Not only an Actor Torrey DeVito is a outspoken advocate for animals and incorporates conscious decisions into every aspect of her life from her cruelty-free makeup choices, to vegan fashion and eco-conscious sustainability. She is a spokesperson and ambassador for the NHPCO (a hospice care organization), works on awareness and prevention against sexual assault and violence by serving on the board of directors for SafeBAE, among other organizations. Her nonprofit work extends to campaigns with Animals Asia, PETA, the Humane Society, PAWS Chicago, and IMAlive
As you return to the spotlight after your remarkable run on "Chicago Med," what can fans expect from your upcoming projects? Any exciting roles or collaborations in the works?
I have a couple things in pre production right now that I am producing and very excited about. I really want to do things that I love and that make me happy. Not that I didn’t do that before, but as I get older, life and time become more precious to me, as does the time that I spend on set. I want to choose wisely.
Your activism for reproductive rights has garnered significant attention. Can you share how your personal experiences have shaped your advocacy work in this area?
Planned Parenthood was the first place I went for health care when I was younger and couldn’t afford much else. I am so grateful to have had that right and I will continue to fight for a women’s right to choose and ability to have fundamental healthcare in their lives as well. If we don’t have full autonomy over our own bodies, what do we have ? It is vitally important that we continue to fight for this.
Ouch! Magazine readers love discovering new cruelty-free beauty brands. Could you recommend some of your favorite makeup and skincare products that align with your values?
My favorite skincare that I use is called Elina Organics. Her products are skin changing! I have been using her products for the past 7 years and swear by them.
Your commitment to sustainable fashion is commendable. How do you approach building an Eco-conscious wardrobe while staying true to your personal style?
There are so many fabulous sustainable and vegan designers that add vegan and sustainable fashion into their collections these days. If I see something I love that isn’t vegan, it becomes fun for me to go on a hunt to find a version of that item that I can add into my wardrobe. I’ve been doing it so long now, it’s like second nature. It also feels very exciting to build a wardrobe that you know isn’t harming the environment or animals. Living a cruelty free life is very important to me.
Your work with the NHPCO as a spokesperson is incredibly important. Can you shed light on the impact of hospice care and why it's a cause close to your heart?
No one should ever have to die alone and hospice care provides that comfort.
SafeBAE has made great strides in raising awareness about sexual assault prevention. What specific initiatives or campaigns have you been involved in to empower and educate young people?
I love the work safeBae does. And I love that they allow me to show up in person and do the work face to face with the kids with them. One of my favorite things I do with them is tour high schools to speak face to face with kids about the work we are doing. It is so inspiring to feel the passion these youths have! It always leaves me feeling encouraged about the future.
Transitioning from acting to advocacy work can be challenging. How do you balance your career aspirations with your desire to make a difference in the world?
To me it all kind of flows together. The larger my platform and career grow, the bigger of a voice I have to speak on things that I am passionate about. On days where I maybe feel too tired and don’t want to get out of bed , that thought is the force that drives me to get up and go!
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations as an artist and advocate? Are there any dream roles or campaigns you hope to be a part of in the future?
I just want to do things that make me happy. Life is too short to do anything else. I love working and I’m excited for what’s coming in the future but I also love spending time with my family and my loved ones these days. That seems to be where a lot of my focus is at the moment, and I love this new stage of life I’m entering into. Advocacy is just a part of who I am, it’s been in my blood since I was a kid and it will be constantly ongoing and ever changing for the rest of my life. I plan to continue to show up in any way and all ways, whenever I can.
Animals Asia, PETA, the Humane Society, PAWS Chicago, and IMAlive are just a few of the organizations you've supported. Could you share a memorable experience or project from your collaborations with these animal welfare groups?
IMAlive is actually a suicide prevention organization. I did a collaboration with them once on Valentine's Day where I encouraged everyone to leave random kindness notes on strangers' cars. I did it myself and had so much fun with it.
Last year I was invited to travel to Vietnam with Animals Asia to tour their beautiful grounds where all the moon bears they have rescued from bear bile farming live, and to help break ground on a new property they are turning into a Moon Bear sanctuary as well. The work they are doing over there to end bear bile farming is so beautiful! They have made strides in ending this horrific trade.
My favorite campaign with PETA was for their ‘whose skin are you in' campaign. I think it’s so important for people to be aware of the suffering many, many animals go through for that one purse, or one jacket.
And for paws and humane society, just being able to help raise awareness about animal welfare and animal adoption is a huge passion of mine. All my animals are adopted and I wouldn’t do it any other way! There are so many animals that need a home and your love. If you’re thinking about getting your own little furry friend to add into your home, please consider adopting.
How do you use your social media platforms to amplify the messages of the causes you support? Any tips for Ouch magazine readers who want to use their online presence for activism?
I think it’s important to use any sort of platform you have to speak about things that you’re passionate about. Our voice and opinions are all we have and it’s so crucially important that we use them towards a goal that’s bigger and greater than us.
But I also think it’s important to realize that some people have social anxiety or are just not ready to speak out about certain things yet and that’s OK too. I never want anyone to feel pressured to put things out there in a public way unless they are ready and feel called to. I think we need to be a little easier on our fellow humans and less judgmental of how people individually choose to show up. Just because this is how I choose to show up for the causes that mean something to me, doesn’t mean that’s how it looks for someone else to show up who is passionate about their own cause. Showing up looks different for everyone. I think we put too much pressure on people to show up the way we deem they should.
It’s very important to me to make sure kindness and love are always the base of my activism and anything I share on social media. I’m worried we are losing that too much.