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Woody Harrelson, 2007.

Woody Harrelson

Born Woodrow Tracy Harrelson on July 23, 1961. He's an American actor, a peace activist, an environmentalist, a certified yoga instructor, a vegan and a raw foods enthusiast. His breakthrough role was playing bartender Woody Boyd on the television series Cheers. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the movie The Messenger and for Best Actor for the movie The People Vs. Larry Flynt. You can check out some of his other acting work at this link.

Woody Harrelson has done many actions to help animals over the years. In the '90s he found out about Gillette's animal testing practices and asked PETA whether he could help with their campaign. He made a 12-minute video showing what Gillette did, which was aired on television. He also grew a beard to protest Gillette's animal testing.

In 2009 he joined PETA in a campaign to stop deadly medical training exercises involving cats at Texas Tech. In 2011 he joined PETA's campaign against the use of monkeys in chemical attack training exercises. Their campaign was a victory and the Army announced they were going to switch to human simulators. The letter that Woody Harrelson had sent to the Army included:

"Because superior non-animal methods are used for this exact training by military and civilian programs around the world, animals are clearly not required to meet your objectives. ... Iím sure you agree that our military personnel deserve state-of-the-art training and that our country deserves to be respected for its civilized treatment of animals"

Other quotes by Woody Harrelson:

Asked about how he started his vegan diet, he answered:
"When I was 23, 24, I used to have a really bad runny nose, mucus, tons of acne, reddishness all over. A woman on a bus I took looked at me and said I was lactose intolerant. (She said), 'Stop dairy for three days, and all this is going to go away.' I stopped dairy, and sure enough it was gone three days later, never to return except when I get dairy accidentally."

"I used to eat burgers and steak, and I would just be knocked out afterward; I had to give it up."

"If you eat chicken, maybe you're on one level. If you wear a mink coat, maybe you're on another level. But if you wear cosmetics, cosmetics that are tested on animals, then you're just unconscious. Really, my message is simple. It's a message of compassion. In this world that is spinning madly out of control, we have to realize that we're all related. We have to try to live harmoniously."
His character in the movie Zombieland loves Twinkies. Woody Harrelson talks about how he dealt with this situation, since he's vegan:
"My character is searching for the ultimate comfort food, which to him is not another human being but a Twinkie," says Harrelson. "I'm not a Twinkie lover. I don't do sugar or dairy either. When we finally shot my Twinkie-eating scene in the movie, they had to give me a specially made mock Twinkie made of corn meal. It could spur a healthy Twinkie revolution."
"Raw food is the best way to have the cleanest energy. We take so much care about what kind of fuel we put in our car, what kind of oil. We care about that sometimes more than the fuel that we're looking at putting in our bodies. It's cleaner burning fuel."
"Anytime I feel myself getting sick, I just know it's imperative to go raw."
When asked about how he became active in environmental issues, he answered:
"I've been concerned for years. When I was in the seventh grade I did a report about the environment and the loss of species. It was supposed to be only a few pages, but ended up being nearly 50. I've always had an intense relationship with nature, something which I think all of us have somewhere inside of us."
"Every year in the United States alone, over 50 million trees are cut down, with much of the wood being used for paper and paper products. ... All of that could easily be made from hemp. ... hemp makes great paper, stronger than what's made from trees, and much more recyclable. Wood fibers are short and it gets harder and harder to keep them together with each recycling."
"Everything is poisoned, and it's all poisoned from greed. I think our inability to communicate with each other and everything that's happening in the world is all a symptom of our greater inability to deal with nature appropriately."
When asked about what it's like being constantly conscious, he answered:
"Itís exhausting. Everything I do, I try to think, Okay, what are the ramifications?  ... The only thing thatís problematic is the constant explaining, the constant need to kind of go, No, I donít want that because of such and such. I feel like Iím a pain in the ass, and I donít like being difficult."

Quotes are from a 1995 interview in Premiere magazine, a 1997 interview with E/The Environmental Magazine, a 1997 interview with Papermag, a 2007 video interview Raw For Life, a 2008 interview for Raw for 30 Days, a 2009 article in Huffington Post, a 2009 interview with Elle and a 2011 article in starpulse.com

Image of Woody Harrelson by David Shankbone: Creative Commons License.
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