Shocked and heartbroken doesn’t even begin to cover how we all felt when we heard the news about the tragic and untimely passing of our friend Casey Calvert of Hawthorne Heights.

Anyone who spent even just a few minutes with Casey could tell what a genuinely kind person he was. Often when someone passes away, people say things like, “He was the nicest guy I ever met,” but in this case, it was true.

Casey was always full of life. Although shy, he always had a kind word for everyone, made time for his fans, and was dedicated to helping animals in any way he could. He was fun and quirky, and things like his obsession for Tofu Robots and his deep-rooted hatred of onions only endeared him that much more to all of us.

When we spoke with Casey the summer before he passed, he told us that he had recently discovered the joys of not only tofu but vegetables too. He also talked about how seeing animals trucked to slaughter made him feel and about the importance of spaying and neutering dogs and cats. Here’s a look back at just a few of the many issues that were important to Casey.

Helping animals in shelters was important to both Casey and his wife, so lending a hand at your local animal shelter would be a great way to remember him. Please call your local animal shelter and find out what you need to do to become a volunteer and remember to educate your friends about animals in shelters who need your help.

If you’re not able to help out at your local animal shelter, there are lots of other things you can do to keep Casey’s work going, like boycott KFC or pass out peta2 stickers.

Since Casey believed strongly in animal rights and was a vegetarian, another great way to honor his memory is to go vegetarian yourself. So take the Veg Pledge in honor of all the great work Casey’s done to make the world a kinder place.