Jim Glackin

Jim Glackin is the definition of a superstar Mercy For Animals supporter. Throughout the years, Jim has shown up for Mercy For Animals in countless ways both big and small, and not just with his longtime financial support. Whether he’s leafleting in the streets of Chicago, donating frequent-flyer miles to staff for events, marching with us in the Chicago Pride Parade, or even bringing doughnuts to the former Chicago office (a personal favorite of mine!), Jim steps up for Mercy For Animals time and again. Jim is also a licensed pilot who volunteers with to fly rescue dogs and cats to new homes. Mikael, who has known and worked with Jim since 2011, recently caught up with his longtime friend and fellow activist to talk about his journey and being in the Compassion Collective.

Q – Tell us about yourself and how you became interested in animal issues.

A – My journey has been a strange one—pull up a chair! I grew up in rural Ohio, not far from where Milo Runkle, founder of Mercy For Animals, is from. I spent my free time hunting, fishing, and fur trapping. I worked in a taxidermy shop from the sixth grade all the way through high school. I also grew up on my friends’ farms bailing hay and doing farmwork with the hogs and the cattle. However, I loved animals. I had horses, goats, dogs, cats, and all kinds of animals from flying squirrels to foxes, skunks, opossums, snakes, turtles, and lizards. I even raised honeybees. I never connected the animals that I was killing while hunting and farming to the companion animals I cared for. I had a black-belt-level of dissonance. This all changed in my late 20s when I went vegetarian solely for health reasons. It was then, once I stopped thinking of animals as food, that I started to have an awakening that all animals deserve compassion. It became clear that the horrible things that I had been doing while hunting, fishing, and trapping—as well as the grossly inhumane things that I was involved in and witnessed on the farms—were not only not necessary, but just not right.

Q – What does being in the Compassion Collective mean to you?

A – I have been a big supporter of Mercy For Animals starting 12 years ago when Susan Weingartner, an animal activist who worked at Mercy For Animals, told me about their approach to farm animal compassion. It hit home with me because I knew firsthand that “Old MacDonald’s farm” was a myth, a fairy tale. Even the smaller farms have to operate as a factory, and some of the most grossly inhumane practices you can imagine are just standard industry practice. Being in the Compassion Collective allows me to be more in tune with Mercy For Animals and gives me the opportunity to be more impactful in supporting the cause.

Jim Glackin and fellow attendee stand together for photographs at a Mercy for Animals formal event.

Q – What part of Mercy For Animals’ work is closest to your heart?

A – The undercover operations that are exposing the public to what really goes on in modern animal agriculture are very important. I think that most people conveniently believe that farm animals are cared for and treated humanely, and these undercover operations help break through the facade and get the public engaged in demanding change.

Q – What is the most important thing activists can do?

A – To be blunt: money. Positive vibes don’t pay the bills. Give to the cause and/or help raise money for the cause, but definitely get involved. I do both, but I find that setting a monthly contribution that I can set and forget—and then kick in to campaigns and events throughout the year—is what works best for me. There has been amazing progress over the past dozen-plus years with Mercy For Animals, but there is so much more to do.