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Ian Somerhalder discusses eating habits and stance against animal crueltyIan Somerhalder discusses eating habits and stance against animal cruelty

Is Animal Activist Ian Somerhalder a Vegetarian?

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This might be the question everyone is asking about Ian Somerhalder. Is he a vegetarian? He fights for the environment and animals through the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, is creating the ISF Animal Sanctuary, promotes animal rescue and more. But, what decision has the activist made when it comes to what goes on his plate?

Somerhalder sort of answered the question on his Twitter page, “Im not saying Im a vegetarian but I DO mostly ONLY eat from farms that treat animals with dignity& that are harvested humanely.Cruelty SUCKS.

“IT needs to end-CONSUMER power is the only way,start digging.Find out who’s cruel&help them to change-or shut them down!You have that power! [sic]”

It seems he is not 100 percent vegetarian or vegan, but what he does eat doesn’t come from your typical factory farm.

Whether or not you agree with Somerhalder’s decision to keep some animal products on the menu in his own life, we can all agree with the sentiment that we as people have the power to end the animal cruelty that takes place on factory farms.

Somerhalder has also posted graphic videos about the meat industry, and has a section on the ISF website about factory farming. Perhaps what we can say is that the animal loving actor hasn’t gone fully vegetarian…yet.

Photo Credit: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

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  • felisdarkmoon

    I support Ian’s position. Our attitude towards animals is slavery, and like every slavery in history our our heredity will judge us, but in this moment solutions of this problem just opened new seriously problems.
    In high school I was on practice in hospital for wild birds. Except hunters and garbage, planting is one of big reason for their troubles. Human activities takes most of wild place to live. Whole colonies of birds leave forever frightened by farming.
    Also if do not eat meat whole herds of cattle will not be eaten, but they they do not will exist at all. People do not care for animals who not use. Do you have horse? I do not have. 7 of 8 families in my family also do not have. Before 70 years if our grandfathers do not have horses, it was because they are poor and have donkeys. For 100 years number of turkeys and buffaloes is halved after they not popular for use. Murder is horrible end of a life, but I do not believe that is better than do not ever existed.
    I see real decision to be grow with respect and maximum free.
    I understand and approve that vegetarians do not want to eat corpse. But that is something that they do for himself.
    I am a misanthrope and animals are important than people for me.
    Am I a bad person? Of course! With many other things, but not exists position in which people are not do damage.
    Just everyone have to give best from himself.

    • Laura Eyring

      I disagree. I believe it is better to never live at all, then live as these animals do in CAFCOs. It is Hell on earth. I do not want to support that. I do not give money to it. I do not want to contribute to such an inefficient, polluting, disgusting, massive machine that is becoming more autonomous all the time. I watched the documentary “Our Daily Bread” where it showed industrial farms in Europe. I watched pigs being electrically proded into what I can only describe as a “kill machine”. It’s a completely enclosed, sinister-looking mechanical box where the pigs are shoved in, you hear a bang… and they come out dead, on a conveyor belt. You don’t even see how it happens. Man has created an automated killing machine.


      The movie also shows broiler chickens being gathered up in a machine, to be pumped into baskets. Machines slice open their throats, while several missed birds are still flapping down the line to later be boiled. Unmoving but living cows having their arteries cut and gallons of blood come pouring out…

      No one who claims they love animals can look at this and agree it is acceptable. No one.

    • disqus_PWr1ivupS3

      There won’t be herds of cattle left to take over because people will not stop eating meat/dairy/eggs All At Once.

      The buffalo were Hunted to extinction. They didn’t disappear from not being Used.

      Yes, there’s too much farming…large-scale agricultural, single crop farming and land cleared to raise Large Herds Of Cattle! We need to go back to basics (somewhat) and not be so controlling of every creature and square of dirt.

      • felisdarkmoon

        Buffalo aren’t naturally lived in my area. They was selection from peoples for work and food and they number now is critical, because they aren’t useful anymore. What you thought are wild buffalo which are different than farm one ( lat. Bubalus bubalis). I told you just the facts with a numbers. I didn’t like it, but facts speak.

        • disqus_PWr1ivupS3

          You told me gibberish. Which “a numbers” did you even type?! I don’t see any.

          • felisdarkmoon

            My answer pending approval from 2 months, probably because of the link?! So better google yourself this statistic.
            I can’t understand why you are so obsessed from the details and trying to contradict the facts?! Here is the official information which support my logic, everybody knows that demand determines supply. So same tendency is valid for horse, turkey and est.

            And again, because obviously you close your eyes for most important, my
            position is that person should not eat meat because this is disgusting
            and unnecessary act, but vegans didn’t helps to animals, sorry but that
            is truth!

  • Karinau1

    As much as I love Ian Somerhalder, he says he MOSTLY eats animals from farms that treat them with dignity. I see three major four major problems with this:
    1. Just because they are raised with “dignity” does not mean they die that way. Those “humane” farms send the animals to the same slaughterhouses that regular farms send the animals to and they die the same horrific and brutal death.
    2. Why does he say only ‘mostly’? If he’s going to think he’s buying animals from “nice” farms, why doesn’t he try to buy from them all the time?
    3. When you go out to eat, you have no idea where the animals are coming from.
    4. This is a carnist point of view. He loves animals, but he continues to eat the ones that aren’t considered to be “pets”.
    If he would go vegan, or at least vegetarian for starters, people would love him even more. Especially the vegans and vegetarians.

    • Like with everything in this world, moderation is the key. I have an aquaculture facility where we raise fish, sharks, seagrasses, etc but for the restoration of the wild fish stocks. We do not use any hormones or antibiotics..nothing..so with that being said…it IS in HOW they are raised and treated more so than the 2 seconds of being put down.And…if you want to watch something absolutely amazing…watch “Secret Life of Plants” —
      Time-lapse photography of plants growing and blooming illustrates this film, which asserts that vegetation has its own special kind of consciousness. I have not eaten cabbage since I saw it!!!!!!

      • Lin

        I get this …if not for how not two seconds long and horrific the slaughter actually is. I do get your point, and I’d never force my views on someone. But I always come back to this: If you asked a human if it was all right to end his life, because you had raised him well for 20 years, do you think he’d answer differently than the one you had raised poorly? Would any of them have understanding for the fact that you chose to do that rather than eat something else? Maybe I’m too philosophic… I never was one for moderation. I’m fruitarian, because I had a hard time being the judge of who deserves to live and on what basis – A central nervous system? Species? Race? Gender? Fluffiness? Whatever as long as it hasn’t died before your very eyes? And then is it all right as long as it doesn’t scream?

        Again, I’m not trying to be personal. ^^’ I just ponder these things a lot.

    • Catherine

      I think he says mostly, because you can only be so sure that the products people purchase for consumption are treated and produced how they are advertised. I believe Ian simply wanted to be clear that he makes the effort to remain cruelty-free in his diet, even though he has made the decision to eat meat, but he knows there are some times when there is no other option. For example, as a celebrity he is expected to make appearances at functions, dinners, resteraunts, etc. and he can’t always control the products made there. There are other reason’s he emphasized MOSTLY I’m sure, but I think those are the most likely/obvious.

    • P

      You know, there’s a bigger power in the universe, called the creator. And she/he/it or whatever creates some animals TO BE eaten by humans. Such as cows, goats, sheeps, fish, etc. But dogs, for example, they aren’t created to be eaten. And so are sharks, whales. You got my point here?

      • Joleen

        You are serious aren’t you??? rolls eyes! A bigger power in the universe? .. and do you really imagine this bigger power would be ok with us terrorising his creations? Animals are sentient! According to the bible, God allowed and approved slavery, pestilence, smiting newborn children, and other violent and oppressive behavior we would not approve of nowadays. The scriptures were written and interpreted by humans (who we know make errors). The Bible was written a long time ago, and in present times, we are blessed to be able to live off the plant kingdom and therefore do not have to kill other animals who are sentient like us. I don’t need any God that is approving of unnecessary cruelty, violence and oppression inflicted on fellow feeling beings. Put yourself in the animals place. They are fully conscious beings, with eyes, a brain, a heart and many similar bodily functions and systems. They communicate and look us in the eyes; they scream and plead for mercy when they are being killed in slaughterhouses. They are much like us. We are a fellow species of animal. If you wanted to eat a person, would you describe your slaughtering of them, humane? Humans killing other animals is NEVER humane; whether organic or conventional or any other marketing ploy such as “humane” or “happy” animal products. Everyone came from mainstream culture that says eating animals is okay. Traditions are meant to change as we evolve to a more humane race. Vegans had to rise out of the culture that they were indoctrinated with; they are not asking you to do anything that they themselves did not do. If a religion is worth anything it should be to help us extend our compassion towards those in our mercy. If a religion does not allow us to grow to the vegan ideal, it is not worth having. Animals are sentient.. do you know what that means? They feel just like you feel.. emotions and pain.. all animals, not just the ones humans keep as pets! You point is bollocks and ignorant. Animals DO know that they are alive, that animals DO fear death & pain, and that animals DO suffer immensely when they are imprisoned, “processed” and killed. Essentially, animals are conscious & they are caring. They also each possess their own individual character & charisma, and as such, they each have just as much a right to live and love as any human being.

  • Patricksgl1

    would you rather have a cow that has been most likely been treated as a slave? They the the cattle that usually would be killed off because of ill-ness or they have been treated horribly. It’s like your own anmals, they are at their most healthy when they are taken care of a treated equally. organic products are the best and should be our main source for food in the united states. I bet there are many people today who have never step foot into a farmers market. amazing grocers and healthy choices.

  • Arjuna

    Guys…………. he has the right to eat anything…. it’s his choice……

    To IAN – Bravo Ian….. for fighting for animal rights…….. keep up the good work………..

    To Others – Leave him alone and give the guy a break…… Asks youselves, what am I doing to contribute to stop animal cruelty…just being vegetarian is not enough……

    Arjuna – Sri Lanka

    • Laura Eyring

      Being vegan is the most effective thing you can do RIGHT NOW to help animals. You are changing your lifestyle and purchasing products that signal to the market that pressures should shift towards plant-based diets. If you go vegan and nothing else, you are an unsung champion of animals and have saved hundreds of animals a year from the hellish life in a CAFCO.

      Choosing to eat meat, dairy, and eggs is not a personal choice; it is an ethical one. People do not seem to understand this very important distinction. When your actions are directly leading to animals being raised in crowded conditions while being branded, debeaked, castrated, and tail-docked without painkillers, when they are crowded and live nothing which resembles a natural life, when they are put through the horrifying machine which is now the slaughterhouse, it is not a personal choice. You are not choosing which color of shirt to wear. You are making an ethical choice which has startling ramifications for animals, the environment, and human rights.

      • Tyler

        And that is the reason I’m not going vegan. I support animals, their rights, and all that. But vegans forcing others the same way of living, that’s where I’m not following. It’s like forcing someone to believe the same as you, or pulling your d**k out in public

        • BlazeForDays

          Except that no vegans anywhere are forcing anyone to do anything, and there was certainly nothing about “force” in the comment to which you were replying, so you’re just making excuses and passing the blame for your lack of self-control.

  • Sarah

    I think that Ian is amazing, and I’m a fan of him as both an actor and an activist. Vegetarian or not, he works harder for animal rights than most people, and I’d never try to suggest that anyone ‘must’ be vegetarian or vegan as it’s entirely their decision, but I was quite annoyed by these tweets because he’s perpetuating the myth that there is such a thing as ‘humane’ slaughter. There is no dignity in being farmed for meat, and there is nothing humane about killing, and I really wish that people (not just Ian) would stop fooling themselves.

    • Camilla

      Maybe there’s no humane slaughters, but there are some that are more human than others. He didn’t talk about the slaughter though, but more about the way they’re treated before their last journey. That has something to say to.

  • Nikki

    I have no problem with people eating meat, as long as it’s free-range. Chickens that have constant access to outdoors instead of being confined in filthy little sheds and pigs that have big barns instead of tiny pens where they can’t even turn around, etc. I myself am vegetarian, it would be hypocritical to eat meat, I would never kill anything, so what right do I have to eat it just because somebody else has done the dirty work?
    It’s horrible the ways the animals have to be killed though. But what is any other way? The solution is not that the entire world should be vegetarian. That’s just not going to happen. Fur can be banned worldwide, animal testing can be banned worldwide. While it may take a few years to do so, it’s realistic. The human race becoming vegetarian? Not realistic at all. I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything perfect lol. Meat wouldn’t come from animals, it would grow on trees as hamburgers and bacon rashers =P
    Animals would never have to be killed again for us to use as we please.

    • Laura Eyring

      First, while I applaud you for being vegetarian, you should be aware that the dairy and egg industries are just as cruel as the beef, pork, and broiler industries. Dairy cows are kept confined or let out onto filthy dirt lots while their male calves are either slaughtered immediately or kept in veal crates to become sickly and anemic until slaughter. Male chicks, also useless to the egg industry, are either suffocated in bags, tossed into shredders, or just thrown onto a pile of other dying chicks. And make no mistake, once those exhausted dairy cows and laying hens can no longer produce as much “product” as before, they are slaughtered just the same and sold as any other piece of meat (though they usually end up as hamburger or some other processed food since their bodies are spent and resemble nothing most people would consider “tasty”). If you are truly concerned about the welfare of animals, I would seriously consider going vegan.

      The “free-range” and “organic” meats, eggs, and dairy usually resemble the typical CAFCO model in animal agriculture with very small differences. They may get a little more room, since they cannot be fed antibiotics to keep them alive. However, they will still be debeaked, branded, castrated, and tail-docked without painkillers since they ARE in very crowded conditions. Male calves and chicks are still useless and are immediately killed in the dairy and egg industry.

      Chickens MAY have access to small patches of the outdoors, dairy cows MAY have access to pasture… some of the year. Grass-fed beef MAY be sent to a feed-lot to be fattened on corn and soy before slaughter. You cannot trust the advertizing on the package unless you go to the farm yourself. And even then… they are sent to the same slaughterhouses (only poultry can be slaughtered on a farm) as factory farms. I have seen “natural” farms where chickens are slaughtered on site by being hung upside down and having their throats slit open, their bodies trying to thrash as the blood drains out.

      The Myth of Sustainable Meat: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/opinion/the-myth-of-sustainable-meat.html?_r=0

      These “free-range” animals are still sent in transport trucks for many hours without food and water (the only laws that require them to be watered and fed apply to transport by train). Free-range and organic farms are usually no more natural and kinder to the animals than standard CAFCOs. I read a wonderful article on a pork farmer who raised his pigs naturally and as humanely as possible, and he felt absolutely horrible he had to send them off to slaughter at all, and he looks forward to the day where he no longer had public demand for pork.


      http://www.upc-online.org/freerange.html Look at those pictures, and tell me that “free-range” is humane and fair to the animals.



      • jenlindy73

        So I have a friend of the family that has cows and cares for them on his 20 acres of land. He also raises chickens where he gets his own eggs. None of his animals are crowded, in pain, or mistreated. When his animals age, get sick, or old, he hires someone to come have them put down humanely because they’re in pain.

        Instead of having it go to waste, he pays for everything out of pocket and has it processed for food. Keep in mind, he only has 2-4 cows at a time. His children play with them in the backyard and they’re well taken care for. Would you still consider this unethical?

        • Tyler

          Most would, even if it’s not. That’s called ignorance.

        • disqus_PWr1ivupS3

          First, I appreciate that your friend takes good care of the animals. Why does he raise them, though, as pets? That’d be nice, but don’t farmers usually raise animals to eat or use? Maybe it’s just the term “farmer” that makes me think that. Maybe he only farms corn, but happens to have cows… I’m curious.

          Second, “put down” is still just a nicer term for “killed”; however, you can’t have a sick (called “downed” or “downer”) animal processed for food! At least, not for public consumption. I suppose he can eat it and give it to his family if he wants. I’m not sure of the legality there.

      • disqus_PWr1ivupS3

        True. And so sad! But, it’s “CAFO” Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Better known as a Factory Farm. It’s helpful to explain what that is to the people you want to inform. I didn’t used to know what that was.

  • Gi

    I’m doing the same. I eat children, but ONLY from countries that treat them with dignity… (i don’t eat chinese children but american), and that are harvested humanely too.

    • reality

      Fucking hypocrite. With you on that point Gi.

    • P

      You know, there’s a bigger power in the universe, called the creator. And she/he/it or whatever creates some animals TO BE eaten by humans. Such as cows, goats, sheeps, fish, etc. But dogs, for example, they aren’t created to be eaten. And so are sharks, whales. You got my point here? And idiot, children are definitely not food. Your sarcasm ain’t no good.

      • The Creator

        That’s a nice little story you’ve created for yourself there. Believe what you will about how the universe came to be, but do not use these ideas to justify cruelty. No animal exists to be exploited, no animal deserves to be exploited. No living creature deserves that kind of hellish punishment.
        The things you’ve stated are warped and delusional, fuelled by westernised ideals and false reasurance. Your ‘God’ probbaly thinks you’re a bit of a dick.

    • Kas

      I love it! And I hope there is a lot of dignity involved during the slaughter…because these two come hand in hand!
      He must be one of the biggest hypocrites I have seen. He eats cows and chicken, because that is ok with his cultural standards, but he talks shit about Chinese because they eat dogs and cats? Something is just not right. He talks about environment but his humanly raised meat causes even more pollution than animals raised at “good” farms.

  • Bill

    You have to keep in mind that, just because he’s still eating meat, it doesn’t meat he’s made any kind of decision one way or another.

    When a person is raised eating the bodies of murdered animals as though it’s food, it’s can take time to make the connection and realize what they’re actually eating and why they shouldn’t be eating it.

    Ian may just need a little more time to make that connection.
    He may also just need more information.
    I’ve noticed that some animal-rights-supporting celebrities — including those who have dropped meat & dairy from their diet — have major holes in their knowledge about meat, dairy and animals rights.
    They know enough to know that the unnecessary torture and murder of animals needs to stop, and they usually know enough to understand why no human should be eating meat or dairy, but they’ll still be missing a major piece of information or two.
    It’s as though they don’t do very thorough research and/or the people around them are afraid to give them information because they’re worried about offending them.
    It’s possible that Ian is missing is major piece of information about meat & dairy even though he certainly knows much about it.
    He may be missing the one piece that he needs to make the connection.

  • Kadie

    Ok there is no such thing as ‘humanely killing’ anything… end of story..although I agree with Karinau1 there are four pretty big problems with his ‘theory’

  • Hathor Sakhmet

    All life is interconnected, Animals breathe in oxygen, and they are the bi-product of plants, and they exhale carbon dioxide. In their bodies the oxygen combines with glucose, to produce energy for various bodily functions. Plants take in carbon dioxide, and they release oxygen into the air which is then used by animals. They take nutirients from the soil and use the sunlight for photosynthesis. Humans eats the plants for their nourishment and when he or she dies, his or her body is returned to the Earth, where it becomes food for the plants. No one/Nothing is truly Vegetarian/Vegan!

    Thank you Ian Somerhalder for All your Great works and efforts in helping to restore our planet to a state of purity like it once was. ~Natural Balancement Is The Goal Of All Earth/Animal/Human Lovers~

    • Lin

      Several holes in this logic:

      A lion is an animal designed to eat meat and thus follows the natural order. A human is not. We are omnivores if not oddly adapted herbivores. We can choose to eat plants instead.
      By eating plants instead we would decrease the substantial damage we’re doing to the natural balance of the world just by living by the modern standards we’ve grown accustomed to. What we take from nature in our, usually unnaturally extended, lifespan our dead bodies cannot even begin to return.
      Vegetarian = To eat plants. Vegan = To not use animals as slaves for your own gain. But I see the point you’re trying to make: since energy and molecules are in an infintite loop eating a plant is eating a second-hand dead cow.
      How do you restore a planet to a state of purity with all the people festering on it? We’re not acting in a “balanced” “pure” way. Research has shown that organic meat and dairy is even worse for the enviroment than traditional farming, because the cows are living longer and thus farting for a longer period of time.
      Your argument is all well and good for someone living as the Amish do, eating meat sparsely and not taking more from the earth that you give. But it’s not valid for the average modern day man.

      Maybe if we modelled society after that ’60s or ’70s movie where at age 40 humans were slaughtered for meat for the younger humans we could almost eat the cake and keep it, too!

      There are so so many more arguments that could be made, but we all choose our own truth-lies to live by to make us feel happy and content.

      • Amanda

        I understand your point but when you say lions are following natural order and deigned to eat meatband humans arent, I disagree. Who says humans weren’t designed to eat meat. Yes we have a choice but all these people who say animals have a right and act like we are equal with them ( tho I do support animal rights to a point. Like not torturing them) are wrong. If a lion is equal to us and does that mean he has a choice like us? Because predators kill and stalk their prey. I eat mostly deer and it is a lot better than store bought meat. It is taken in a humane way, tho of course you will disagree. So what i am saying is shouldn’t you ne mad at the lion for killing?? If animals are our equal then don’t they have the same rights? The fact is animals don’t have the same rights or even begin to think the same. Because if they did you would be mad at that lion for not choosing to.eat plants.

        • disqus_PWr1ivupS3

          Humans aren’t designed to eat meat. Meat and dairy give humans high cholesterol and heart disease. We don’t have a mouth full of sharp, flesh-ripping teeth. We have a couple of canines and a bunch of molars for chewing/grinding.

          Animals are equal to us. We are animals. We’re different and humans have a choice of what to eat. Animals don’t generally choose to eat meat or not. Some omnivores might have preferences, but carnivores (like lions) don’t (can’t) choose to eat plants and herbivores (like sheep or elephants) don’t (can’t) choose to eat meat!

          To answer your question, “If a lion is equal to us and (sic) does that mean he has a choice like us?” No. No, it doesn’t. We’re saying that animals have the right to live, just like we have the right to live. (That doesn’t mean a creature won’t attack a human or vice versa. It just means it shouldn’t happen with such frequency and purpose. It’s unnecessary.)

          I am glad that you say you’re not ‘for’ animal torture. There’s that, at least.

    • pussinboots89

      i love you.

  • Mondez Durden

    That’s such a cop out to say “I only eat humanly treated and killed animals.” There is no human way to treat farm raised and murdered animals. You still are MURDERING them for food when you don’t have to!

  • steakcrusader

    Dudes you’re all joy kills.

    • soleil

      Walk into a slaughterhouse now thats a joykill, but lets stick our heads back in the sand shall we…

  • Yasmin

    Meat production leads to wasted natural resources like water and land
    In order to save our planet we should reduce our meat consuming.
    Either way meat is not healthy for the body nor the environment

  • imagen

    So dissapointing that he can not reduce the demand for meat by not consuming it – especially given his ethical concerns towards animals.
    1. Consuming meant regardless of its orgin is still supporting animal cruelty and it is encouraging the supply and demand of meat. He is still eating animals – how can you care and protect some animals one minute and then support the killing of them the other?

    2. Meat production is harmful and toxic to our environment – more so than the transportation sector and is a leading contribution to climae change – all of which threatens the lives of many species.

    Meat production produces 87,000 pounds of waste each second, manure waste is killing marine life and making drinking water unsafe. Colossal amounts of fossil fuel are used to grow food for livestock, dispose of remains, and transport the meat.

    I am so very dissapointed that more people cannot inspire their followers by adopting a more aware and responsible diet if they truly care for animals.

  • Kathia Pierce

    I’m vegetarian almost vegan for 3 years! in the society in which we live is not easy, but you can approach, and if all we were to put a little of our own, things could definitely improve. I hope this is a good start for Ian, especially for the good which stands sending messages.

  • Alexandra S

    Sadly the world will never go completely Vegan, but perhaps we will discover a way to clone individual body parts for consumption. So, at least animals will no longer be needed, save for the dna in their saliva.

  • JessHaz

    Maybe he just needs a good, lifelong vegetarian to show him the way… I volunteer btw… 🙂

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