ellen_portiaIn true HSUS style, the stars shone brightly at the 23rd Genesis Awards last week in Beverly Hills. Dedicated to ending the Canadian Seal Hunt, the GAs also presented the Wyler Award to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, for their leadership in making news on behalf of animals. The award, named after Genesis Awards founder and former Broadway headliner Gretchen Wyler, has previously been awarded to Hayden Panettiere and Sir Paul McCartney.

The usual suspects were out in full force and included Razz faves Constance Marie, who having recently given birth to a baby girl, couldn’t help but extol the virtues of veganism; the oh-so-beautiful Emily Deschanel; James Cromwell, Wendie Malick; Jennifer Coolidge; Esai Morales; Corey Feldman; and Jillian Reynolds, who reminded us to get our dogs from shelters and not pet stores. Other celebs lending their support included Gabrielle Anwar, Matt Grant, Joe Mantegna, and Victoria Stilwell.

Gorgeous ANTM judge, Nigel Barker, made hearts flutter as he strolled the red carpet, but was all business when it came to ending the Canadian Seal Hunt. “I’ve always been interested in marine biology so the Humane Society approached me last year to take over the Save the Seals Campaign from Sir Paul McCartney, and I’m very happy to do that.” And by the way, he LOVES the Razz!

Oakland Raiders star, Jarrod Cooper, was emphatic about animal shelters and volunteering. When asked if he was going to become a spokesman, Jarrod replied, “Well I’m thinking about just beating people up who don’t spay and neuter their dogs!” And that he would also be the first to whoop Michael Vick’s behind when he got out of jail! He was joking, of course!

Michael Vartan is also an impassioned supporter, especially against the atrocities committed in China. “In 2009 it absolutely shocks me that we haven’t gone to that next level in human consciousness. Events like this really help.” Heather Mills (who despite recent media reports is not the spokesperson for a new vegetarian menu at Burger King) has actively used her celebrity to campaign against the skinning of dogs and cats in China, and has just had the ban supported and passed by 27 countries. Way to go, Heather — and Burger King, if you’re listening, she’s open to the idea!