I worked in a chicken slaughterhouse 40 years ago this summer. I was a student at a college in London learning how to manage hotels and restaurants. Three years later, I was a vegan at Compassion In World Farming, campaigning against factory farming and the live export of farmed animals to Europe. Today, I work… Read More


Although the impact of ecofeminism on my thinking about animal rights is as present as ever in my life, I had forgotten how important the presence of Feminists for Animal Rights was in the animal rights movement … until yesterday’s conference in celebration of the life and work of Marti Kheel at Wesleyan University in… Read More


On Saturday, September 29, I was lucky to be part of a walking group led by historian Hilda Kean which explored ‘Animal Pasts in London’s Landscape Today.’ As Hilda writes on her Web site, Alongside our human ancestors animals have created the physical and cultural landscape of London as it exists today. In this walk of… Read More


Writing this on September 11, I cannot but help think of it as a sad day. Not only for everyone who was affected by the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001, but also for the people in South America, when a military coup in Chile in 1973, deposed the democratically elected government. As… Read More


Nearly one week ago I returned to England from the Netherlands where I attended the second international Minding Animals conference at the University of Utrecht. Although I have been incredibly busy between then and now, the luxury of these few days distance offers me an opportunity to reflect and consider what it all meant to… Read More


Toward the end of 1975 the BBC began an innovative series of community-based television programs called ‘Open Door.’⁠ They selected a handful of organisations to help them make programs about themselves. Among the first was one by and about The Vegan Society. I recall watching the program as a vegetarian. My Mum also watched it… Read More


The animal rights movement is a social movement. Sociologists define social movements as a ‘collective, organized, sustained, and noninstitutional challenge to authorities, powerholders, or cultural beliefs and practices.’⁠ (Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper. 2002. The Social Movement Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 3.) From my research I discovered there were many similarities between social movements,… Read More


This Web site celebrates its fifth birthday today! On February 8, 2010 the first post was made here. This is the 355th post, which makes an average of six posts per month. Here’s a photo of one my vegan fruit cakes to celebrate. BIG thank you to everyone who visits!… Read More


I have known Peter Singer since the late 1970s and greatly admire and respect him. His influence on my understanding of animal ethics is significant. This does not mean to say that I agree with everything he says. Because I don’t. In truth, there isn’t anyone who I agree with completely, including myself! Given my… Read More


Whether you agree or not with the premise made in Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, it cannot but help to provoke a great deal of interest in anyone who thinks and cares deeply about the human condition. The significant amount of media attention given to the book suggests that we… Read More


Attending last evening’s launch of two new Animal Studies books at the University of Brighton, I was reminded, once again, of the generational shift currently underway in which young people who had grown up in a climate of increased public awareness of animal rights and environmental advocacy are now ascending into positions of authority in… Read More


New Zealand’s animal advocacy organisation, SAFE, recently asked me and other animal advocates throughout the world three questions to present to attendees of their forthcoming national animal rights conference. I thought I would share them with you. Question 1: If you could give a message for New Zealand animal activists what would you say? The single… 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


Late yesterday I or, rather, this Web site, received my/our first homophobic slur. Homo Not such a big deal, really. Could be a lot worse, of course. In the UK and throughout the world people, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people, are routinely insulted, assaulted and killed for who they are. Of course, the… Read More


Seventy years ago today Virginia Woolf drowned herself. It would be remiss not to remember a writer who continues to inspire probably more than any other.… Read More


Here is the trailer for an interesting new film, Nonviolence for a Change, which is commissioned by the Turning the Tide programme of Quaker Peace and Social Witness. There’s also a report in The Guardian about this which is written by Zoe Broughton, an undercover investigator who has worked at a number of facilities, including… Read More


It was 30 years ago this month that the “young turks” won control of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. I first joined BUAV as an employee in 1978 after two years working at Compassion In World Farming as their campaigns organiser. CIWF was a young, small but important organisation led by Peter… Read More


The Buddha taught the Noble Eightfold Path as the way to extinguish suffering. It describes how to live ethically, thereby redressing the in-balance we experience in the world. I have adapted the traditional descriptions of the Noble Eightfold Path to include specific references to the practice of animal advocacy. Right Understanding. Study the Four Noble… Read More


Issues surrounding suffering, not only experienced by humans and animals but also by myself as someone who spends a lot of time in melancholic thought, are something that I think about most of the time. I was impressed with how the Buddha answered these fundamentally important questions about the nature of suffering. Buddhism and Engaged… Read More


My spiritual connection with veganism is with Buddhism and Engaged Buddhism. So, my spiritual approach to being vegan is material or, rather, my material vegan lifestyle is influenced by the spiritual message of Buddhism. Can I please be a secular-non-practicing-Buddhist-spiritual-grumpy-vegan? This is why I find myself writing about the Way of Vegan, which is inspired… Read More