Bono, Leo, And Pam….8 Celebs And Their Causes

By: Neelima Reddy | Posted: 11th December 2009

Are you having a difficult time remembering if Leo's cause is the environment or is he a vegan? And can you remember if Sean Penn is against the war or was it just George Bush that Penn was vehemently opposed to? Here is our guide to remembering what causes are covered by which celebrities:

Many of us have a cause that we are extremely passionate about. My cause is animals. Maybe your cause is poverty or the Iraqi war. Many celebrities use their fame to bring awareness to their causes.

There are several celebrities who use their fame and power solely for these causes and they have helped advance those causes more than anything. Are you finding it difficult to keep up with the celebs and their causes lately? Here is a brief guide to help you keep straight your favorite celebrities and their many humanitarian causes.

1. Bono

Bono is most likely the first celebrity that comes to mind when you think of celebrity activists. Bono has been an advocate for debt relief for African nations, as well as an advocate for the education of the uncontrolled spread of AIDS in African nations.

Bono has also taken upon himself to advocate for unfair trade regulations and has met with world leaders like George W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Bono's active support of the plight of third world nations has led to his being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and being named Person of the Year by Time magazine. In 2005 Bono tied together his four most heartfelt causes with the organization he named ‘DATA' which stands for Debt, AIDS, Trade and Africa.

Bono's work with Amnesty International has also gained attention. Amnesty International is a human-rights organization which Bono was first exposed to during the production of "The Secret Policeman's Ball". It was this production that helped to develop Bono's passion for political and social causes which he is so immensely involved with today.

Bono's band U2 has performed in Band Aid and Live Aid, two concert projects which raised money for the Feed the World campaign. On a controversial note, Bono has been reported as publicly berating other celebrity philanthropists such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie saying they're in it as advocates only to prove their own self worth to the world.

Perhaps Bono is most commercially known for his "Red" campaign in which retailers such as The Gap participated in. If you have seen the "Desi(red)" shirts at The Gap, this is part of Bono's "Red" campaign and a portion of the money goes toward world hunger and poverty through The Global Fund.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio

Environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio uses his fame and influence to bring attention and support to a different cause than many celebrities; the cause of global warming and the environment.

DiCaprio opened the Leonardo DiCaprio e-Activism Center and the David Family Environmental Action Center in Santa Monica, California. The e-Activism Center is open to the public four days each week and is designed to educate and provide resources for the general public to become more environmentally aware.

3. Sean Penn

Sean Penn is extremely passionate about politics and has been an ongoing and consistent advocate against the war in Iraq. Called "An Activist for Peace" Sean Penn also opposes the death penalty and has participated in advocating against this as well.

During the Bush administration, Sean Penn openly criticized the President for his deconstruction of civil liberties. Penn was of course referring to the War on Terror in Iraq.

4. Michael J. Fox

Best known for his role as Alex Keaton in the 80s hit sitcom "Family Ties" or his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies, Michael J. Fox has stolen the heart of the nation.

Regardless of how you remember him, Michael J. Fox has been actively supporting stem-cell research through his Foundation for Parkinson's Research. He was diagnosed with the disease in 1991 and disclosed his condition to the public and his adoring fans in 1998. To date, Michael J. Fox has funded almost $150 million for research for more advanced Parkinson's treatments.

5. Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere has been a voice for animal rights in her fresh and young career. Because of her work in the animal activism realm, Hayden was awarded the Compassion in Action Award by PETA.

Panettiere is passionately opposed to the countless thousands of whales slaughtered by the Japanese every year. She is also trying to save dolphins from Japanese slaughter. She has gone as far as to blame the United States for not taking a stance against the Japanese slaughtering of the whales because Japan is one of our biggest allies on the war against terror.

Hayden is now celebrity spokesperson for the Save the Whales Again campaign. Who knows, maybe we will see Panettiere on the next season of Animal Planet's Whale Wars. Ironically, most recently Hayden Panettiere has launched an ad campaign with Dooney & Burke for a handbag that is made of calf-skin.

PETA says they will take what they can get and are appreciative of her efforts for the whale and dolphin cause. However, Panettiere's seemingly hypocritical behavior has fans who are animal advocates up in arms over her decision to promote the slaughtering and senseless skinning of calves.

6. George Clooney

George Clooney has become a recent advocate of the horrors and atrocities that are going on in Darfur, Sudan. He headed up the "Save Darfur" rally which was in Washington D.C. last April.

During a trip to the Sudan, Clooney actually was able to get some of the horrors on videotape and is planning to use this footage to document the genocide.

7. Alicia Silverstone

Vegan and animal activist Alicia Silverstone has become one of the most well-known celebrity animal advocates in the past decade. While she might have gotten her stardom from a little movie called "Clueless" as a high-maintenance and materialistic rich girl she most definitely shed that image by letting the world know she is a vegan and is vehemently opposed to animal cruelty.

Silverstone appears in the first-ever nude PETA ad against animal cruelty and promoting vegan eating habits. Silverstone promotes cruelty-free cosmetics and fashion as well. Most notably, Alicia Silverstone oftentimes wears and supports Stella McCartney as a designer who is "Vegetarian Friendly".

8. Pamela Anderson

Despite your personal opinions of Playboy Playmate, model and sometimes actress Pamela Anderson, she is one of the most involved and most influential celebrity animal activists.

Pamela has sworn off fur and even modeled nude (not a stretch in behavior) for numerous anti-fur ads for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She has pleaded with Austria's justice minister to allow and not make illegal animal activism groups in the country of Austria. Most recently, Anderson is taking on the inhumane practice of clubbing baby seals.
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Tags: time magazine, george bush, george w bush, debt relief