Several of our visionaries are sadly no longer with us:
Bernard Rollin was Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and a University Distinguished Professor. Rollin's interests included both traditional philosophy and applied philosophy, and he specialized in animal ethics, animal pain and animal consciousness. He was author of 17 books and over 500 articles. He was a principal architect of the 1985 US federal law protecting laboratory animals.
Tony was Professor of Population Health at the Australian National University. He contributed substantively to the scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He advised the World Health Organization on climate change risks to human health and chaired an expert group on the interactions between environment, climate, agriculture/livestock and poverty in the emergence of infectious diseases. His work has been widely published and he authored three books.
Born in 1928, John Baker was ordained as a Priest in 1964. Baker worked at Westminster Abbey where he met his wife, Jill, with whom he shares a deep concern for animals. After Westminster, he moved to Salisbury as Bishop. As well as writing on Christian belief, he worked for peace in Northern Ireland, nuclear disarmament and Christian reunion. For ten years, he was President of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals and was a patron of Compassion in World Farming.
Mipham Chokyi Lodro was a Buddhist scholar and the lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2009 he founded the Infinite Compassion Foundation to promote compassion for animals. He advocated reform of the meat industry, so that animals would not be forced to live and die in brutal conditions. Mipham Chokyi Lodro wrote two books - Creating a Transparent Democracy: a New Model, and The Path to Awakening, a comprehensive manual of meditation techniques.
David was Veterinary Director for International Animal Welfare Consultants Ltd. He chaired both the Animal Welfare Working Group (2002-12) and the Laboratory Animal Welfare group (current) of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). An internationally awarded animal health and welfare vet, on retiring from the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture, he received a Queen’s Service Order (QSO) in the New Year’s Honours list. David joined WSPA as its Chief Veterinary Adviser in 2012.
Sir Peter O’Sullevan CBE, became the much-loved voice of British racing through his expert commentaries on BBC television from 1947-97. The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust generously supports Sir Peter’s six chosen charities equally, including Compassion in World Farming. The support of the Trust has enabled great progress towards Compassion’s End the Cage Age campaign and food business work.
David was regarded by many as one of the world’s leading wildlife artists, but his work also embraced landscape paintings and portraits, including one of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He was the subject of many television programmes, including “This is Your Life”.
David founded the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, (www.davidshephered.org), in 1984 and through this he was able to pay off his enormous debt of gratitude to the animals to whom he owed his success.
Jay published 40 books of poetry, non-fiction and (with Martin Palmer) translations of Chinese philosophical and religious classics—most recently his Bible for the 21st C. The Dangerous Book. Poetry collections include Out of Time – 1998-2008, Places of Truth, Monuments, and in 2018 Pilgrimage (www.awenpublications.co.uk). He was poetry editor of Caduceus magazine. He had also worked as poet in residence at St James’ Piccadilly and Lambeth Palace. He also worked as a UKCP accredited photosynthesis psychotherapist and healer and ran workshops nationwide.
Audrey was author of The F-Plan Diet, which sold a record breaking 4 million copies and raised awareness of the need for a healthy human diet to be mainly based on plants. She was a former Chairwoman of the UK Health Awards Committee and founded the first UK consumer magazine focused entirely on diet. As a philanthropist she had, for decades, given all her earnings to organisations involved in opposing the cruelties of factory farming.
Arjen Hoekstra was professor in Water Management at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He was the founding father of the field of Water Footprint Assessment, a research field addressing the relations between freshwater management, consumption and trade, and was co-founder of the Water Footprint Network. His publications cover a wide range of topics, including work for Compassion in World Farming/WSPA, on the water footprint of animal products.
One of Britain’s best-loved singers, Dame Vera came to fame in World War 2, becoming “The Forces’ Sweetheart”, entertaining British troops in India, Burma and Egypt and recording best-sellers like We’ll Meet Again. She continued a starry career, becoming the oldest artist, at 92, to reach No 1 in the British album chart in 2009! She is respected for her charity work, in particular for the Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy and her work for the Armed Forces.
South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was one of the world’s leading figures in the fight against oppression. He received worldwide recognition during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid and, later, as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He retired as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996 but continued as a tireless campaigner for health and human rights. Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his anti-apartheid work. He was also clear that non-human animals fully deserve moral consideration, writing that: “Churches should lead the way by making clear that all cruelty – to other animals as well as human beings – is an affront to civilized living and a sin before God.” . In signing Compassion in World Farming’s Vision for Fair Food and Farming, he said: “I support this Vision for Fair Food and Farming, being so aware as I am of the cruelty that we mete out to animals… I hope we will learn that we are related to the animals and to Nature and if we destroy the balance, we are ultimately going to suffer and pay the price.”
 Linzey, A., 2013. Global Guide to Animal Protection. University of Illinois Press
Bruce Kent, 22 June 1929 - 8 June 2022
Compassion in World Farming was extremely sad to hear of the passing of our Visionary and Patron, Bruce Kent. Bruce was the leading light of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) for many years. He was forced to leave the Catholic priesthood in 1987 due to his political statements, and became the Vice-President of Pax Christi, the Catholic peace organisation.
Bruce was also passionate in his abhorrence of factory farming, becoming a Patron of Compassion. In 2007, he was named by the Daily Telegraph’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, David Blair, as “the most principled and consistent figure in British public life”. We were honoured to have him as our Visionary and Patron, and we shall miss his commitment and kindness.
We have written a obituary to Bruce here.
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