Hayden Panettiere got fired up about whales in a rally at Washington, DC's Dupont Circle over the weekend. Coming a few months after the Heroes actress failed a dolphin rescue mission, Hayden has joined forces with Save the Whales Again! to continue to protest the slaughtering of whales in Japan and elsewhere. This campaign is part of the Animal Welfare Institute (founder of the original Save the Whales movement) and the Whaleman Foundation, an oceanic research, conservation, and production organization dedicated to preserving and protecting dolphins, whales, and their ocean habitat.

In addition to handing out fliers and speaking at length about the subject, she is calling for a boycott of goods from Japan, Iceland, and Norway and is scheduled to visit the embassies of those countries plus attend a news conference with the US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources this week. When asked about her participation in these efforts, Hayden said:

I get that rush and feeling of really making a difference rather than just lending my face to something. I'd rather people pay attention to me doing this than shopping at Fred Segal. We're saving magnificent animals. I don't think anyone objects to that. I don't trust people who don't love animals.

Agreed. At just 18-years-old, her maturity on these issues is impressive and I hope she continues to speak up for what she believes in and that her fame can inspire others to get on board with the preservation movement as well. Good work, Hayden, on your real-life heroism!

Check out a gallery of the rally when you read more.