The actress is promoting kinder living conditions for bunnies and more

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February 05, 2015 11:50 AM

As true Harry Potter fans know, Luna Lovegood’s protective patronus – the spirit animal of the Wizarding World – is a rabbit. Now the actress who played Luna in the films, Evanna Lynch, is showing bunnies in the Muggle World some love.

Lynch, 23, is raising awareness for End the Cage Age, an animal-rights campaign organized by the French branch of Compassion in World Farming, a worldwide farm animal welfare group.

“I’m a passionate animal rights advocate,” Lynch told PEOPLE on Friday at Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter. “I wanted to find a charity that was more moderate. I love the work of PETA, but I think it isolates a lot of people. But everyone can agree that even if they’re fine eating animals, they don’t want them to suffer unnecessarily.”

End the Cage Age aims to promote kinder living conditions for farm animals – especially rabbits, which comprise the largest group of caged farm animals in Europe. (You can watch Evanna make a plea for the bunnies – in French! – here.)

For Lynch, the response to the campaign from Potter fans has been positive. “I get so many comments like, ‘It’s your patronus! This is perfect! Now I’ll support it!’”

Attending the three-day Celebration of Harry Potter event at Universal Orlando, the Irish star shared that her animal rights activism has impacted her ability to enjoy at least one Wizarding World treat.

“My favorite is the butterbeer ice cream, and I can’t have it!” she says, explaining that she recently adopted a vegan diet.

No doubt her beloved alter ego would approve. Asked about Luna’s post-Hogwarts life, in which she went on to become a noted magizoologist, she says, “I think Luna would fight for animals. I think she has a strong spiritual connection with them.”

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