If there’s one universally attractive quality, it’s kindness. Now, research from the U.K. takes this a step further, suggesting that people who are more compassionate may also have more passionate love lives.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham and Liverpool John Moores University had a group of women and men look at a series of pictures of members of the opposite sex and rate them based on attractiveness. Each photo was accompanied by a few facts about the person, including his or her kind deeds, such as getting groceries for an elderly neighbor, and participation in charity work, such as volunteering in a soup kitchen.

The results? Both men and women rated people who had invested time and effort in helping others as more attractive for a long-term relationship. One researcher explained that compassionate acts can be “a show of vigour, rather like a peacock’s tail.” And who wouldn’t want a partner who is sensitive and caring?

So if you want to enhance your attractiveness, don’t bother with designer clothes or fancy haircuts. Instead, roll up your sleeves and let your compassion shine by getting active for animals. There are countless ways to do this. You could volunteer to exercise or groom the cats and dogs at your local animal shelter. You could donate a stack of animal rights books, DVDs, and vegan cookbooks to your local library. You could put your culinary chops to work by whipping up a delicious vegan meal for a home-bound neighbor. Or you could set up an information table at a community event and hand out PETA’s vegetarian/vegan starter kit.

However you choose to get active, you’ll be living out your beliefs and making the world a kinder place for animals. And there is nothing more attractive than that.