Hayden Panettiere Takes on Dolphin Hunters, Edward Norton Wants You in the Dark, and More

hayden panettiere dolphins photo

Photo via The Beauty Stop

Actress and animal lover Hayden Panettiere and her boyfriend, Wladimir Klitschko, returned this week to Taiji, the town where Oscar-winning documentary The Cove was filmed, for what the actress called "a peaceful and relaxed conversation" about the town's infamous dolphin hunt--but didn't exactly get the welcome they'd hoped for.Residents of the Japanese fishing village blocked Panettiere and anti-whaling activist Jeff Pantukhoff from entering the town hall, where they'd hoped to speak with the mayor. "We are trying to peacefully come up with better ideas as to how to generate income and utilize nature here," she said. In response, residents pointed out the West's propensity for killing cows. (Via Yahoo! News)

Ben Affleck Aids the Congo

ben affleck congo aid photo
Photo via Babble

Actor Ben Affleck joined the roster of celebrity humanitarians with their own non-profit organizations this week when he launched the Eastern Congo Initiative, which works with community organizations trying to rebuild the country after a 12 year war. More than 5 million people have died in the conflict, and Affleck's goal is to encourage the US to "develop a comprehensive policy towards Congo as a whole, much in the same way it did toward Sudan in late 2009, which it doesn't have toward Eastern Congo, despite what a sort of mess the place is," he says. Last year, Affleck drew attention to the region's problems with an essay in Time magazine, where the father of two pointed out that twenty percent of the children in the Congo die before their fifth birthday. (Via CNN)

Eli Roth on the Horror of Animals in Captivity

eli roth sea world photo
Photo via filmjunk.com

Director Eli Roth--who's responsible for Hostel, Cabin Fever, and Grindhouse--may be a pro at bringing terror to the screen, but when it comes to animal rights there's one thing that he finds even more frightening: SeaWorld. In a letter written on behalf of PETA, he points out the uselessness of having whales "cooped up in a tank performing mundane tricks" and suggests giving up live animal shows in favor of "CGI technology, animatronics, and other state-of-the-art virtual reality exhibits" to bring the animals to the public. "It was far more horrific than anything I ever dreamed up in my horror films," he writes regarding the death of a SeaWorld trainer last month. "All the violence and suffering in my films is pretend--no one is hurt, ever. Sadly, the same is not true at SeaWorld, which targets their entertainment at families and children."

Edward Norton Joins the Campaign for Earth Hour

The World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour campaign comes to a climax tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. when people all over the world--including Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, Leona Lewis, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and now Edward Norton--will turn off their lights for 60 minutes. Half of the United States has pledged to go dark, and landmarks across the country (including the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Rushmore, and the Empire State Building) will do the same. It's not too late to sign up: make your energy-saving promise at MyEarthHour.org.
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