Time to sing the praises of Justin Bieber.
The young Canadian pop icon (from nearby Stratford, Ontario), who just celebrated his seventeenth birthday on March 1, is doing a lot to help animals.
Not only has he done ads for PETA encouraging compassion toward animals, he recently appeared on an episode of Ellen and auctioned a lock of his hair on eBay for $40,688. At Ellen's suggestion, Bieber donated the money to a wonderful farm sanctuary called Gentle Barn.
If you aren't familiar with Gentle Barn, please visit their website. Situated in Santa Clarita, California, north of the San Fernando Valley, Gentle Barn provides a loving home for more than 120 farm animals who were abused and neglected in their past lives.
Check out their website and you'll see inspiring scenes of kindness and compassion. An array of animals - pigs, sheep, chickens, horses, cows, donkeys, turkeys, llamas, dogs, cats - enjoy wide open spaces where they are loved and protected and receive the best care imaginable.
Sanctuaries like the Gentle Barn are so inspiring because they show us a different way of interacting with animals. Stories of animal neglect and abuse are rampant on Google News and in other news outlets. Each day brings more headlines of neglected animals, factory farm fires, packed shelters having to euthanize animals.
So when Justin Bieber's generous donation to the Gentle Barn made headlines, it was like a breath of fresh air.
Like it or not, celebrities such as Bieber have an enormous impact. When his fans - probably most of them youths - see his acts of compassion and care toward animals, they're going to become more aware of groups like the Gentle Barn that do what little good they can to counteract the horrific treatment of animals around the world.
I may not be a huge fan of Bieber's music. And Lord knows my hairline is much to receding to ever imitate his legendary haircut. But I applaud his work. He has good values. He is a wonderful example to his millions and millions of young fans. It's amazing how one little lock of hair can help so many deserving and beautiful beings.