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Our Founder

Milo Runkle

Milo Runkle was destined to be a fifth-generation farmer in rural Ohio. Instead, with deeply rooted compassion for the most abused in our food system, Milo founded Mercy For Animals.

The Pivotal Moment

Milo’s always felt a deep connection with animals, but one experience stands out.

His high school biology teacher, who was also a pig farmer, brought dead piglets to class for a dissection assignment. To the horror of many students, one piglet was still alive. A student who worked on the teacher’s farm grabbed the squealing piglet and slammed her headfirst against the floor in a failed attempt to kill her. The incident sent shockwaves through the community. A judge ruled that the student’s action was legal because it was “standard agricultural practice.”

Milo knew he had to do everything possible to end this systemic injustice.

Our Broken Food System

In the beginning, Milo focused on open rescue—saving individual animals who were in pain or distress. Alongside volunteers, Milo used the cover of darkness to rescue animals from factory farms while documenting their suffering.

But later Milo shifted Mercy For Animals’ approach, inspiring and mobilizing animal advocates to take on some of the most powerful players in the food industry. Soon the largest food companies and producers, as well as governments, began to acknowledge an indisputable fact: Farmed animals matter. Their lives, their interests, and their suffering must be taken into consideration.

During his time at Mercy For Animals, Milo moved thousands of advocates to join us as staff and volunteers who together helped secure landmark farmed animal protection laws and historic corporate animal welfare commitments. His legacy of compassion is sure to motivate many thousands more.

An Indelible Influence

For more than 20 years, Milo has defended animals as founder, president, and eventually board chair of Mercy For Animals.

He has proved, time and again, to be a pioneer of this movement—always innovating to create a more compassionate food system.

To learn more about Milo’s work and Mercy For Animals, order Milo’s book, Mercy For Animals: One Man’s Quest to Inspire Compassion and Improve the Lives of Farm Animals, today.

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“What keeps me focused is to remember that we are their only hope.”

—Camilla, an undercover investigator in Brazil