International Women’s Day (IWD) is honoured each 8th of March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout time, all over the world. We at THE PACK would like to bark on about how pawesome so many women are—including our Co-Founder Judy! Whether it’s because they’re a mum to a rescue pup or created their own organisation to help pooches out, we want to give a 'round of a-paws' to all women who have made the world a more compassionate place. To keep it short and ‘treat’, in this blog, we’re focusing on eight women who stood up for animals and paved the way for the plant-based revolution.
🌱 Anna Kingsford (1846-1888) was an English anti-vivisectionist—in fact, she was one of the first English women to earn a degree in medicine and did so without having experimented on one animal! Her fervour for animal rights extended into her literary works, with one of her most famous and influential pieces being The Perfect Way in Diet (1881), in which she advocated for vegetarianism. Kingsford proved that it was possible to leave animals off her plate (and the lab table) and still pursue her passion.
🌱 Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1804) was among the best-known Irish feminist writers and thinkers of her time, making her a leading women’s suffrage campaigner. She was also a passionate anti-vivisection activist. In addition to writing various revered works on the plight of women, Cobbe founded multiple animal rights organisations, including the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection (SPALV) in 1875—the first organisation to campaign against animal experiments—and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898, which today exists as Cruelty Free International.
🌱 Rukmini Devi Arundale (1904-1986) first made history through her classical dance career, being responsible for catalysing the comeback of the traditional Indian Bharatanatyam dance form. In addition to her art, in 1956, she became the first woman to be nominated as a member of the upper house of the Parliament of India, where she made fundamental changes for animals in her country by setting up the Animal Welfare Board of India (1962)—the first to be established by any government in the world. Her achievements were so impressive and her compassion so admired that she was offered the position of President of India in 1977 by then Prime Minister Rukmini Devi—which would have made her the first woman to hold that office—though she turned this offer down to continue her work in promoting the arts and animal welfare.
🌱 Ruth Harrison (1920-2000) was an English animal welfare activist who is credited for opening the public’s eyes to the horrors of industrial factory farming in her novel Animal Machines (1964). As a result of her work, in 1965, the British government issued the ‘Brambell Report’, which outlines the ‘five freedoms’ that are considered the minimum standard for animal welfare by most veterinarians and animal advocacy organisations today, including the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the American Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The five freedoms include (1) freedom from hunger or thirst; (2) freedom from discomfort; (3) freedom from pain, injury or disease; (4) freedom to express normal behaviour; and (5) freedom from fear and distress.
🌱 Linda McCartney (1941-1988) made eating your veggies cool before it hit the mainstream. Known for being a successful American photographer and musician in her own right (though having also worked alongside former Beatle and husband Paul), today, Linda’s name can be seen in nearly every supermarket, due to having founded one of the first vegetarian food companies, Linda McCartney Foods, back in 1991. While living in the limelight, Linda released multiple meat-free recipe books that inspired many to leave animals off their plate. Her legacy continues today, with her family re-releasing (and veganising!) her classic recipes in Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen: Over 90 Plant-Based Recipes to Save the Planet and Nourish the Soul (2021).
🌱 Carol J. Adams (1951-present) is a vegan and feminist activist, known for pointing out the intersectional objectification of human and non-human female animals, most notably in The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (1990), which continues to be referred to as one of the most influential pieces of work in the animal rights movement. Today, Adams continues to give a voice to animals who are exploited in the meat and dairy industries and is a trailblazer for promoting their rights from a feminist perspective.
🌱 Jo-Anne McArthur (1976- present) is an award-winning Canadian photojournalist whose long-term body of work, We Animals (1998-present; now known as We Animals Media) exhibits human’s complex, conflicted relationship with non-human animals around the world. Her photos include heart-breaking images of animals that are used in the food, fashion, entertainment and research industries. Through We Animals Media, Jo-Anne has made available over 20,000 royalty-free images and video clips that are used by animal welfare and rights organisations, academics, and publications such as National Geographic, VICE, Huffington Post, The Guardian and The Washington Post—advancing the animal advocacy movement through her lens.
🌱 Genesis Butler (2007-present) is an environmental and animal rights activist who was one of the youngest people to ever give a TEDx Talk in 2017. As a ten-year-old, Genesis highlighted, to a room of her elders, the correlation between environmental degradation and animal consumption. Genesis has since collaborated with multiple non-profits that promote plant-based lifestyles, including Farm Sanctuary and Mercy for Animals. She’s started her own non-profit (Genesis for Animals), has been named by BBC as one of the top activists changing the world and has been awarded the Lisa Shapiro Youth Activist Award, the PETA Young Animal Activist of the Year Award and the Animal Hero Kids’ Sir Paul McCartney Young Veg Advocate Award. She has even been made into a Marvel hero! How pawesome (and well deserved) is that?
Judy Nadel is proving that food tech and plant-based, compassionate options are the future. In 2017, Judy co-founded Vevolution—a platform for plant-based innovators to come together and bring to life their solutions for making the world a more sustainable, kinder place. In 2020, she co-founded us, THE PACK, making her a leader in the plant-based space for our four-legged friends. Both of Judy’s companies have become driving forces in strengthening the vegan movement and building communities—first for humans and now for 'human's best friend'.
We at THE PACK are grateful for the women above, among others, who accelerated the plant-based revolution that is happening before our eyes, that we are so excited to be a part of.
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