One of our favorite new friends is Hailey Anne Nelson, actor extraordinaire. She's quickly making a name for herself in Hollywood while working with some of the biggest names on the big screen today. She starred in Big Fish with none other than Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor. And most recently, Hailey can be seen portraying Rosanne Cash, the daughter of legendary musicians Johnny and June Carter Cash, in the blockbuster hit Walk the Line with Reese Witherspoon and our great pal Joaquin Phoenix—who had special nonleather cowboy boots made for the movie.
Hailey Anne, whose motto is “Don't eat anything you can be friends with,” is going to be a household name before you know it—mark our words—and we're just tickled pink that we'll be able to say that we knew her when. Don't forget us when you're the queen of Hollywood, Hailey Anne!
And so that you won’t forget her—not like you’ll be able to anyway—check out what she has to say about why she’s a vegetarian, her views on animal testing, and more!
PETA Kids: What prompted you to go vegetarian? Was it a particular incident, a video you saw, or a book that you read?
Hailey Anne Nelson: Actually, when I was little, my mom raised me as a vegetarian. So, my motto is "Don't eat anything you can be friends with."
PK: What is your favorite vegetarian dish? What are some of your favorite veg snacks?
HAN: Well, I love the brand Morningstar Farms because they have so many varieties of veggie snacks. My favorite is the veggie sausages!
PK: Tell us some of your favorite places to get a good veg meal in L.A.—or elsewhere.
HAN: There is a vegan restaurant, and one of my friend's friends works there in L.A.—Prasadam. Even though I have only been there once, I still love it! Also, I love Trader Joe's.
PK: What animal issue is the most important to you, and why?
HAN: Well, I heard that makeup is tested (blush, etc.) on pigs and bunnies. That is wrong. I also don't think an animal should be killed for their fur or, well, for anything.
PK: Do you have any animal companions? If so, what are their names and how did they become part of your family?
HAN: We have had pet rats. Right now I have one. Her name is Chipper. When I was little, we had a dog named Knuckle. My mom rescued him. I have a “stepdog” down the street that belongs to my second-grade teacher—his name is Poco. Another Yorkie friend is named Scout, and there is one more, named Bently. Dogs are great. If you are looking for one, you should try a rescue.
PK: What do you think about schools that refuse to give kids the right not to dissect?
HAN: My school has the option not to dissect. If you wanted to, then you can stay after school. Soon there will be no more dissecting at all at my school. My school actually has vegetarian food too.
PK: Do you have a favorite memory or a good story to share with us about the time that you spent working on Walk the Line with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon? (We bet you had great veg food on the set because Joaquin is vegan!)
HAN: True, Joaquin Phoenix is a vegan! So he had special food on the set, and I was able to also have that privilege. Most sets have vegan or vegetarian food because a lot of people in the entertainment business don't eat meat! It is nice not to have to worry about the food that is being served. We knew it was safe.
PK: If you have a choice between buying products that are not tested on animals and products that are, which do you choose, and why? What are some of your favorite products?
HAN: I would choose the obvious. Procter & Gamble is one company to stay away from. They make Pringles, Sunny Delight, Bounce, CoverGirl, Febreze …. This company still does animal testing. Many times I find a product that I like only to find out it has been tested on animals. We need to have a sticker or stamp on safe products. That would make it easier to support caring companies. We should call it the “Caring Company” stamp.
PK: What would your message be to other kids about having compassion and getting active to help animals?
HAN: You should be brave and try to understand that things such as spoken above are going to happen and are happening. You can help the animals. You don't have to buy the products, and you can donate. I know that it's hard and you don't think you can do anything, especially if your family eats meat and supports that, but you can do little things (which is mostly what matters), such as stop eating Jell-O or marshmallows.