The actress who played Luna Lovegood in the 'Harry Potter' movies wants a better life for animals.

As Luna Lovegood in the "Harry Potter" films, Evanna Lynch was quirky, kindhearted, and ever-optimistic.

Sometimes she was picked on for her oddities. But she never became angry.

Now the actress is showing a tougher side.


Photo by Jane Dalton.

She's putting a spotlight on Europe's brutal live animal trade and hoping to persuade European Union chiefs to end it.

An astonishing 3 million animals — mostly cattle but also sheep and pigs — are transported every year from Europe to Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, and Ukraine.

On journeys of thousands of miles in trucks and ships, these large but sensitive creatures are deprived of rest, water, food, and bedding, and they are often hit, kicked, or prodded, according to investigators for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), a U.K.-based animal-welfare group. They are so thirsty that they lick the bars of the filthy, overcrowded trucks in desperation. Investigators have witnessed many of them too young or sick to travel.

Then, after up to two weeks of suffering, they are slaughtered (without first being rendered unconscious) — sometimes even with blunt knives that worsen and prolong their deaths.

Evanna wanted to take action to help stop the animal trade, so she launched a campaign.

CIWF wants the trade in live animals to be replaced by one in meat.

The live animal trade is legal in Europe, but Evanna's hoping to persuade European Union chiefs to outlaw it.

To get people's attention, Evanna and CIWF began circulating a nontraditional petition this fall — one that came as a life-size cow statue.

Photo by Jane Dalton.

She was the first to sign the cow petition, and then it began a tour of seven countries to send a message to European Commission bosses.

Evanna was joined by “Order of the Phoenix" co-star Robbie Jarvis to launch the event in London on Oct. 9.

Photo by Jim Philpott Photography for CIWF, used with permission.

The news spread on Twitter and Facebook as #cowontour.

The 24-year-old Irish actress believes that animals should be treated as humanely as possible.

She's vegan and doesn't eat meat or animal products. Here's what she told me:

"The suffering is completely unnecessary and is easily remedied with a little bit of compassion.

So many people aren't aware this trade goes on — for instance, I'm vegan, but my family eat meat, and when I tell them what goes on, they say, 'It doesn't happen here.' Because people don't realize this horrible practice happens.

It's grotesque but it's the truth. I don't think it would continue if people were aware."



Protest at the European Commission. Photo by Jim Philpott Photography for CIWF, used with permission.

You can see the painful side of the live animal trade in this video (Warning: the content is graphic and includes animal suffering):

The European Commission says it's concerned about animal welfare, and it has held workshops to train slaughterhouse workers in correct practices.

We may think of them as just farm animals. But anyone who has been near a cow, sheep, or pig will know they feel the same things as we do — hunger, thirst, pain, fear, and love.

Yet in this ugly trade, they are treated like mere sacks of potatoes. In this one sculpture lies all the hope of change for a more humane, more grown-up approach to the millions of living, breathing, feeling animals we breed. Their fate, and whether they remain free from suffering, rests on it.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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