The mission of Minding Animals International is to advance animal studies worldwide. Every three years we partner with a like-minded organisation or a university to co-produce an international conference for scholars, advocates, policy makers, artists, veterinarians, and others. By ‘we’ I mean me, as volunteer Executive Director, and my colleague Rod Bennison, founder and chair… Read More


Now that I’m at the end of the second week of my three week trip to the USA, it’s time for a further update on my activities. For example, in New York City I: Spoke about animal rights to some 60 students at Pace University in two Ethics in the Work Place classes and one… Read More


The presentation that I made at the recent International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg is now available to watch. It was called ‘Animal Witness’ at the conference but is given the name ‘Why Animals and Their Well-Being Matter to Us’ on YouTube but more importantly it reflects the essence of what I have to say in… Read More


There’s something fascinating about the so-called Cambridge spies: Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Kim Philby. They all came from the upper middle class and met at Cambridge University in the 1930s. They went onto hold various powerful positions in society while acting as double agents for the U.K. and U.S.S.R. or worked in the… Read More


I was hoping for more from reading The Evolution of Veganism: Is Empowered Activism the Next Stage? by Wayne Hsiung, founding organiser of Direct Action Everywhere (DAE). His three conclusions are: The first is that we have to move beyond simply creating an environment that accepts and tolerates vegans. The second is that a confident… Read More


Thirty years ago in London’s Trafalgar Square, I was the lead organiser of a national demonstration to recognise World Day for Laboratory Animals, when I was Campaigns Officer at the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. The protest was at that point in time the world’s largest animal rights demonstration with nine thousand people, with the… Read More


The International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg is an impressive event. It attracts animal advocates from across the world and produces an impressive program of speakers. It is also well organised and comprehensive and welcoming. Generally, the attendees are younger activists. They are thoughtful and passionate. The conference is held at the Centre Culturel Kulturfabrik… Read More


In March I spoke at a conference organised by Critical Perspectives on Animals in Society at the University of Exeter. I shared the platform with Lee McConnell from Northumbria University School of Law. Here’s a video of the session, which was chaired by author Mark Gold. Click here for a copy of my paper ‘Animal Rights: Moral… Read More


In praise of undercover investigations by animal rights advocates, including the latest by Animal Equality in a pig farm in England this weekend. One of the strongest characteristics of the animal rights movement is our relentless commitment to expose animal cruelty hidden by the animal industrial complex which profits mightily by its exploitation of animals.… Read More


The Spanish animal rights organisation, Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality), bring attention to animal exploitation with a dramatic protest on International Day for Animal Rights on December 10. Four hundred activists from several countries each hold in their hands carcasses of farmed animals (e.g., chickens, pigs, lambs) although one is holding the body of a dog.… Read More


My Animals and Society Institute colleague, Bee Friedlander, writes on the ASI Diary (blog) about the protest underway on Wall Street. Anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock this past week has heard about “Occupy Wall Street,” a movement that seemingly has come out of nowhere, beginning in New York City a few weeks… Read More


A recent New York Times oped was brought to my attention by a long standing friend and colleague. She situated it within the context of the debate surrounding the announcement by The HSUS and United Egg Producers, a debate which brings into focus the perennial issue among most if not all social movements: regulation vs.… Read More


After more than one year of meetings between academics and animal advocates which was prompted, in part, by my call for an animal rights think tank at the Minding Animals seminar in London in 2008, this week sees the launch of the Institute for Animals and Social Justice at an inaugural ‘Animals and Public Policy’ seminar… Read More


Martin Lacey from the Great British Circus spoke out in support of animals performing in circuses but refused access to the BBC to film the animals in his care. A move which could be seen to be audacious or naive (or both) given that the House of Commons was about to debate a motion calling… Read More


Worryingly, in every major green group, managers, administrators, communicators and fundraisers outnumber campaigners and researchers. Too many staff have become obsessed with the process of running an organisation. Interminable meetings, not action, are the order of most days. All too often, fundraisers and PR teams, not campaigners, call the shots. Today’s activists regard once radical… Read More


Periodically, I set tests for animal welfare/rights and vegan/vegetarian organisations in the UK and US to see if they past them. These tests are one of the ways I use to determine if the group is cost-effective, productive and deserves my support, recommendation and involvement. My tests include signing up for e-newsletters, making donations, posting… Read More


Jill Howard Church, my colleague at the Animals and Society Institute, assesses the outbreak of Ag Gag Bills in various US states. She writes, By using its considerable financial and political resources to enact these “ag gag” bills, the industry is hoping the whole issue of factory farm cruelty will be nudged away, by adding… Read More


Whenever I read media reports alleging that animal rights activists threaten so and so because of such and such they do to animals, I always want to know if they state whether the evidence of the threats have been handed over to the police for investigation. If they don’t, I am always sceptical of the… Read More


Among the number of animal advocates who I most admire are Karen Davis, president and founder of United Poultry Concerns, and the philosopher Peter Singer. In a movement that isn’t always capable of rational and respectful debate on ideas and strategy, Karen makes the case in this thoughtful and fascinating article that Peter’s ethical stance… Read More


The great humanitarian, vegetarian and ethical socialist Henry S. Salt died today 72 years ago in Brighton in 1939. He wrote his own eulogy which was read out at his service. When I say I shall die, as I have lived, rationalist, socialist, pacifist, and humanitarian, I must make my meaning clear. I wholly disbelieve… Read More