With Paul Wesley—who has been cast to play the youthful James T. Kirk in season two of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds series—the Star Trek world is about to have its first vegan Captain Kirk. Wesley will portray a youthful Captain Kirk, a role created by William Shatner in the original Star Trek series and performed by Wesley. Strange New Worlds is a Star Trek spinoff series that follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and his crew in the years leading up to Captain Kirk’s ascension to the helm of the USS Enterprise.
In a joint statement, Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman and Co-showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers stated, “Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence, and a welcome key addition to the show… Like all of us, he is a life-long Star Trek fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.”
Wesley sat next to Shatner on a flight to Los Angeles by happenstance, an event he captured on Twitter. Shatner had just returned from his true mission to space. Wesley wrote, “I could barely put two words together but ultimately I managed to say hello and we chatted… I’m not one who usually believes in fate but this was more than a coincidence … Can’t wait for all of you to see our Captain Kirk on your screens.”
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will premiere on Paramount+ in the United States, Latin America, Australia, and the Nordic area on May 5, 2022. Season 2 is presently in the works.
Wesley has been a vegan activist for more than a decade, regularly contributing his voice to animal-rights concerns and utilizing his social media platform to urge fans to go vegan. He is best known for his major role as Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries. Wesley turned to Twitter in 2020 to urge his then 4.1 million followers to understand more about industrial farming’s atrocities and its links to zoonotic illnesses.
“Factory farming is, in my opinion, one of the most important issues of our time. If not the most important… The unimaginable suffering imposed on living beings, the cause of numerous diseases/pandemics, and the greatest contributor to climate change. Join me and go vegan in 2021,” Wesley tweeted.
Wesley also pushed Vice President Kamala Harris to try vegan Thanksgiving cuisine. Harris, who previously admitted to attempting to eat a plant-based diet before 6 p.m., shared a pork-based cornbread dressing recipe on Instagram, prompting many followers, including Wesley, to ask for a vegan version. “How about we use veggie sausage instead of pork and help fight climate change?” he asked.
Wesley advocates for animals by investing in vegan firms, such as Wild Earth, a dog food brand that is disrupting the traditional pet food sector with its plant-based formulas, in addition to utilizing his social media platforms to speak out about animal-rights problems.
“Since discovering Wild Earth for my dog Greggy, I have largely admired the mission behind Wild Earth and its dedicated efforts to achieve a food system that works better for people, the planet, and animals as it mirrors my own beliefs around the reality of today’s industrialized food system… I look forward to encouraging Wild Earth as they continue to reinvent pet food and appreciate their support throughout my endeavors,” Wesley said in a statement.
To commemorate Wesley’s role as Captain Kirk, Wild Earth created a special “Warp Speed to Good Health Starter Pack” and established a distribution relationship with Walmart, making its vegan food more available to canines across the country.
“Upon meeting Paul, our shared vision for the future of all food as plant-based and cell-based led to his investment and partnership… Now, as a life-long Star Trek fan, I am over the moon celebrating Paul’s success and am eager for those first hearing about vegan pet food to join us in our mission to explore cruelty-free choices for pets everywhere with my favorite new (and old) Captain James T. Kirk,” Ryan Bethencourt, Wild Earth’s Co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
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