Most Shared

Zachary Quinto on saving tigers, Trump, and why hashtag activism is the real deal.

There are fewer than 4,000 wild tigers left on Earth. Zachary Quinto thinks we should give a damn.

Zachary Quinto on saving tigers, Trump, and why hashtag activism is the real deal.
Photo by David Jensen.

Actor Zachary Quinto ("Star Trek," "Heroes," "American Horror Story") talks to Upworthy about his involvement with tiger-saving campaign #3890Tigers, Trump, breakfast cereals — and tigers again.

(This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.)

Upworthy (UP): Why do you want to help save the tigers?

Zachary Quinto (ZQ): I’m a long-time animal lover and animal rights activist. When this opportunity came to me, I realized how much [poaching] has been affecting the wild tiger population — it was something I felt called to get involved with. There are fewer than 4,000 wild tigers left in the world, which seems absolutely insane.

UP: So judging by your passion to save the tigers, is it safe to say you’re more of a cat person than a dog person?

ZQ: That’s actually not safe to say. I’m more of a dog person than a cat person. ... Sorry to dispel any illusions.

UP: Do you own a dog?

ZQ: I own two dogs. I should say, I rescued two dogs.













dogs appropriately excited by my return.


A post shared by Zachary Quinto (@zacharyquinto) on

UP: Tiger Beer is a big component of this campaign. If you could sit down and have a beer with any famous tiger —

ZQ: Tony the Tiger.

UP: Wow, I didn’t even finish the question. And why would that be?

ZQ: Because I grew up with “Theyyyy’re great!” You know, Tony the Tiger and — what was that, Frosted Flakes, right? I loved Frosted Flakes when I was a kid. Tony the Tiger really just lodged himself in my imagination.





UP: What’s the craziest thing you’ve learned about tigers since joining this campaign?

ZQ: I would say their power and the way that they ambush, I’m fascinated by. The power of their jaws, that they can take down animals much bigger than themselves.

I would say the thing that I’m probably most moved by — as powerful as they are — they’re also really vulnerable. I feel like there’s a lot of fear associated with animals like [tigers], but they also need protection. That balance and the delicacy of that is something that I’m really interested in.

Bengal tiger cubs at the Wild Shelter Foundation in El Salvador. Photo by Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images.

UP: As the saying goes, a tiger doesn’t change its stripes —

ZQ: Isn’t it that a leopard can’t change its spots? I think you’re mixing your feline metaphors.

UP: Oh, am I?

ZQ: I won’t hold you for that. ... [laughs] I'm going with you, I'm going with you.

UP: What's the most out-of-character thing you've had to do where you’ve had to change your stripes — or your spots — for a role?

ZQ: I don’t know, I guess I would have to say skinning a woman alive? That’s pretty far away from my inherent nature.

UP: Was that for "American Horror Story"?

ZQ: [laughs] It was "American Horror Story," yeah.

UP: Speaking of "American Horror Story" — you’ve played a lot of interesting characters throughout your career. Which one do you think has the most tiger-like qualities?

ZQ: Interesting. I like to use animals to kind of inform characters that I play in exploring who they are and building a character. Never used a big cat, specifically. But I guess I would say the character I played in "Heroes" maybe had some qualities of, like — he was very stealthy, and he stalked and pounced, and had some characteristics of a tiger.

The cast and crew of NBC's "Heroes" in 2007. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

UP: The Russia investigation, the Senate’s health care bill — there’s a lot of news happening right now. Why should we care about tigers?

ZQ: We’re in a moment now where we can still reverse the decline, and I think that it’s a crucial moment. That’s the key for me — to inspire people and to raise awareness is a way to do that.

UP: If you could have President Trump’s ear for a minute to talk about this issue, what would you say to him?

ZQ: I feel like, I don’t even know where to begin with what I would say to him, just in general. I’d have a lot of things to say to him, I’m sure. I feel like [this campaign is] more about rallying people. It’s about inspiring a collective voice.

I think what we can do in the face of this political climate is to really engage. Partly what drew me particularly to this opportunity and initiative is that people can get involved and spread the word, and that’s what I’m more interested in — inspiring likeminded people to rise up and raise awareness and raise money.

UP: Some people say hashtag activism isn’t real activism, but this campaign has a big social media component. Would you argue that social media activism matters?

ZQ: [Online activism] has become the real world, for better or for worse. Everyone walks around with this portal in their pocket, and we check our phones I think more often than we check in with each other sometimes. So I feel like what used to be tangible and actionable in the streets has become much more virtual and digital in the last decade.

Modes of communication have really shifted within our culture, and I feel like social media has become such an inextricably tied way of expressing yourself that I think it can be really effective. With the press of a button, you can reach millions of people, and even if just a fraction of those people stand up and do something about a cause, it really makes a difference.

The #3890Tigers campaign — a partnership between Tiger Beer and the World Wildlife Fund — aims to raise awareness and funding for tiger conservation efforts around the globe. There are just 3,890 tigers left in the wild, according to the WWF; the campaign wants to double that number by 2022 — the next year of the Zodiac tiger.

To join the efforts, supporters are encouraged to delete their profile pictures to raise awareness about the disappearing wild tiger population. Over the past 100 years, human activity has killed about 96% of the species, largely due to poaching and habitat loss.

Supporters can also create a selfie celebrating tigers on the campaign website, as Quinto has done below, to share on their social feeds, as well as donate to the WWF. Tiger Beer, which has already donated $1 million toward the nonprofit, is matching new gifts up to $25,000.

Photo courtesy of Tiger Beer/World Wildlife Fund/Zachary Quinto.

Learn more about the campaign to save the tigers and take action.

Disclaimer: Upworthy does not have a business partnership with either Tiger Beer or the World Wildlife Fund and was not paid to write about the campaign. We will always be up front with you if we were.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

But high school English teacher Monte Syrie sees things differently. In a Twitter thread, he explained why he didn't take it personally when his student Meg fell asleep — and why he didn't wake her up.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less