Hayden Panettiere

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Hayden Panettiere, like many Hollywood stars, has a thing for the ocean. But her love goes well beyond the beach vacation. The star of Heroes and the current critically acclaimed show Nashville said in a recent interview, “My passion [is] dolphins and whales and the ocean…If the ocean goes, and these animals go, so will go life on earth. It’s really important and it impacts our lives.”

And Hayden isn’t just talk. In 2007 (when she was just 18 years old), she joined forces with The Whaleman Foundation to confront Japanese fishermen conducting the annual dolphin hunt. The encounter—documented on film—has been circulated widely online, and can be seen in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. She was awarded the “Compassion in Action Award” from animal rights group PETA for her efforts. And she continued her commitment to animal rights in 2008, when she advocated for the end of commercial whaling in Norway and Japan.

Recently, Hayden combined fashion with activism by endorsing “The Hayden Necklace” from JewelMint, an accessories line by fellow actress Kate Bosworth. Half of the proceeds from the necklace sales will to The Whaleman Foundation, to support the preservation and protection of dolphins, whales and porpoises.

In addition to her work for the ocean and its inhabitants, Hayden attaches her name to many other causes. She has been a proponent of the importance of getting out to vote, and has also served as a teen ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation, which workes to prevent teen pregnancy. In 2009 she participated in a town hall meeting in New York City along with other celebrities on the issue of teen pregnancy.

In her new show Nashville, Hayden lends her own singing voice to the show’s country music soundtrack. But clearly, Hayden believes in lending her voice to more than just her career. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Hayden explained how her fame gives her a platform for her activism: “The show [Heroes] put me in a place to speak for things that I’m passionate about.”

To see more about Hayden’s experience as an activist, and the protest in Japan, watch this video!

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