Inspiring Person Of The Week: Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder actor and activist

Actor Ian Somerhalder, of Lost and The Vampire Diairies, is often only credited for his charm and good looks, but there’s so much more to him than that. Ian is also an incredibly active environmentalist and animal rights supporter. Just take one look at the Louisiana native’s instagram and you’ll see countless posts that radiate positivity, a love for animals and nature, and his dedication to the equal treatment of all individuals. He’s definitely not just an “all talk, no walk” kinda guy.

After the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster of 2010, Somerhalder went to clean up the massive spills and help the wildlife that was affected by the incident. He supports the St. Tammany Humane Society, a nonprofit animal welfare organization. He also advocates the It Gets Better Project, devoted to preventing suicide among LGBT youth.

Here’s Ian with his own pets, cat, Moke, and dog, Nietzsche !

Ian Somerhalder and his cat

Image via Instagram

Ian and a dog

Image via Instagram

On his 32nd birthday, he launched the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. The foundation’s main goal is to help the environment and animals and does so with the following:

  • Distributing funds and resources towards global conservation, green energy development/deployment and educational tools.
  • Creating awareness that global deforestation can be seen as a national/international and global security risk.
  • Creating mobility by supporting and engaging with the most powerful, yet overlooked population on the planet – our youth.
  • Ending animal cruelty and promoting programs such as: “species specific sterilization drugs”and the transferring and re-training of abandoned animals into assistive and therapy guides.
  • Supporting and creating sustainable strategies for “no-kill sheltersâ€.

Here’s Ian with Dr. Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, author, and explorer-in-residence for National Geographic, and Conservation International‘s Dr. Greg Stone:

Ian Somerhalder and renowned environmentalists
Image via Instagram

Ian currently serves as a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador, working with them to create environmentally sound policies and practices worldwide.

actor ian after unep victory

Image via Instagram

He recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify at Congress’ hearing on the US Ivory Ban and speak about how important elephant conservation is. [watch his full speech here]

Ian outside the White House

Image via Instagram

Ian about to speak outside the US House of Representatives

Image via Instagram

Ian speaking in front of the US Congress

Image via Ian Somerhalder Foundation

Ian was also featured on Years of Living Dangerously, a Showtime documentary series that interviews environmental experts and local residents of areas affected by climate change. He has been taking all the steps necessary to create awareness of issues he’s passionate about solving! Ian Somerhalder must be the coolest dude in the world. Keep up the amazing work, Ian!

Ian Somerhalder in front of American flag

Image via Instagram

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.