Hayden Panettiere: Why I Fight for Endangered Whales, Dolphins

 Credit: Brigitte Lacombe/ Conde Nast Traveler

An animal lover since childhood, Hayden Panettiere is using her star power to help prevent her favorite marine animals from becoming extinct.

In the September issue of Conde Nast Traveler, the 22-year-old Scream 4 actress explains why she became a spokeswoman for the Whaleman Foundation, which fights to protect whales and dolphins from climate change, pollution, entanglements in fishing nets and the expansion of whaling.

"I'm an activist who's aware of what's realistic to achieve and what's not," says Panettiere, who appeared in the Oscar-winning film The Cove.

Using social media platforms to raise awareness, Panettiere says her approach is simple: "I wouldn't waste my time going straight for the jugular — I'm not going to preach to people to not eat meat. The Whaleman Foundation's goals are achievable, and they make sense."

Panettiere, who first became involved with The Whaleman Foundation in 2005, joined documentarian Louie Psihoyos to film the nighttime slaughter of dolphins for The Cove.

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"We knew we were up against a huge obstacle in Taiji," she tells Conde Nast Traveler. "In the course of the slaughter, I saw a species in need. The trip inspired me to continue the fight."

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