A Voice for the Voiceless: Leaders of the Animal Rights Revolution
In May 2019, the United Nations released a report warning that biodiversity on the planet was in a dangerously fast global decline. The report claimed around a million animal and plant species were under threat of extinction, the highest number in human history.
Animals can’t speak for themselves about threats to their survival, but some people have made it their life’s mission to protect Earth’s biodiversity. These researchers, activists and artists are leaders in the animal rights revolution and provide a voice for the planet’s beautiful endangered creatures.
Dr. Anne Innis Dagg
Dr. Anne Innis Dagg first fell in love with giraffes after a visit to her local zoo. In the 1950s, Dagg traveled alone to South Africa to observe giraffes in their native habitat. She was the first person to study giraffes in the wild and the first person to study wild animals in Africa.
Zephaniah is an acclaimed playwright, novelist, actor and social justice leader. It wasn’t until he read poems about "shimmering fish floating in an underwater paradise" and "birds flying free in the clear blue sky" that the artist took interest in animal rights.
Dame Jane Goodall, DBE
Jane Goodall is the world’s expert on chimpanzees. For over 55 years, Goodall has devoted her life to studying social interactions of chimps, starting from her first trip to Tanzania in 1960. Before she had the scientific training to influence her research, Goodall observed chimps as social creatures. Her methods revolutionized the ways we look at primates today.
Howard Lyman came from a long line of farmers. As a fourth-generation farmer, Lyman produced dairy, chicken, beef and pork to continue his family's legacy. In 1979, everything changed when Lyman's doctors found a tumor in his spine. He swore that, if he survived the operation to remove the tumor, he would transform his land into a chemical-free organic farm.
Dr. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert
As of 2016, Northern Thailand had fewer than 3,000 wild elephants living in the forests. At the same time, roughly 4,000 were living in captivity. Sangduen "Lek" Chailert grew up in Northern Thailand around the horrific abuse many domestic local elephants endured.
Dr. Eugenie Clark
Dr. Eugenie Clark was an early pioneer in marine conservation efforts. Affectionately nicknamed "The Shark Lady," Clark was most recognized for her study of shark behavior and for her efforts to improve their reputation in the media.