Hayley Marie Norman

Actress, Model and animal rescuer.

"Hayley has something seriously special. She is one of those ppl that you can't help but stare at, and not just because she is gorgeous. She is fun, exciting, talented, creative and of course compassionate. I don't remember how we were exactly introduced, as we have many mutual friends, but I do remember the first time I met her. We were at Animal Acres for her birthday and she was being filmed by Supreme Master TV. She was towering over everyone in her heels and she is already extremely tall. I loved that she was dressed up even though we were just chilling at the sanctuary - I really like it when ppl wear whatever they want despite thinking they won't fit in with what others are wearing (I digress!)... It was heartwarming that she wanted to spend her birthday with her close friends and family at the sanctuary and I was so glad to finally meet her. Since then I have gotten to shoot with her twice. Each time something (a few things!) disastrous happened but we ended up getting great pics anyway - you can't take a bad pic of Hayley. Watch out for HMN! And if you want to see more of her work, catch her in Fired Up, Hancock, Crash (Starz! series with Dennis Hopper), and Deal or No Deal." - Melissa Schwartz

SS: What made you go vegan and why?

HMN: One of the closest people to me is vegan and even though I was always open to eating the food, it wasn't something that I ever considered for myself. Mostly because I didn't understand it. I think as human beings, we tend to reject things we don't understand and that's why education is so important so that we can be more open minded, accepting, and aware. Randomly, I began to experience some stomach problems and was no longer able to eat most foods. I wasn't eating meat, but it was not intentional. At this same time, my other close friend sent me the book Skinny Bitch. I had no idea that it had anything to do with veganism. This same friend had mentioned to me a few months earlier that she was becoming vegan and I stupidly assumed it was "just a phase." Well, I read the book she sent me in just one night, and I immediately knew that I had no other choice but to become vegan. And not just for vain reasons such as being a "Skinny Bitch" but because of the immense cruelty toward these sentient, amazing beings that experience feelings and emotions such as fear, love and pain, very similar to humans. This has been scientifically proven. The negative ramifications on the environment also blew me away. I previously had no idea that factory farming was destroying our environment.

SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes what was difficult and did it get easier?

HMN: Once you know you can't un-know. The knowledge I was afforded made being a vegan easy because I simply am not willing to contribute to the meat and dairy farming industries in any way. It's crazy to me when people say that they can't become vegan because it's too hard and requires too much planning. It's like, stop being so selfish. We need to learn to see outside of ourselves and look at the bigger picture. But those same people manage to pack a gym bag to workout after their work day is over, or party clothes to go out after work. Planning ahead what you're going to eat is just as easy, and has way more positive effects.

SS: What are some animal rights related things that you participate in?

HMN: I try to get involved in everything I hear about regarding the animal rights movement. Whether it's encouraging people to boycott the circus, spreading my knowledge about veganism and taking time to help others make the transition, adopting animals, or helping to plan or attend events that support veganism and animal welfare, I am all about it. I've helped a lot of people go vegan and even with all the cool things I've gotten lucky enough to do career wise, I think helping and encouraging people to convert to veganism is the accomplishment I am most proud of. I really want to start getting involved in doing some of the undercover animal welfare and expose work as well. Then I can also satisfy the secret desire I've harbored since my days of watching Inspector Gadget many moons ago which was to be an undercover detective. I was going to say regarding the combining of helping animal welfare and also getting to fulfill my fantasy of doing underover work that I'd be, "killing two birds with one stone," but as a vegan I think I need to find a new phrase to replace that outdated one.

SS: What are your favorite animal rights organizations?

HMN: I love Animal Acres. I actually brought my friends and family here for my birthday this year. I am also an active member of Farm Sanctuary, and adopt a turkey every Thanksgiving! I love sponsoring animals, and just how most people have picture of their family on their refrigerator, mine is full of all the animals I've sponsored! I also support and volunteer at homeless shelters in LA. I must have been homeless in a past life or something because my heart really goes out to all those folks and I try to help however I can.

SS: What would you say to somebody who is considering going vegan?

HMN: Just do it!

SS: Do you have any memories that stand out in your mind about someone saving an animal? Or relating to an animal in a unique way?

HMN: I have 2 dogs who are bonafide members of my family not "just pets" and there are new memories of us relating to each other being made each and every day. Animals are so much smarter and so much more intuitive than most humans give them credit for. What a pompous species we are! I always fall in love with animals though and inevitably end up crying because I can't take them all home with me. I want a huge sanctuary of my own one day where I can have a plethora of different animals. I just met a pig named Molly who was rescued from a dermatologic lab. Poor thing still had burns all over her body. But Molly was my homegirl! We got along so well. I have so many stories like this though, I love animals and hope to help millions of them in my lifetime and hopefully beyond.