It’s been my greatest honor to serve Mercy For Animals for the past 22 years. Over these two decades the world has changed dramatically for animals, in ways both good and bad.
On the positive side, the array of plant-based meats has grown by leaps and bounds, year after year. Cultivated meat, once considered a thought experiment in weird corners of our movement, is now a reality that has debuted to enthusiastic reviews. Alternative proteins—plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-derived—are gaining momentum, visibility, acceptance, funding, and market share. According to reputable forecasting, the technologies behind them will displace a massive part of animal agriculture in just the next 10 years. Peak meat is here. We are nearing an age when our food system will transform and bring us to a new humane and sustainable agricultural and economic system.
In coalition efforts, we have helped secure landmark laws prohibiting some of the worst factory farming practices. We have changed the corporate landscape, convincing hundreds of companies to join our calls to fundamentally change the treatment of animals in our food system. These successes touch the lives of billions of animals each year. Our cause has become mainstream, and our message is echoed by a broad and diverse choir. This momentum is unstoppable.
And yet globally, the number of animals raised and killed for food has never been higher. With rising wealth and populations has come the proliferation of industrial agriculture—and the cruelty inherent to it. The result is suffering on a scale never before seen, in every corner of the world. Pandemics, superbugs, and climate change are all manifestations of this truth.
The next 20 years will make it or break it for humanity. The choices we make and the actions we take in these next two decades will either set us on a path toward collective healing or accelerate destruction.
Mercy For Animals has a unique and vital role to play in the evolution of humanity. How we treat animals is a moral marker in the evolution of our consciousness. It’s big, important work.
My board term has come to an end. But my full trust, faith, and confidence in the organization’s vision, leadership, and board enables me to step aside with peace of mind to begin a new chapter in my life. Today our 10 board members, including me, voted unanimously to appoint Neysa Colizzi as the organization’s new board chair. Neysa is a brilliant, thoughtful, kind, collaborative, and mission-dedicated leader. It has been my honor to work with—and learn from—Neysa over the past few years. Mercy For Animals is truly lucky to have her.
I’ve always believed that good, effective organizations are greater than any one person, their founders included. I know that Mercy For Animals will continue to evolve and mature with changing times, adapting approaches and programs to fit new needs, challenges, and opportunities.
The world desperately needs Mercy For Animals, and Mercy For Animals desperately needs us. While my board term has ended, my support of and involvement with the organization have not. I will continue to offer advice and guidance. To me, as founder, the organization is a cherished child—one who’s matured into total independence. I’ll always cheer for Mercy For Animals, celebrating the many wins and accomplishments with you all.
Protecting animals and our precious planet is woven into my DNA. The friendships I’ve been privileged to forge here have helped me grow in ways I could never have imagined. I treasure these relationships and look forward to maintaining them as I engage in new solutions to the challenges of our planet. This passing of the torch is a moment of great pride—one filled with deep gratitude to all those I’ve had the fortune to work alongside. Catching your orbit has been a remarkable gift. Thank you for your continued support, inspiration, and dedication to protecting animals.
The collective efforts of Mercy For Animals’ growing global family will continue to shift humanity’s relationship with fellow earthlings. The brightest days for this incredible organization, this movement, and the animals are still ahead.