every 20 minutes.”
Three months ago, DiCaprio, 41, posted an Instagram photo of him with two endangered Sumatran elephants in Indonesia. He commented: “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting local partners to establish a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem, last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild.”
The New York Times also reported that in 2013, DiCaprio led a drive in support of a proposed ban on the ivory trade in Thailand.
2. Ian Somerhalder
The Vampire Diaries star started his Ian Somerhalder Foundation (www.isfoundation.com) which is “a haven for outcasts and misfits”. The foundation saves neglected animals and urges everyone to care for the Earth and its wildlife. “The IS Foundation aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.”
3. Gillian Anderson
The X-Files actress Anderson spoke at the SeaWorld (a US theme park franchise) annual online meeting recently, on behalf of People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), asking for the release of 23 killer whales that remain in captivity at SeaWorld. In March, SeaWorld ended its breeding in captivity programme, something Peta had campaigned for.
4. Lupita Nyong’o
Jungle Book actress Nyong’o joined WildAid as Global Elephant Ambassador last year. She posted a picture on her Instagram account which showed her with an injured baby elephant rescued from a poacher’s snare. The Kenyan native and Oscar winner commented: “33,000 elephants are killed every year so that a few people can wear and display a few trinkets. We can do better.”
5. Woody Harrelson
On releasechimps.org – which campaigns for the release and restitution for chimpanzees in laboratories in United States – is a statement saying: “… the United States is the only remaining country in the world with a large population of chimpanzees held captive in its laboratories for use in research.” In 2012, Harrelson wrote a letter to the then California senator to permanently end the use of chimpanzees and other apes for experiments, and place them in a sanctuary.