Archives: Teams

Dr. Melanie Joy

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Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M., is a Harvard-educated psychologist, celebrated speaker, organizational consultant, and author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. Dr. Joy is the eighth recipient of the Institute of Jainology’s Ahimsa Award, which was previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Her work has been featured by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, ABC Australia, NPR, and the New York Times. Dr. Joy has given her acclaimed carnism presentation on five continents, and the video of her recent TEDx talk on carnism is in the top 1% of the most-viewed TEDx talks of all time. She is also the author of Strategic Action for Animals. Dr. Joy currently lives in Berlin, Germany, with her husband and co-CEO of Karnismus erkennen, Sebastian Joy.

Michael Greger M.D. FACLM

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Dr. Greger is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition. Currently he proudly serves as the public health director at the Humane Society of the United States. Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

His latest book, How Not to Die, became an instant New York Times Best Seller. View the book trailer here. 100% of all proceeds he has ever received from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements has always and will always be donated to charity. Dr. Greger receives no compensation for his work on

Sebastian Joy

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Sebastian Joy is a lecturer at the Berlin School of Economics and Law as well as the CEO of VEBU (“Vegetarierbund”), Europe’s leading vegetarian and vegan organisation. He is one of the founders of VegMed and holds degrees in cognitive sciences and NGO management. As an experienced public speaker and he is also contributing author of the book “Vegan” by Kath Clements and of the German version of “Eating Animals,” by Jonathan Safran Foer, Joy is an expert in demand. He is also the inventor of Sante’s Vitamin B12 toothpaste, and he created ‘VeggieWorld’, the world largest plant-based lifestyle fair.

Stina Spiegelberg

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Stina Spiegelberg decided to become a vegan in 2008 and ever since her life has only hanged for the best, she says. In 2010 she began blogging on, quit her job in IT and shares all her passion for a healthy lifestyle with us today. As a vegan TV chef and speaker Stina shows her audience how to love and enjoy life – with all tastes. Her first book in 2013 „Veganpassion – Lieblingsrezepte zum Backen“ made vegan baking a sensation. With her four (soon five) cookbooks she brings a colorful glow to the plant based community, inspiring people around the world to start cooking for their wellbeing. What started as an award–winning recipe blog, reaches a large number of people around the world today.

With projects like „Aktion Pflanzenpower“ Stina supports a healthy lifestyle for children promoting schools with easy plant based foods and workshops. As one of the four founders of the Plant Based Institute she engages in a better education of plant based, healthy foods for private individuals and public institutions. „Nothing is more tempting, then colorful vegan foods. The time has come for a new generation of happy cooking, because nowadays a happy tummy can be a happy living.“

Dr. Regina Hecker

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Regina Hecker is a scientist, author, entrepreneur, yoga guide and passionate about plant-based nutrition and healthy living.
She worked for scientific and medical research organizations in the US and Canada as well as in Europe where she published research studies in molecular biology and pediatric oncology. With the aim to identify, support and finance most promising therapies, she worked for and consulted healthcare investment funds, pharma and biotech companies alike.
Her passion for healthy sustainable living combined with her scientific understanding naturally led her focus on evidenced-based nutrition as the most powerful means to prevent, reverse and cure disease. She has recently founded the Swiss-based venture Dr. Healthy Nut, an organization devoted to building awareness for how a plant-based whole food diet can make both the body and the world a healthier and happier place to live.
Regina holds a PhD in cancer biology (University Zurich, Switzerland), a MSc in molecular biology (Max Planck Institute, Germany), a Master in Biotechnology Management (IE Business School, Spain), a certificate in plant-based nutrition (T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies) and is a happy certified Stråla yoga guide.

Tobias Leenaert

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Tobias Leenaert is the author of How to Create a Vegan World: a Pragmatic Approach and blogs at He is a longtime speaker and strategist, and together with Melanie Joy, gives vegan advocacy trainings all over the world for the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA). He is also co-founder of ProVeg, an international pro-vegan organization with the mission to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. Tobias lives in Ghent, Belgium, with his partner, two dogs, and at least six cats.

Gene Baur

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Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. For more than 25 years he has traveled extensively around the country, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our current food system.

A pioneer in the field of undercover investigations, Gene has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses documenting their deplorable conditions. His pictures and videos exposing factory farming cruelties have aired nationally and internationally, educating millions about the plight of modern farm animals.

Joyce Tischler

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Joyce Tischler, affectionately known as “the Mother of Animal Law,” is the co-founder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and was ALDF’s executive director for twenty-five years. Currently, as ALDF general counsel, Joyce is responsible for in-house legal matters, as well as writing, lecturing on, and promoting the field of animal law. She has been called a visionary, a leader, an inspiration, and a role model–she is that and so much more. She’s also an exceptional attorney.

Joyce Tischler has devoted her career to the development and advancement of animal law. When she began, there was no field of animal law: no animal law courses, no animal law programs, and no animal law nonprofits. Joyce decided to change that.

Animals have always been a very important part of Joyce’s life. As soon as her parents allowed her to walk around the block, she was bringing home cats and injured birds. A sheltie she named Princess Fox was adopted by her family when Joyce was nine years old and became Joyce’s soul mate for thirteen years. As Joyce reached adulthood and thought about her career, there was no obvious fit for animals. But in college, she helped run an ad-hoc cat shelter on campus, while working towards her BA in Political Science from Queens College of the City University of New York.
In law school, the only law review article she wanted to write was about legal rights for animals (one of the very first to address this issue). Her article, “Rights for Nonhuman Animals: A Guardianship Model for Dogs and Cats,” received dramatic response from her professors and colleagues and continues to influence the greatest philosophers in animal law today. She earned her JD from the University of San Diego, where she was also a member of the San Diego Law Review, Steering Committee on Women in the Law, and Environmental Law Society.

As a young lawyer working for a Bay Area law firm, Joyce began doing volunteer work for the Fund for Animals, through which she met Laurence Kessenick, a partner in a San Francisco law firm who shared her desire to protect animals and establish their legal rights. In 1979 they decided to see if anyone else shared their interest; they advertised in the local legal newspaper and at the first meeting, six other lawyers showed up. That was the start of Attorneys for Animal Rights, which changed its name to Animal Legal Defense Fund in 1984. For the next few years, they met monthly to learn about the state and federal laws relevant to animals and the overwhelming amount of abuse and exploitation that animals endure. Unwittingly, the Mother of Animal Law had given birth to a movement.

In 1981, Joyce filed a case against the U.S. Navy, which had shot and killed over 600 feral burros at its Weapons Testing Center in China Lake, California, and planned to shoot approximately 5,000 burros on successive weekends, starting two days after she had received notice of the killings. Working through the night, Joyce typed on her manual typewriter to piece together a set of pleadings in which she argued that the Navy could not take this action without first preparing a document called an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She boarded a flight to Fresno, California the next morning to argue her case. Thankfully, the judge granted her motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, and she saved the lives of the 500 burros slated to be killed that weekend. For the next eight months, she bargained, negotiated, cajoled and ultimately settled the case, so that not one more burro was killed.

Because of this victory, Joyce’s little group received a grant from the Animal Protection Institute, which enabled her to begin to work full-time for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, with a first annual budget of $12,000. She may not have set out thirty years ago with a plan to boldly pioneer and champion a new field of law. But that’s just what she did. Joyce quickly realized she was not alone. Her work on behalf of animals struck a nerve with other law professionals who wanted to help animals. She organized meetings and corresponded with attorneys and law students from all parts of the country.

It has been thirty extraordinary years since the case that changed Joyce’s life. In that time, ALDF has sued to stop bear hunts, mountain lion hunts, the removal of wild horses from federal lands, and challenged the intensive confinement of farmed animals and even the “patenting” of animals. We’ve assisted prosecutors in numerous cruelty cases, rescued animals from hoarders and saved the lives of many animals, including dogs, cats, birds, chimpanzees, horses and, of course, those beautiful burros.

With her leadership, ALDF has filed groundbreaking and major impact lawsuits and laid the foundation necessary for animal law to be taken seriously in law schools, law firms and bar associations across the country. Joyce handled some of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s earliest cases, including the previously mentioned lawsuit that halted the U.S. Navy’s plan to kill 5,000 feral burros and a 1988 challenge to the U.S. Patent Office’s rule allowing the patenting of genetically altered animals. She has tackled such diverse topics as challenges to hunting and trapping using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act, standing to sue, animal custody battles, the right to kill animals pursuant to will provisions, landlord-tenant issues and damages and recovery for injury to or death of an animal.

Joyce has encouraged the best and the brightest minds to apply creative legal strategies to help establish greater legal protections for animals. As a result, ALDF is recognized for its continual innovation in the field of animal law, from using a little known state law to rescue hundreds of animals from the infamous Woodley dog-hoarders in North Carolina, to the recent release of Ben the Bear from a cruel roadside zoo.

An inspiration to so many activists around the world, Joyce is an internationally recognized speaker and author of numerous publications. In 2009, The American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Animal Law Committee honored Joyce with the Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award. In 2010, Joyce was invited on a 12-day, seven-city speaking tour in Australia sponsored by father-daughter team Brian and Ondine Sherman of Voiceless – the Animal Protection Institute. One of her recent publications of influence is her double volume “A Brief History of Animal Law, Part II (1985-2011),” published in the Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Policy. In addition to her many publications, Joyce has been quoted far and wide, including in the New York Times, Science Magazine, Washington PostUSA TodayChristian Science Monitor, the Sydney Morning HeraldSunday TelegraphGuardian, and People magazine. She is currently co-writing two animal law books.

Although ALDF remains the only specifically animal law-focused organization, today most animal protection groups have lawyers and a legal strategy, something Joyce recommended that they do as early as 1986. In addition, there are now over 180 student chapters (SALDF) of the Animal Legal Defense Fund in law schools across the U.S. and Canada, and more than 142 law schools now teach an animal law class; 12 animal conferences are held annually, and eight animal law journals are being published. In 2008, ALDF entered into collaboration with Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon to create the first-of-its-kind Center for Animal Law Studies, which offers students a world class program in which to study animal law.

The future of animal law will include taking our case to the citizens, Joyce says. Consumers can be strong advocates for the animals and we can help them to make healthy and compassionate choices. And, she adds, “I don’t eat my clients.” Through her strength and humility, her persistent advocacy and clear leadership, Joyce Tischler is a force for change.

Wendy Turner Webster

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Wendy’s passion for animal welfare made her an obvious choice to host Channel 4’s prime time show Absolutely Animals; a hard hitting investigative format which was filmed worldwide. This show was a fore-runner to Pet Rescue which Wendy hosted for 7 years. Pet Rescue went out daily and was consistently one of the highest rated daytime shows across all channels. Spin-offs from Pet Rescue were The Pet Rescue Roadshow and Family Pet Rescue. Pet Rescue repeats were the most watched shows on Animal Planet.

In her spare time Wendy enjoys going to horse shows with her show hunter stallion, gardening and making candle holders from old drinks cans, greetings cards from all manner of rubbish, bracelets from recycled jewellery and brooches from old plastic bottles  – amongst other various creations! She studied art and ceramics at A Level and has a particular skill for creating handmade one off pieces. (Ceramics is a passion – coming from The Potteries (Stoke-on-Trent!)) She has sold her jewellery at various London markets and has managed to make a bob or two!

Wendy does not eat or wear animals and is proud to be a Patron of: The Vegan Society, The Vegetarian Society, The Humane Research Trust, Viva!, The Born Free Foundation, Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary, Secret World Wildlife Rescue, Chance Pixies, Rotherham Women’s Refuge  and Animal Lifeline.

Macka B

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Macka B is a British reggae artist, performer and activist After over 30 years Macka.B continues to tour the world extensively spreading consciousness and breaking down the barriers. He has twice performed on Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica, also at Sting & White River Reggae Bash in Jamaica. He also appeared in front of Nelson Mandela in the National Stadium Kingston.
Macka.B has toured Japan all over America, Africa, Hawaii, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Spain, Poland to name but a few. He has performed alongside artists such as Burning Spear, U-Roy, The Wailers, Kool and the Gang, Lee Perry, Culture, Gladiators and many more.
Many know him for his very informative and entertaining “Medical Monday” video series which are reggae videos about nutritional values of fruits and vegetables, with the “Cucumber” video going viral in march earier this year.