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List of animal rights advocates

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List of animal rights advocates

Brigitte Bardot, French animal rights activist
Benjamin Zephaniah, British poet
Lizzy Lind af Hageby, Swedish anti-vivisectionist
J.M. Coetzee, South African recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature
Marianne Thieme, Dutch member of parliament
Elissa Sursara, Australian correspondent
Peter Singer, Australian philosopher
Jesús Mosterín, Spanish philosopher
Carol J. Adams, American eco-feminist writer
Martin Balluch, Austrian co-founder of Vegane Gesellschaft Österreich
Martha Nussbaum, American philosopher
V. R. Krishna Iyer, Indian judge
Liz White, Canadian animal rights activist
Gary Francione, American law professor
Alice Walker, American novelist
Rukmini Devi, Indian dancer and animal rights activist
Tom Regan, American philosopher
Linda and Paul McCartney, British musicians
Jane Velez-Mitchell, American journalist
Joaquin Phoenix, Puerto Rican-born actor
Caroline Earle White, American anti-vivisectionist
Peter Tatchell, Australian-born civil rights activist
k.d. lang, Canadian musician
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born recipient of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature
Pamela Anderson, Canadian model
Gene Baur, American president of Farm Sanctuary
Elizabeth Kucinich, British-born director of public affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and her husband, Dennis Kucinich, United States Congressman
Cesar Chavez, American co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association
Anna Kingsford, British anti-vivisectionist
Alex Pacheco, American animal rights activist
Lea Michele, American actress
Keith Mann, British animal rights activist
Chrissie Hynde, American musician
Jeremy Bentham, British philosopher
Kim Basinger, American actress
Bill Maher, American comedian
Cass Sunstein, American law professor

Advocates of animal rights as well as activists for animal liberation hold the view that to deny the most basic needs of sentient creatures – such as the avoidance of pain – to non-human animals, on the basis of species membership alone, is a form of discrimination akin to racism or sexism. Many animal rights advocates argue that non-human animals should be regarded as persons and members of the moral community whose interests deserve legal protection.[1]

The animal rights movement emerged in the 19th century, focused largely on opposition to vivisection, and in the 1960s the modern movement sprang up in England around the Hunt Saboteurs Association. In the 1970s, the Australian and American philosophers, Peter Singer and Tom Regan, began to provide the movement with its philosophical foundations. Singer argued for animal liberation on the basis of utilitarianism, first in 1973 in The New York Review of Books and later in his Animal Liberation (1975), while Regan developed a deontological theory of animal rights in several papers from 1975 onwards, followed by The Case for Animal Rights (1983).[2]

A distinction persists within the movement – based on the utilitarian/deontological divide – between those who seek incremental reform, a position known as animal protectionism, and those on the abolitionist side, who argue that reform that aims to regulate, rather than abolish, the property status of animals is counter-productive.[3]


The following is a list of notable animal rights advocates from all positions within the movement, from academics to activists, listed according to their country of birth.
Name Born Image Country of birth Occupation Source
Carol J. Adams 1951 US Eco-feminist writer, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat (1990) [4]
Bryan Adams 1959 Canada Musician, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [5]
Douglas Adams 1952–2001 UK Writer, campaigner for the Great Ape Project [6]
Casey Affleck 1975 US Actor, animal rights activist [7]
Cleveland Amory 1917–1998 US Founder of the Fund for Animals, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society [8]
Pamela Anderson 1967 Canada Model, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [9]
Michael Aufhauser 1952 Germany Founder of Gut Aiderbichl, an animal sanctuary [10]
Greg Avery 1963 UK Co-founder of the Consort beagles, Hillgrove cats, and SHAC campaigns [11]
Alec Baldwin 1958 US Actor, narrator of Meet Your Meat (2002) [12]
Matt Ball US Executive director of Vegan Outreach, co-author of The Animal Activist's Handbook (2009) [13]
Martin Balluch 1954 Austria Co-founder of Vegane Gesellschaft Österreich, president of Verein Gegen Tierfabriken [14]
David Barbarash Canada Former spokesperson for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office [15]
Neal Barnard US President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [16]
Shane and Sia Barbi 1963 US Models [17]
Brigitte Bardot 1934 France Former model, animal rights activist, founder of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation [18]
Kim Basinger 1953 US Actress, model, animal rights activist [19]
Gene Baur US Founder of Farm Sanctuary [20]
Tom Beauchamp US Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, co-author of The Human Use of Animals (1998) [21]
Marc Bekoff 1945 US Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [22]
Jeremy Bentham 1748–1832 UK Philosopher, author of the oft-quoted "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" [23]
Steven Best 1955 US Philosopher, former Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson [24]
Michela Vittoria Brambilla 1967 Italy Politician [25]
Brigid Brophy 1929–1995 UK Writer, author of an influential article, "The Rights of Animals," in The Sunday Times, London, 1965. [26]
Mel Broughton 1960 UK Co-founder of the SPEAK campaign [27]
Ned Buyukmihci UK Doctor of veterinary medicine, founder of Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights [28]
Paola Cavalieri Italy Philosopher, campaigner for the Great Ape Project [29]
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1623–1673 UK Writer, anti-vivisectionist [30]
Cesar Chavez 1927–1993 US Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association [31]
Alan Clark 1928–1999 UK Conservative Member of Parliament (1974–1992) [32]
Stephen R. L. Clark 1945 UK Professor of philosophy at the University of Liverpool (1984–2009), author of The Moral Status of Animals (1977) [33]
Jean Clemens 1880–1909 US Daughter of Mark Twain [34]
Frances Power Cobbe 1822–1904 UK Founder of the National Anti-Vivisection Society and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection [35]
Alasdair Cochrane 1978 UK Political theorist based at the University of Sheffield; author of An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory and Animal Rights without Liberation. [36]
Sue Coe 1951 UK Artist, illustrator, author of "Cruel: Bearing Witness to Animal Exploitation" (2012) [37]
J. M. Coetzee 1940 South Africa Novelist, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, author of The Lives of Animals (1999) [38]
Priscilla Cohn US Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, associate director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [39]
Rod Coronado 1966 US Animal rights activist, formerly for the ALF, Earth First!, and ELF [40]
James Cromwell 1940 US Actor, played the voice of the farmer in Babe (1995) [41]
Karen Davis US President of United Poultry Concerns, author of The Holocaust and the Henmaid's Tale (2005) [42]
David DeGrazia US Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University, author of Taking Animals Seriously (1996) [43]
Chris DeRose 1948 US Founder of Last Chance for Animals [44]
Rukmini Devi 1904–1986 India Dancer, founder of the Animal Welfare Board of India [45]
Nina Douglas-Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton 1878–1951 UK Co-founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society [46]
Hugh Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding 1882–1970 UK Commander of RAF Fighter Command, president of the National Anti-Vivisection Society [47]
Muriel Dowding, Baroness Dowding 1908–1981 UK Founder of Beauty Without Cruelty [48]
Joan Dunayer US Author of Animal Equality (2001) and Speciesism (2004) [49]
John Feldman 1967 US Musician, appeared in Behind the Mask (2006) [44]
Roger Fouts 1943 US Primate researcher known for his work with Washoe the chimpanzee, adviser to the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [50]
Gary Francione 1951 US Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, leading abolitionist, author of Animals, Property, and the Law (2005) [51]
Lawrence Finsen US Professor of philosophy at University of Redlands, co-author of The Animal Rights Movement in America (1994) [52]
Bruce Friedrich 1969 US Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives, Farm Sanctuary [53]
Maneka Gandhi 1956 India Politician, founder of People for Animals [54]
Robert Garner 1960 UK Professor of political theory at the University of Leicester; co-author of The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (2010) [55]
Juliet Gellatley UK Founder and director of Viva! [56]
Antoine Goetschel 1958
Lawyer, animal advocate for the canton of Zurich [57]
Jordan Halliday 1987 US Animal Rights Activist, Grand Jury Resister & co-host of Which side Podcast [58]
Celia Hammond UK Former model, founder of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust [59]
Lizzy Lind af Hageby 1878–1963 Sweden Founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, known for the Brown Dog affair [60]
Lee Hall ca. 1961 US Lawyer, legal director of Friends of Animals [61]
Stevan Harnad 1945 Hungary Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences, Université du Québec à Montreal [62]
Alex Hershaft 1934 US Founder of Farm Animal Rights Movement and the Chairman of the U.S. Animal Rights National Conference [63]
Barry Horne 1952–2001 UK Animal rights activist, hunger striker [64]
Chrissie Hynde 1951 US Singer-songwriter [65]
V. R. Krishna Iyer 1915 India Former judge of the Supreme Court of India [66]
Roberta Kalechofsky 1931 US Writer, author of Animal Suffering and the Holocaust: The Problem with Comparisons (2003) [67]
Shannon Keith US Animal rights lawyer, director of Behind the Mask (2006) [68]
Kesha 1987 USA Singer-songwriter and rapper [69]
Anna Kingsford 1846–1888 UK Physician, anti-vivisectionist, author of The Perfect Way in Diet (1881) [70]
Marti Kheel 1948–2011 US Ecofeminist writer, founder of Feminists for Animal Rights [71]
Niko Koffeman 1958 Netherlands Senator, Party for the Animals [72]
Dennis Kucinich 1946 US Congressman [73]
Elizabeth Kucinich 1977 UK Director of public affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [74]
Carla Lane 1928 UK Television scriptwriter, ran Animaline animal sanctuary [75]
k.d. lang 1961 Canada Musician [76]
Gill Langley 1952 UK Scientist, campaigner against the use of animals in research [77]
Ronnie Lee 1951 UK Founder of the Animal Liberation Front [78]
Bob Linden US Host of Go Vegan Radio [79]
Ludvig Lindström 1975 Sweden Animal rights activist, founder of Global Happiness Organization [80]
Andrew Linzey 1951 UK Theologian, founder of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [81]
Rebecca Loades 1994 UK Really cool dude
Linda McCartney 1941–1998 US Photographer, musician, founder of Linda McCartney Foods [82]
Dan Lyons UK CEO, Centre for Animals and Social Justice [83]
Mary McCartney 1969 UK Photographer, has taken photographs for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [84]
Paul McCartney 1942 UK Musician, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [85]
Stella McCartney 1971 UK Designer, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [82]
Melody MacDonald UK Animal rights activist, author of Caught in the Act: The Feldberg Investigation (1994) [86]
Colin McGinn 1950 UK Professor of philosopher, University of Miami [87]
Bill Maher US Comedian, board director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [88]
Keith Mann UK Animal rights activist, author of From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement (2007) [89]
Dan Mathews US Senior Vice-President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [90]
Brian May 1947 UK musician/guitarist of Queen and founder of Save Me [91]
Lea Michele US Actress, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [92]
Moby US Musician, DJ, released Animal Rights (1996) [93]
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson 1941 US Former psychoanalyst, author of When Elephants Weep (1995) [94]
Mary Midgley 1919 UK Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Newcastle University (retired), author of Animals And Why They Matter (1983) [95]
Heather Mills 1968 UK Campaigner for Viva! [96]
Shaun Monson 1958 US Director of Earthlings (2005) [97]
José Ferrater Mora 1912-1991 Spain Philosopher, honoured by the Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [98]
Morrissey 1959 UK Musician [99]
Jesús Mosterín 1941 Spain Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of Barcelona, honorary president of the Spanish Great Ape Project [100]
Ingrid Newkirk 1949 UK Co-founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [101]
David Nibert US Abolitionist, Professor of Sociology at Wittenberg University [102]
Heather Nicholson 1967 UK Co-founder of the Consort beagles, Hillgrove cats, and SHAC campaigns [103]
Martha Nussbaum 1947 US Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago [104]
Natasja Oerlemans 1969 Netherlands Politician, Party for the Animals [105]
Kelly Overton US Executive Director of People Protecting Animals & Their Habitats [106]
Esther Ouwehand 1976 Netherlands Member of Parliament, Party for the Animals [107]
Alex Pacheco 1958 US Co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [108]
David Pearce UK Philosopher, vegan and animal activist [109]
Jill Phipps 1964–1995 UK Animal rights activist, campaigner against live export [110]
Joaquin Phoenix 1974 Puerto Rico Actor, animal rights activist, narrator of Earthlings (2005) [111]
River Phoenix 1970–1993 US Actor, animal rights activist [112]
Summer Phoenix 1978 US Actress, animal rights activist [7]
Pink 1979 US Singer [113]
James Rachels 1941–2003 US Philosopher [114]
Qiu Renzong ca. 1933 China Bioethicist [115]
Tom Regan 1951 US Professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, author of The Case for Animal Rights (1983) [116]
Bernard Rollin US Professor of philosophy, animal sciences, and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University [117]
Craig Rosebraugh 1951 US Writer, environmentalist, animal rights activist [118]
Mark Rowlands 1962 UK Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, author of The Philosopher and the Wolf (2008) [119]
Nathan Runkle ca. 1984 US Founder and executive director of Mercy for Animals [120]
Richard D. Ryder 1964–1995 UK Psychologist, coined the term "speciesism" in 1970 [121]
Becky Sanstedt ca. 1960 US Animal rights activist, former investigator for Farm Sanctuary [122]
Steve Sapontzis US Professor emeritus of philosophy at California State University, East Bay, author of Morals, Reason, and Animals (1987) [123]
Alicia Silverstone US
Isaac Bashevis Singer 1902–1991 Poland Winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature [124]
Henry Stephens Salt 1851–1939 UK Civil-rights campaigner, author of Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress (1894) [125]
Anuradha Sawhney India Head of Indian operations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [126]
Peter Singer 1946 Australia Philosopher, author of Animal Liberation (1975) [127]
Paul Shapiro 1979 US Senior director of the Humane Society of the United States' Factory Farming Campaign [128]
Henry Spira 1927–1998 US Animal rights activist, founder of Animal Rights International [129]
Kim Stallwood UK European director of the Animals and Society Institute [130]
Gary Steiner US John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University [131]
Pelle Strindlund 1971 Sweden Writer, founding member of the Rescue Service [132]
Cass Sunstein 1954 US Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs [133]
Elissa Sursara 1988 AUS Wildlife expert, environmental correspondent and media personality
David Sztybel Canada Philosopher, writer [134]
Peter Tatchell 1952 Australia Civil-rights activist [135]
Angus Taylor Canada Philosopher [136]
Sunaura Taylor 1982 US Artist and writer [137]
Marianne Thieme 1972 Netherlands Member of Parliament, Party for the Animals [138]
Lynda Thomas 1981 Mexico Retired musician/singer-songwriter, anonymous activist [139]
Darren Thurston ca. 1970 Canada Animal rights activist [140]
Bob and Jenna Torres US Writers, animal rights and vegan activists [141]
Andrew Tyler UK Director of Animal Aid [142]
Jane Velez-Mitchell 1955 US Broadcast journalist [143]
John Vyvyan UK Writer, author of The Dark Face of Science (1971) [144]
Jerry Vlasak 1958 US Physician, former Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson [145]
Alice Walker 1944 US Writer [146]
Waka Flocka Flame 1986 United States Rapper [147]
Donald Watson 1910–2005 UK Founder of the British Vegan Society [148]
Robin Webb 1945 UK Spokesperson for the British Animal Liberation Press Office [149]
Betty White 1922 US Actress, animal rights activist
Caroline Earle White 1833–1916 US Co-founder of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, founder of the American Anti-Vivisection Society [35]
Liz White Canada Leader of the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada [150]
Jon Wynne-Tyson 1924 UK Founder of Centaur Press, author of The Extended Circle: A Commonplace Book of Animal Rights (1985) [151]
Steven M. Wise 1952 US Law professor, author of Rattling the Case: Toward Legal Rights for Animals (2000) [152]
Ursula Wolf 1951 Germany Philosopher, author of Das Tier in der Moral (1990) [153]
Roger Yates 1957 UK Sociologist, co-founder of Vegan Ireland: The Vegan Society of Ireland [154]
Peter Daniel Young US Animal rights activist [155]
Gary Yourofsky US Animal rights activist [156]
Benjamin Zephaniah 1958 UK Rastafari poet, honorary patron of the Vegan Society [157]

See also


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Further reading

  • Beauchamp, Tom and Frey, R.G. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Bekoff, Marc (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. Greenwood, 2009.
  • Linzey, Andrew (ed.). Animal Encyclopedia. University of Princeton Press (forthcoming).
  • Linzey, Andrew (ed.). The Global Guide to Animal Protection. University of Illinois Press (forthcoming).
  • Tobias, Michael Charles. "Life Force: The World of Jainism". Asia Humanities Press, 1992.
  • Tobias, Michael Charles. "Ahimsa: Non-Violence," One-Hour Documentary, PBS, 1987.
  • Tobias, Michael Charles, and Morrison, Jane Gray. "God's Country: The New Zealand Factor," Zorba Press, 2011.
  • Tobias, Michael Charles, and Morrison, Jane Gray. "Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence," Foreword by Her Majesty the Queen of Bhutan; Preface by Ingrid Newkirk, Council Oak Books, 2008.
  • Tobias, Michael Charles, and Ehrlich, Paul R. "Hope on Earth: A Conversation," University of Chicago Press, 2014.
  • Tobias, Michael Charles, and Morrison, Jane Gray. "Why Life Matters: Fifty Ecosystems of the Heart & Mind," Springer New York, 2014.
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