Ian Somerhalder discusses eating habits and stance against animal cruelty
by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Animals, Causes, Eats, Vegetarian
Tags: .

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

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

View all posts by Allyson Koerner →
  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aquaranch Kristin Kurtz

    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.

  • 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!

  • Catherine Wood

    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.

  • steakcrusader

    Dudes you’re all joy kills.

    • Lin

      I agree. I bet they’d disapprove of my child rape-murder sprees, too. Laaame. Let’s get sum toddler assrippin’ done. Mmh mmh. ’cause my pleasure and joy is aaall that matters!

    • soleil

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • reality

    Fucking hypocrite. With you on that point Gi.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • JessHaz

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.