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A Compassionate World

If animal welfare is close to your heart, Philip’s Compassionate World blog shines a light on animal reform, aiming to inform, educate and debate the future of food, taking a 360-view of all aspects of the meat industry – humanity, animals (farmed and wild) and the planet.

“For those who want to see a future and an end to animal cruelty … Philip’s blog is a must read”Vuelio June 2020. Rated a Top 10 Green Blog by Vuelio for three consecutive years

It’s a sobering thought. Climate change isn’t so much creeping up anymore as coming at us in leaps and bounds. Europe is now the fastest warming continent in the world.

Of all the Royal spectacles I’ve seen, this was my least expected: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands with his hands plunged in maggots.

Last Saturday (15th March), it was a great honour to welcome Dr Amir Khan to the stage of the magnificent Sheldonian Theatre to deliver our 2024 Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Oxford Literary Festival.

Deep among forest-clad slopes of Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains, a young David Attenborough was creating one of the most iconic moments in wildlife history.

On a boat 15 miles off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico was blisteringly hot. All around were oil rigs. Some were huge tangles of scaffolding and metal beams; others resembled small cities.

Old MacDonald has a lot to answer for. Many generations have started out listening to that tale of a farmer and his various animals in perhaps the world’s most recognisable nursery rhyme. That early childhood imagery has been one that marketeers have been keen to perpetuate

Have you ever experienced the love of an animal?  Felt that extraordinary connection between two species that needs no words? 

Sometimes our mind can play tricks on us. Getting things way out of proportion. Especially at night.

Emergency approval for a bee-harming pesticide by the UK Government has once again sent shock waves through the countryside

So, how are your New Year’s resolutions going? For many of us, resolutions revolve around doing more exercise, saving money, or eating better.

Looking back on the last year has taught me how far we’ve come as a movement and how much further we need to go, and fast

In the run up to the festive break, I found myself in Windsor Castle surrounded by a gathering of minds focused on gamechangers.

I remember it like yesterday: thirty years ago, and my first trek up the Cairngorms. My best pal Richard and I were keen to get our first glimpse of some of Scotland’s finest mountain wildlife.

As we approach the festive holidays, it’s only natural to look back over the past year and reflect on what we’ve achieved and what might have been.

Two years ago, world leaders gathered in Glasgow for crucial talks on tackling climate change. That meeting saw government pledges that narrowed the gap between a liveable future and catastrophe.

Goodness, it’s been a rollercoaster ride beyond compare. I wrote previously about how this year was a big one in prospect, not least because of the coronation of a new King and a possible ban on live animal exports, a trade that has long blighted Britain’s claim to be a

Three year old Esme with her beloved scooter and rescue dog, Baloo ‘In a world of sharp words, stony glances, concrete hearts and hardened minds, be the softest place’ Jen Brady A friend’s 3-year-old granddaughter had recently learnt to ride her scooter. She loved it. She’d ride it and clean it daily.

As I shivered in the fading light, the wait seemed eternal. Everywhere was cold and quiet, the kind of brittle stillness where the snap of a twig rippled through the air. For ages, nothing happened. Then came an evocative sound that gave me goosebumps: a rattling bugle like the trumpeting

Browsing the shelves of major supermarkets these days and you’ll be hard pressed to find any eggs from caged hens.

Outside our bedroom window is a cow barn so close I could bounce a ball off it. It’s where our neighbour’s forty cows stay during the winter. Living so close to cows, you get to know their habits. Their favourite spots, their routines, their curiosities. 

Treshnish on the isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides and sweeping meadows dance with colour. Backed by mountainous green hills punctured by jagged rock, carpets of flower-rich meadows stretch to the sea. Whilst peering at orchids on my hands and knees, a shadow strokes past.

Food inflation has made getting enough food a growing struggle. According to The Trussell Trust, who operate more than 1,300 food banks across the UK, the past year has seen demand for emergency food surge by over a third.

Duke came to us as a tiny rescue pup of ten weeks old. He’d been abandoned in a park with his sister on a cold winter’s day. The heroic folks at South East Dog Rescue in Kent took them in

Highly pathogenic Bird flu continues to rage through poultry farms and wild birds alike. The virus has already proved adept at jumping the species barrier, spilling over from birds into mammals such as otters, foxes, sea lions, and even domestic dogs and cats.

Boy, was it hot in Rome! In July, front-page news was the weather: ‘Rome hits record high in European heatwave’, was one such headline. In sharp contrast to the exceptionally wet July in Britain where Scotland’s rain was 50 per cent heavier than average, records for the hottest day

Some of the best things in nature are understated – take the chalk streams of England, for example. These fragile river systems meander quietly through undulating countryside before disappearing into the sea.

A garden left to rewild Amongst the many celebrations of the coronation of King Charles III, one that particularly caught my eye was about wildlife-friendly gardening. Paying tribute to the monarch’s longstanding commitment to the natural world, the Coronation Gardens for Food and Nature initiative aims to spark widespread interest in

A special guest blog from Joyce D’Silva. All over the world animals are suffering, billions of them in factory farms, others undergoing painful experiments

Food history has been made in America this month with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) having authorised the sale of cultivated chicken - chicken grown from stem cells in a bioreactor.

This month sees the launch of a very special biography that tells the little-known story of two brave pioneers who founded Compassion in World Farming. Part biography and part modern modern-day animal welfare history, the story is of a couple ahead of their time: Peter and Anna Roberts.

Mornings. I love them. I love to get up extra early and soak in the calming stillness. The feeling of life awakening. A window into another world.

I could scarcely believe it. Last month, the UK Government dropped its Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and consequently its manifesto commitment to ban live animal exports. Dashing the hopes of a self-confessed nation of animal lovers.

Looked at through the lens of the four seasons, our society is currently living through summer, an endless party, a time of limitless consumption as if the planet has no boundaries.

Three years in the planning, the Extinction or Regeneration Conference 2023 hosted by Compassion in World Farming and our key partner, IPES-Food, will live long in the memory and sowed seeds for hope and future action.

Celebrating Living Landscapes as the Countryside’s Crowning Glory

I recently had the opportunity to interview Henry Dimbleby on-stage at the Oxford Literary Festival. Henry is co-founder of Leon, a chain of restaurants that serves naturally fast food that aims to be good food and kind to the planet. 

We live in days of growing anxiety around climate change, the collapse of nature, and how we treat animals both farmed and wild.

Why urgently reshaping our relationship with sentient animals is not just a moral and ethical question, it is imperative for the sake of the planet

Why Saying ‘Arrivederci’ to ‘Careless’ Meat and Cheese is Key to Restoring Italy’s Relationship with Food

Shopping these days can feel like a bit of a lottery. Wandering into the local supermarket can have me wondering which of my favourite foods is going to be out of stock today.

It was a real honour to welcome Sir Michael Morpurgo to the stage of the magnificent Sheldonian Theatre, to deliver our Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture, kindly hosted by the Oxford Literary Festival.

The other day, a close friend told me a story from her childhood. It concerned an old worn cigar box of a hundred pieces of rolled paper, each one with a saying.

On 11th and 12th May, we will be hosting a very special ‘Extinction and Regeneration’ conference in London www.extinctionconference.com. As the conference approaches, Philip will be sharing a number of guest blogs from speakers and people of note.  The first such blog is written by Joyce D’Silva, our Ambassador Emeritus

It’s been a year now since my neighbourhood journey into standing up for trees began. It started as so many things do for me these days, on a dog walk.

How ‘Cultivated’ Meat from Stem Cells Might Change Our Tastes Forever

Otters have become the latest victim of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, marking a new low in this ongoing catastrophe for wildlife.

Someone wiser than me once said ‘One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter." 

I love living on a farm. I’ve always wanted to be immersed in the folds of a rural setting, a place where things look different every day.

In an Age of Refrigerated Lorries, Why Do We Still Condemn Animals to Suffering?

Philip writes an Obituary for Irene Williams, a passionate animal advocate and supporter.

As we enter a new year, one of the resolutions that increasing numbers of people are making is to try vegan for 31 days, a pledge that has become known as Veganuary. 

“May you live in interesting times,” is an English expression believed to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. At first the words seem like a blessing, but with a little thought, the irony soon becomes clear. 

This is especially true where the cost of taking action to save the planet is concerned. But rather like getting treatment for a life-threatening disease, putting off doing the right thing will only cost us dear in the future. In fact, it could cost the future itself. 

A few weeks ago, I delivered a speech in Ely, Cambridgeshire to a large audience which was primarily comprised of farmers.

Regular readers of my blogs will know that I’m very much in favour of restoring farmed animals to our fields and bringing landscapes to life through rewilding.

This year’s UN climate change conference – COP27 – took place in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt and ran into overtime as negotiators struggled to agree commitments to tackle the climate emergency.  

Permacrisis, an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events, has been crowned ‘Word of the Year’ by dictionary publisher, Collins. 

The other day whilst visiting a supermarket I paused at the trolley queue, patting my pockets, I soon realised I didn’t have the little gold, one pound coin, so essential to access a shopping trolley.

Children dart excitedly through a field strewn with bright orange pumpkins. Parents gamely face-painted as ghouls, sip coffee as they await the return of their offspring. Soon they’ll be sifting through wheelbarrows piled high with pumpkins waiting to be carved. The resulting creations will adorn doorsteps and windowsills all around

Covered head to toe in hazmat suits, gloves and facemasks, somber figures comb clifftops and tidelines searching for corpses. It’s an all too familiar scene, particularly in these pandemic times. Yet, this was no twist of Covid. Instead, it was the devastating impact of a new disease ravaging wildlife: highly

‘What a lovely place the world would be…’ - the immortal words of Doctor Dolittle when he sang ‘If I could talk to the animals’.

WHY REINTRODUCING BISON WILL TURBO-BOOST THE RETURN OF NATURE

On Friday 16th September our wonderful Patron, Deborah Meaden joined me on stage with presenter and journalist, Matt Stadlen to discuss how kindness and compassion were prerequisites of a nature-friendly future.

If We’re Serious About the Climate Emergency, Then Being Cruel Can No Longer be an Option

Last year I had the privilege of being a United Nations Food Systems Champion and amongst the many people I met was Marie-Claire Graf, a climate youth activist and United Nations Youth Climate Champion.

At the crime scene, there was much finger-pointing and chatter about the assailant’s entry and exit. The side of a wooden house had been ripped off. And after a smash-and-grab raid, no doubt prompted by the delicious smell of cooking rice, this powerful perpetrator had fled back into the forest. 

Recently, I had the extraordinary privilege of interviewing Compassion in World Farming patron Dr Jane Goodall DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (which has Institutes in 25 countries around the world, including the UK) & UN Messenger of Peace, about her new book, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for an

What we eat has always been evolving, but the pace of change could be set to get a whole lot quicker. War in Ukraine has highlighted the fragility of our food system, which currently relies on just a few globally traded crops.

Today, on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Friendship, we welcome a very personal guest blog from a dear friend and Patron of Compassion in World Farming, Peter Egan.

Environmentalists have been rocked by a government decision to overturn scientific advice by lifting the ban on a bee-harming pesticide used on sugar beet. 

September in the South Pacific started with a life-or-death competition. Nervous youths waited for the cue to throw themselves headlong into the ocean.

Getting up close and personal with a hot and richly fermenting cowpat in Idaho, USA may not be everyone’s idea of a good time. As a visitor activity it is unlikely to compete with the country’s most famous attractions – like Times Square or Disneyland.  

Dr Tracey Jones, Global Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, shares the award winners and her thoughts, following the annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards in London.

Tomorrow is Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day, an opportunity to shine a light on the terrible cruelty endured by millions of cattle, pigs, sheep and other animals when they are transported long distances, often across continents, in horrific conditions.

Shadows from a nuclear power station cast jagged shapes across one of Europe’s most impressive spans of shingle. Sand and marram grass stretch as far as the eye can see.

Never has it been more important to protect our Oceans and on World Oceans Day, I am honoured and delighted to introduce Leticia Carvalho from the United Nations Environment Programme as my special blog guest.

What Conflict in Ukraine Tells Us About Food Shortages? These are deeply chilling times with the war in Ukraine and the enormous impact it is having on all affected.

Why are barn owls and other once familiar wildlife disappearing? 

I heard it happen before I saw it. The buzzing of chainsaws and clunking of machinery filled the countryside air around me during a walk with my rescue dog, Duke, a few months ago, replacing the gentle hum of nature we were used to.

In the wake of the world’s first commercial sale of cultured meat in Singapore, a pioneering symposium was hosted by animal welfare organisations, GAIA and Eurogroup for Animals to ask, should meat from stem-cells be part of a sustainable and animal-friendly food revolution? 

This World Penguin Day, we shine a light on the devastating link between factory farming and the plight of the penguin, and how we can turn around a growing crisis. 

As food prices escalate, Peter Stevenson OBE, Compassion in World Farming’s Chief Policy Advisor, explains why we must scale down rather than ramp up, crop production to increase food security. 

“You did what? And when we can’t even afford meat?!” exclaimed my mother when my dad told her he had been given too much change – 50p – after a shopping trip.

On Saturday 2nd April, our wonderful Patron, Joanna Lumley delivered an outstanding lecture to a sell-out audience at the Oxford Literary Festival. She spoke about 'The True Meaning of Compassion' in honour of our Founder, Peter Roberts MBE, in the magnificent Christopher Wren-designed Sheldonian Theatre. 

Whichever way we look at it, we love our pets, and rightly so. They provide us with companionship, affection, a reason to go for that walk. To many of us, our cats and dogs turn a house into a home.

Some of the best things in nature are understated. Take the chalk-streams of England, for example. These fragile river systems meander quietly through undulating countryside before disappearing into the sea. Beloved by fishermen down the ages, chalk-streams are fascinating river systems where everything grows in abundance.

What the 'rain bomb' in Australia tells us about our world. Three weeks ago, as Russia invaded Ukraine, a tragedy of a different sort was rocking Australia, as a 'rain bomb' hit New South Wales and Queensland. 

These are deeply chilling times. As we watch the nightmare darken in Ukraine, with increasing scenes of destruction and devastation, our hearts go out to everyone affected. Like me, at times you may be feeling helpless, perhaps even without hope. 

Night-time and a piercing scream tore into the silence of the Arctic wilderness. Matt Dyer, a 49-year-old legal attorney from Maine, had been asleep in his tent when the polar bear attacked.

When you close your eyes and imagine where the very best food comes from, what does it look like? In my experience, most people imagine rolling pastures sprinkled with cattle or sheep grazing under the warmth of the sun; orchards with chickens; patchworks of fields; golden swaying crops of corn, wheat

The power of investment banks to accelerate cruel and planet-destroying factory farming has again been highlighted recently following a massive injection of funding into intensive pig production in Vietnam.

Sometimes I think my dog knows me better than I know myself. Before I know it, I’ve given away a clue, betrayed my intentions to do one more thing before picking up the lead and going for a walk with Duke. Maybe it’s the snap of my laptop, the tone

Empathy can be a powerful thing. Anyone who has a pet dog or cat gains fresh insight into their inner lives every day.

A crowd of a hundred people or more had gathered in the Hayden Valley of Yellowstone National Park, USA. More were perched on a slope overlooking the valley, armed with cameras and binoculars, pointing and staring into the distance.

Will our grandchildren ever get to see a puffin?

What do Paul McCartney, actor Alicia Silverstone, Everest mountaineer Kuntal Joisher and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have in common?  Puzzled? Well, this apparently unrelated group are all set for the Veganuary challenge 2022.

Despite a difficult year with profound challenges for all of us, not least from Covid, 2021 will be remembered for seeing some of the greatest strides ever for animal welfare and our mission to end factory farming. 

New Year’s Eve and the Roaring Twenties theme was about to begin. Accommodation on that cold, drizzly night was an old lighthouse with no WIFI or TV. Furnishings inside fitted the remote historic look, resembling something out of a 1900s period play.

Some things stay with you forever – like my first ever sighting of a golden eagle. I remember it like yesterday. The freshness of a spring day as I walked through the hidden glen of Findhorn Valley, a secretive corner of the Scottish Highlands.

World Soil Day took place on 5th December 2021, and what better time to celebrate the life force that exists under our feet?  How many of us stop to think of the subterranean marvel below us, when we sit on the grass, go for a run or walk in a

As we head into winter, I’m reminded of the strange happenings on the Arctic-archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, where a snow-covered rubbish dump was being ransacked by polar bears.

As the world celebrates International Jaguar Day, there is both good and bad news on the battle to save this iconic species. There is the wonderful news of jaguars returning to wetlands in north-eastern Argentina, as part of an exciting rewilding project. 

Of late, we’ve been getting used to shortages of things we’ve previously taken for granted, like petrol, gas, toilet rolls, HGV drivers and seasonal labour; could it be that we’re about to add a new item to that list: antibiotics? 

As the great and the good packed their bags and left Glasgow last weekend, we were left picking through the plethora of promises and pledges made by our world leaders during the two weeks of climate talks.

Whatever way you view kindness, it's a thing to cherish. It's the key to a better world. Even the small acts of kindness make a big difference. Kindness has the ability to inspire and melt the heart.  To renew faith in human nature. And to lift spirits in an increasingly busy and

Last Sunday, it was a great honour to welcome Chris Packham CBE to the stage of the magnificent Sheldonian Theatre, to deliver our Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture, hosted for the first time by the Oxford Literary Festival.

‘The last best chance to keep 1.5 alive’ was how COP26 was being seen, creating a huge focus for our collective hopes for the future. As around 120 world leaders converged on the banks of the Clyde to set out plans for cutting carbon emissions, Glasgow became an intense melting

As world leaders depart Glasgow’s COP26 climate talks, leaving their negotiators to roll up their sleeves and get on, I couldn’t help noticing that they’d missed a huge trick in the battle to tackle global heating: ending factory farming. As Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said ahead of the conference, the world

For the next two weeks, Glasgow will become the centre of the world, or at least the epicentre of the battle for the planet. World leaders will converge on the ‘dear green place’ to try to pick a path toward a sustainable future. And so the stage is set for

Glancing at some of the media bulletins at the moment, you could be forgiven for thinking there's every possibility that Christmas could be cancelled this year! There are a plethora of reasons why; a shortage of HGV drivers as well as things like carbon dioxide gas (used as a cruel

I feel very fortunate to live in a rural area, where I can enjoy my garden with its bird feeders that attract all sorts of cheerful, colourful birds, including the occasional pheasant.

Few understand how our hunger for 'cheap' meat, dairy and eggs is costing us the Earth. It's understandable because cruel factory farming is so often hidden from view.  But on 16th October, World Food Day, it has never been more important to remind us all of the extent to which

There are few creatures on Earth as striking as octopuses. They are remarkable marine cephalopod molluscs (in the same class as squid and cuttlefish), easily identified by their eight arms. They inhabit all marine habitats ranging from tropical reefs to polar latitudes, where they are ecologically important species, being both carnivorous

'The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man' - Charles Darwin. Today, 4th October 2021, is World Animal Day.  A day to celebrate animals across the world, be they farmed, wild or companion animals. This day has been celebrated since 1931, when it was especially chosen to

United Nations Summit Calls for End to ‘War On Nature’ - I’ll never forget seeing empty supermarket shelves during the early days of Covid, with people panic buying and scrabbling for essential supplies. Months on and my local superstore still goes for weeks without having frozen veg available. And now

Today, 24th September, is World Gorilla Day and I welcome a personal guest blog from dear friend Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka.

Why The United Nations Food Summit is already a Success - “It is our moral imperative to keep our promise to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of the historical UN Food Systems Summit which will take place on Thursday, September 23. 

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world, is done by children”, is how author and poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes put it.  His quote came to mind when I interviewed a young girl about her ambition to see an end to factory farming and preserve the

August 12th is World Elephant Day. As we celebrate these incredible animals, we reflect on the devastating link between industrial animal farming, the risk of new viruses and the dramatic decline of this iconic species.

Why the UN Food Systems Summit is Already a Success. Transformation – denoting a complete change to make things better – is the ambition of the UN Food Systems Summit scheduled for New York in September.

Today, on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Friendship, we welcome a very personal guest blog from a dear friend and Patron of Compassion in World Farming, Peter Egan.

One of my greatest pleasures each year is presenting the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards. I’m humbled to share that, since our Food Business programme and awards began in 2007, the total number of animals benefitting (including awards, projects and pledges) is over 2.23 billion.

Yesterday, 30th June 2021, the EU Commission committed to phase out cages in animal farming across the EU by 2027, making it a historic day for farmed animals

One Health, One Welfare: Why we need healthy food systems for people, planet and prosperity. Out of these difficult Covid times, one thing we have learned is that the well-being of people, animals and the planet are interconnected.

Today (14th June) campaigners all over the world will unite for the sixth annual International Awareness Day to Ban Live Exports, spearheaded by Compassion in Word Farming.

EU Parliament lends overwhelming support to ending cages, now all eyes on Commission - An historic milestone in the campaign to end the cage age was reached this week when the European Parliament voted resoundingly in favour of a ban on cages in farming.

Monday 14th June will be Ban Live Export International Awareness Day.  A day to remember why transporting live animals is cruel and unnecessary and has to end. 

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”  Frank Lloyd Wright. As a keen naturalist and birdwatcher, I spend a lot of my spare time exploring the British countryside, enjoying the abundance and variety that mother nature has to offer.

Today is World Bee Day – a time to focus on the incredible and unique contribution these tiny insects make to keep our world healthy.

This week has been an historic moment for animal welfare in the UK with plans for key reforms announced by government, including legal recognition of animal sentience and a ban on live exports.

As the United Nations Food Systems Summit approaches in September this year, Peter Stevenson OBE, our Chief Policy Advisor, shares his thoughts on why factory farming so dominates animal agriculture. Peter has worked in the animal welfare movement for almost three decades, and played a leading role in winning the EU

The focus of this year’s global Earth Day is on how we can restore our Earth. Between 20th and 22nd April, people in 190 countries will be organising events and promoting ways we can help heal the damage we have caused to our planet.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that it's just designer furniture, cereal, cotton, oil, gas and miscellaneous gifts like Rubik's cubes, that have been caught up in the modern day, marine traffic jam in the Suez Canal. 

When I look back over three decades of progress on the way we treat animals, it has been heartening to see how attitudes and understanding has evolved to insist on better treatment.

Today, 22nd March 2021, is the United Nations World Water Day. It's about raising awareness of the value of water and the importance of protecting this vital resource on which we all depend.

Today, 3rd March 2021, is United Nations World Wildlife Day: a hugely special day to celebrate the wonder of the world’s wild animals and plants.

Saturday 27th February is International Polar Bear Day.  A day to celebrate these magnificent animals whose plight has drawn the world’s attention to the threat of climate change.

It would be hard to find another mammal more persecuted, or more bewitching, than the pangolin. This day, 20th February, is World Pangolin Day.  An opportunity for us all to focus the world's attention on the tragic circumstances surrounding this unique, beautiful creature.  Circumstances brought about by humankind that are leading

New Report Shows Intensification Drives Loss of Wildlife - In a world struggling to get to grips with Covid, you could be forgiven for perhaps thinking that changing the way we farm and eat would be the last thing on the agenda.

Food lies at the heart of many a celebration, but one particular meal recently stood out as historic: the world’s first commercial sale of cultured meat. Just weeks after the nation’s regulatory authority gave cultured meat the go-ahead, Singapore’s 1880 club served the first cultured chicken to paying guests.

There is something refreshing about a new year. Many of us start with new resolutions or new ideas.  It’s a time when people plan fresh starts.  We look to make changes in our lives, to be inspired.

As I sit down to write this end of year message, I reflect on the most challenging and tragic of years. Yet I also reflect on the essence of what makes us human and connects us all around the world – our ability to have faith, our ability to hope

As a lifelong naturalist who lives on a farm, I am acutely aware of how food, nature and the countryside are interlinked. Only this spring, I watched a field being ploughed, only to discover that the soil had no worms. The local gulls that follow ploughs came to the same

2020 has been a tough year.  It’s hard to put it into words. What started on an optimistic note, welcoming in the New Year, soon changed with the advent of Covid-19, as it spread around the globe with devastating effects.

In the world of food and sustainability, news doesn’t come much bigger than the first ever regulatory approval for the sale of cultured meat. In early December, San Francisco-based Food tech company, Eat Just, Inc., announced that it had been given the go-ahead to sell its cultured chicken in Singapore.

Today, as the world celebrates ‘International Jaguar Day’, marvelling at these magnificent and increasingly rare creatures, what few will draw is the connection between their decline and the global growth of factory farming.

News has broken over the past few days that China has detected the presence of the Covid-19 virus on packaging of frozen Argentine beef, German pork and Indian cuttlefish. 

For us at Compassion, the 15th November is always a day to reflect on the legacy of our founder, Peter Roberts MBE, who passed away on this day in 2006. Peter was a visionary, someone who could see that cruelty to farmed animals was having such an effect on all

Today, Tom Hunt, award-winning eco-chef, writer and climate change campaigner, is my guest blogger.  His Bristol restaurant Poco, has won numerous awards including Best Ethical Restaurant at the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

Today, 2nd October, 2020 is World Farm Animals Day, and today is also the day the European Commission (EU) receives the successful European Citizens’ Initiative 'End the Cage Age' which calls on the EU to phase out the use of cages for farmed animals.  It's a special day.

I am so pleased to announce that, having spent months defending the inhumane transport of unweaned calves from Scotland to Europe in the face of our campaign, the Scottish Government has finally conceded that this trade was in breach of the legislation and has stopped calf exports.

Over the past few months there has been much in the news about serious outbreaks of Covid-19 affecting workers in meat plants and slaughterhouses in several countries, including the UK.

To celebrate International Day of Charity, I’m privileged to share information on the wonderful work of South Africa’s Humane Education Trust of which I’ve recently become a patron. I’m honoured to introduce this guest article by its founder, Louise van der Merwe.

The annual British Birdwatching Fair or ‘Birdfair’, described as ‘the birder's Glastonbury’, has gone virtual this year due to Covid-19, running from 18th-21st August.  I was delighted to be interviewed by actor, Born Free patron and wildlife enthusiast, Dan Richardson, about what’s gone wrong for wildlife in farming and the countryside and

August 12th this year marks World Elephant Day, when many will celebrate these wonderful creatures but also express concern at how these magnificent creatures are becoming increasingly threatened. A world without elephants would be tragic.

Can Genome Editing and Agroecology co-exist in the sustainable food and farming mix? Industrial agriculture increases the “risk of future pandemics and needs to be tackled” as a global priority

“Industrial agriculture increases the ‘risk of future pandemics and needs to be tackled”, according to the EU’s ruling Council in Brussels, which calls for action to be taken on a global basis

Shoppers looking to well-known fish certification labels for higher standards of animal welfare are likely to be disappointed, according to the findings of a new investigation carried out by my team here at Compassion.

As the world braces itself at the news that a new virus with ‘pandemic potential’  has been discovered in pigs, the role of factory farming as a breeding ground for disease comes back into sharp focus.

My father-in-law, the late Peter Roberts, Founder of Compassion in World Farming, was a deeply spiritual man. When Peter was once asked to define 'factory farming', his response was "Where the individuality of an animal ends, factory farming begins". 

Last Sunday (14th June), was the fifth annual Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day, initiated by Compassion in World Farming to signal global support for an end to the cruelty of long distance transport.

Earlier this week I was delighted to accept an invitation to participate in the Act #ForNature Global Online Forum. This was an International Consultation of Major Groups and Stakeholders as part of preparatory meetings leading up to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5) next year.

As the world waged war with the Coronavirus, our invisible enemy, billions of lives were turned upside down. It forced us to hunker down. To refocus our priorities. To fear for our family and friends.

This week, I had the huge privilege of introducing wildlife legend Jane Goodall, PHD, DBE, Founder – The Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, to the global webinar, ‘Pandemics, wildlife and intensive animal farming,’

This week, I had the great honour to share the stage with wildlife legend, leading conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, Dr Jane Goodall at Compassion’s webinar event, Pandemics, Wildlife and Intensive Farming. The event was co-hosted by distinguished MEP Anja Hazekamp and attended by two EU Commissioners, a good

Wanuskewin heritage park in Saskatchewan, Canada and officials are toasting a new arrival: the first wild bison calf here for more than a century.

Protecting the health service by staying at home has been a key message throughout this crisis. And a key point of grateful celebration has been for those in the health service and other key workers.

On Endangered Species Day (15th May), I reflect on the role of one of the major drivers of wildlife declines worldwide: factory farming.

Springtime in North Wales and the streets of the nation’s largest seaside resort are strangely silent, but for the sound of cloven hooves on concrete. With residents in lockdown due to Covid-19, a local goat herd had spotted their chance to stage a takeover.

Just a few months ago, it would have seemed a stretch of the imagination; a pandemic from wildlife in a wet market in China causing billions of people to be locked down across the world?

With the world gripped by the worst pandemic in a lifetime, questions are starting to be asked about how our treatment of animals is storing up health crises for the future.

In early April whilst most of the world was coming to terms with the horror of the Covid-19 pandemic, Compassion in World Farming, along with some 200 other organisations, signed an Open Letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On World Veterinary Day, Dr Marc Abraham BVM&S MRCVS, is my guest blogger. Here he shares his thoughts on campaigning and how we all have the power to make a difference.

In the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic, the biggest global crisis in a lifetime, it has been wonderful to see our celebration of humanity, together with a refocus on things that are important: the wellbeing of one and all.

Covid-19 has turned everything upside down for us all. Today’s Earth Day, would have seen me in the United States on a long-planned field trip to investigate environmental destruction caused by factory farming.

As we head into the weekend, having experienced another week of warm spring sunshine, I’d like to take a moment to think about Easter during this extraordinary lockdown period.

Compassion was the word chosen by our founder over half a century ago to encapsulate the very best quality in humanity, a sentiment as true today, in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic, as ever.

I last wrote about the coronavirus at the end of January.  At that time, news of the devastating Covid-19 outbreak had led to swift action by the authorities in China, banning the trade in wildlife. 

Today, 3rd March 2020, is World Wildlife Day #WWD2020.  A day to celebrate the wonders of nature.  All the wondrous wild animals and plants that exist in the world, but so often only glimpsed on television thanks to the efforts of dedicated wildlife cameramen and women.

For many of us, the love for animals or the friendship of a pet in the home is a hugely rewarding experience. A bonding that for many, represents unconditional love.

News of the devastating coronavirus outbreak has led to swift action by the authorities in China in banning the trade in wildlife. According to Reuters, the virus which has killed more than 56 people with many more infected, has been traced to a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally

Twenty-twenty and a new decade dawned with shocking news that Helmut ‘Heli’ Dungler, founder and president of Four Paws, had passed away suddenly, leaving the world to mourn the loss of a real giant in animal welfare. 

On Saturday 28th March, 2020 I am delighted to announce that our Patron, Chris Packham CBE will take to the stage for the first annual Peter Roberts Compassion in World Farming Lecture at the Oxford Literary Festival. 

It is great to see the brilliant George Monbiot raising the dramatic impact of runaway meat consumption on the environment and future viability of the planet. Whilst agreeing with much of the issues raised, one area that I see things very differently

Who could fail to be moved by the human and ecological catastrophe unfolding in the wake of the Australian bush fires? We share heartfelt sorrow for the families of the 23 people or more who have lost their lives since September.

A new baby is a wonderful gift and the beginning of all things for a new family. A deep love, new experiences, wonder, joy and new hope for humanity.

Feeding the world in the face of climate chaos and rising animal disease outbreaks requires protein in the future to come mainly from plants, says former UK Defra Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir Ian Boyd.

As Christmas approaches, Joanna Lumley OBE is my guest blogger.  BAFTA winning actress, comedian, former model, author, television producer and dedicated animal campaigner, Joanna Lumley is a longstanding Patron of Compassion in World Farming

Last week the BBC’s documentary Meat: A Threat to Our Planet included presenter Liz Bonnin hoisting herself up a rope into one of the heights of the Amazon rainforest to visit a harpy eagle chick in her nest.

Last Sunday (24th November), many of you will know that the livestock cargo ship, the QUEEN HIND with 14,600 sheep on board and heading for Saudi Arabia, developed a list, capsized and sank in Midia Port, Romania

Last night the BBC aired a powerful documentary 'Meat: A threat to our Planet' presented by Liz Bonnin who investigated everything from colossal factory farms in the USA to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest in her quest to understand the impact of our hunger for meat.

Seventy leading animal welfare groups from across Europe have condemned the killing of pigs using carbon dioxide, a method that has left outraged consumers with no way of choosing pork, bacon or ham produced more humanely.

Empathy can be a powerful thing. Anyone who has a pet dog or cat gains fresh insight into their inner lives every day.

Who could fail to be captivated by the brilliance of Sir David Attenborough’s latest series, Seven Worlds: One Planet?  The title itself sums up beautifully the interconnectedness of life on Earth.

On World Food Day, 16th October, the Head and Deputy Head boys and girls of Ditcham Park School in Petersfield, Hampshire are my guest bloggers.  Last Thursday they planned and executed an inspiring youth conference, 'The Hopeful Earth', inviting many local schools from the area, parents, teachers and other VIPs to

Yesterday I was thrilled to be in Brussels along with other NGO leaders, supporters and MEPs to celebrate achieving a record-breaking European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) petition and inspiring a continent to stand up for an end to cages. More than 170 organisations amassed 1.6 million signatures on the petition, sending a

On this World Animal Day, it's key to understand that animal welfare is central to the overall battle to save our climate, wildlife, habitats, biodiversity and ecosystems.

On World Farm Animal Day, Dr Emma Milne BVSc MRCVS, is my guest blogger.  TV vet, author and animal welfare enthusiast, Emma is a great supporter and friend to Compassion in World Farming. 

Damning footage of parasite-ridden salmon on a Scottish fish farm is some of the most shocking I have seen and has prompted Compassion to renew its call for urgent action to stop the suffering and halt the expansion of intensive fish farming in Scotland

Grilled: Turning Adversaries into Allies to Change the Chicken Industry; Leah Garcés, Bloomsbury - This is the story of an American mom who took on the chicken industry and won.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. In the face of fires devastating the 'lungs of the Earth’ in the Amazon, for instance, how do we find hope?

This article is based on my recent meeting with Compassion in World Farming Patron and well-known Downton Abbey actor, Peter Egan, for my Big Table podcast.

Intensive Farming is Cruelly Short-sighted - The new IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on climate change and land makes a compelling case for a far-reaching rethink of food and farming.

Billed as the first public engagement since moving into 10 Downing Street for Carrie Symonds, the UK Prime Minister’s partner, this was going to be no ordinary speaking engagement for me, or for Miss Symonds.

Compassion is entirely neutral politically: our agenda is simply to get the very best outcomes for farm animals, regardless of who is in power. But the arrival of a new Prime Minister is an excellent moment to take stock.

We have all ‘suffered alike’ Says Independent RSA Commission Our current industrialised food and farming system has become “one of the main drivers of human and ecosystem crisis”, according to a new and influential report by the RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. The independent inquiry, chaired by Sir Ian Cheshire

On World Population Day, a stark reminder what our planetary crisis means for our future on planet Earth. Imagine opening your morning newspaper to read the headline, “Government agrees to building a hundred new cities the size of London”. 

Yesterday, I was delighted to be in Brussels in the majestic ballroom of the Concert Noble at one of the highlights in Compassion’s annual calendar, our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards

Last Friday 14th June, was our fourth annual international day of awareness initiated by Compassion in World Farming to demonstrate global opposition to the abhorrent trade of long distance transport of live animals.

Compassion at the heart of a new breed of ‘animal welfare environmentalists’ The world received a timely reminder of the perilous state of nature recently, with the launch of a new Global Assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services by the intergovernmental panel, IPBES.

I have always been entranced by Mother Nature ever since I was a very young boy and my mother brought me my first book of Birds.  I used to watch the birds that visited our garden and would marvel at their different forms, colours, feathers and sounds.

I was privileged to join legendary naturalist and broadcaster, Chris Packham in London’s Berkeley Square this week at a pop-up conservation event to celebrate the song of the Nightingale. The association between bird and place was immortalised by the romantic British popular song, A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square, from

ROSEMARY MARSHALL - August 29th 1941 - March 28th 2019 I first met Rosemary thirty years ago. She was a well-established area contact for Compassion in World Farming. I was the new campaigns assistant. It was at a gathering of our army of area contacts in London and Rosemary was clearly at

In this guest blog Duncan Williamson, Head of International Policy for Compassion in World Farming reflects on report of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change published yesterday.

This Easter Monday, 22nd April, we celebrate Earth Day. It is a hugely important day, a global event with more than 1 billion people across 192 countries expected to take part.

“God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages” This is a quote from Jacques Deval, the French playwright, screenwriter and film director. Perhaps he should have added ‘tiny, barren cages’!

Ahead of the famous Oxford Literary Festival this weekend, Graham Harvey, is my guest blogger for this week.  Famed award winning writer of the Archers Radio 4 drama series and country lover, Graham unveils a new storyline for rural Britain.

My research in California showed me that one of the biggest things we can do to preserve water, now and into the future, is to stop factory farming, a major driver of water misuse worldwide.

Amongst the swirling flags, meetings and conversations that make up the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), I spent the last days delivering the message that factory farming is the enemy of the natural world.

Why we need a Global Agreement on Food, Farming & Nature I have been at the United Nations in Nairobi, where I had the privilege of speaking at the UN Environment Assembly. I used this important platform to call for the world’s leaders to come together and work toward a Global

I’m honoured to have been invited to be keynote speaker at the United Nations in Nairobi, contributing to crucial discussions about the future of our environment and the food system.

Whilst we all get to a point in our lives where we need to make important decisions, it feels to me that the whole world is currently in a state of flux and at a defining point in our history.

The continued transport of live farm animals for further fattening and slaughter is one of the most inhumane activities in the agricultural industry.

It's St Valentine's Day today and if you believe the media, it's also the perfect excuse to treat another special companion in your life: your dog or your cat. Many magazines and papers have promoted Valentine's gift ideas for pampered pooches and other furry friends and it may not surprise

Forty years ago, as an avid member of the RSPB’s Young Ornithologist’s Club (YOC), I took part in a project to find Britain’s most common garden bird. Decades later and the Big Garden Birdwatch has grown from a ‘one-off’ project to an annual fixture with about half a million people taking

On the day the highly respected naturalist and broadcaster, Chris Packham has been announced as the latest patron to join Compassion in World Farming, here's an article based on my meeting with Chris last Autumn. The Big Table podcast arising from the meeting can also be downloaded here. ‘There's an old

As the world grows another year older, we turn to reflect on times past, present and of course, the future.  It's been a turbulent year in many ways.  The daily news and social media beams into our homes and onto our personal devices, some of the best and worst of human

Today is World Wildlife Conservation Day, launched just a few years ago to raise awareness of illegal wildlife trafficking. I’ve worked to protect nature since I was a young boy, particularly to protect birds, and I applaud everyone doing their bit around the world today.

This blog is based on my Big Table podcast recorded at this week’s historic dinner at the Savoy Hotel in London, which you can download here.

This article is based on my recent meeting with Allan Jenkins, Editor of the Observer Food Monthly, for my Big Table podcast.

Big change starts with recognition. It was encouraging then to see animal welfare being recognised as an issue of importance in China at the recent World Conference on Farm Animal Welfare in Beijing.

“How come that a species capable of creating a rocket that goes to the moon is destroying its only home?” Jane Goodall PhD, DBE, UN Ambassador for Peace. “I just eat less meat, hardly any meat at all” Sir David Attenborough, who thinks it is helpful for the environment for

This article is based on my recent meeting with world-renowned primatologist and foremost expert on chimpanzees Dr Jane Goodall DBE, UN Messenger for Peace, for my Big Table podcast.

Last Saturday, 22nd September, thousands of people gathered in Hyde Park, London and made history by participating in the first People’s Walk for Wildlife.

Launching the biggest ever campaign for farm animals I am hugely excited to be in Brussels for the launch of our biggest ever campaign: to end the cage age. Today we will stand shoulder to shoulder with more than 120 other organisations from 26 countries – our biggest ever coalition

This blog is based on my recent meeting with Grace Dent, award-winning restaurant critic, journalist, author and broadcaster, for my Big Table podcast.

This article is based on my recent meeting with Chris Packham for my Big Table podcast.

This blog is based on my recent meeting with Deborah Meaden for my Big Table podcast.

What an absolute joy to hear of the success of the campaign for 'Lucy's Law' this week. Hats off to all involved in a brilliant campaign to persuade the government through Defra Minister, Michael Gove, to ban 'puppy farming' in England. The law, subject to consultation, will forbid pet shops and

Today is ‘World Plant Milk Day’, celebrating the health, environment and animal welfare credentials of plant milks like almond and soya. Now, I have no doubt that plant milks are better for animal welfare – after all, there are no animals involved. But what are they doing to the environment? I decided to

Empathy can be a powerful thing. Who would have predicted that millions of viewers connecting so deeply with the plight of a dead pilot whale calf on Blue Planet II would spark off an international war of outrage on plastics?

How did killing method condemned for cruelty become standard?

One of the most enjoyable but also important parts of my role working for Compassion in World Farming is meeting and speaking to people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. The other weekend I had the huge pleasure of attending the Ways with Words Literary

With a great sense of privilege and some apprehension, I stepped through the glass doors of the United Nations headquarters in New York for my latest speaking engagement.

Midsummer and the World Cup is in full swing, along with a rise in demand for food and drink. British media headlines are warning that supplies of beer, fizzy drinks and other summertime favourites are threatened by an industrial shortage of CO2. Maintenance closures at fertiliser factories that produce the gas

Like me, you may not associate gardening with the impacts of intensive animal agriculture, so I was intrigued to see there was a show garden at The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show that managed to link the two. ‘Conscious Consumerism’ by garden designer Joseph Gibson, sends a strong message of the

This blog is based on my recent meeting with Seth Goldman, Chair of Beyond Meat for my Big Table podcast, which you can download here. New Generation Burger Helps Redefine Protein Downtown Decatur, Georgia, USA and the late summer heat was quick-drying puddles on streets rain-lashed by the tail of Hurricane Harvey.

This blog is based on my recent meeting with Rosie Boycott, journalist, food campaigner, writer and activist, for my Big Table podcast, which you can download here. A few weeks ago, I was speaking at the Hay Literary Festival and was fortunate enough to sit down with Rosie Boycott. A long-time

This week, here at Compassion in World Farming, we’ve been preparing to recognise and celebrate companies taking action to improve farm animal welfare. Yesterday, I was thrilled to introduce our 11th annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards at Les Salons Hoche, Paris, hosted by Alex Taylor, European journalist and broadcaster

Today, Thursday 14th June, many thousands of people, across 35 countries, from Brazil to Australia and from Ireland to Turkey are coming together in an outpouring of compassion for the animals who suffer during long distance transport.

Dr Sylvia Earle, has been an inspiration to me for many years and is the ground-breaking author of  The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Oceans Are One.  She is a marine biologist, explorer, lecturer and founder of Mission Blue, whose aim is to create a global network of

This blog is based on my recent meeting with Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, for my Big Table podcast.

This week I spoke at the Hay Festival 2018 and was asked to write about my experience.  This blog first appeared on the Hay website 30th May 2018

We all love bees and it appears none more so than the British. The insects have been identified as the number one endangered species that Britons would save. 

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a farming system that, instead of being a driver of wildlife decline, actually started to put things back? That started to regenerate the soil naturally? That started to bring back birds, bees and butterflies?

Penguins are one of the most popular species on our planet, thanks in part to their fascinating communities and charming personalities.

Earth Day this Sunday 22nd April, will highlight how humanity is threatening the survival of the planet and draw attention to the need for urgent change.

As the sun rises on another World Health Day this Saturday, we often choose to look within and focus on the small changes we can make to improve our own health and wellbeing. We give ourselves goals, ‘I must go for that jog tomorrow morning’, ‘I should cut out those

Compassion withdraws Sainsbury’s Good Chicken Award for breaking its promise.

The Easter Bunny is an age-old imaginary character. A construct when, more often than not, an adult dresses up as a (much) larger than life rabbit, to hide Easter eggs. It brings a sense of fun and colour to Easter, and kids love it. The Easter Bunny is as intrinsically

All of us at Compassion are hugely saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Richard Body. We are hugely indebted to Sir Richard for all he did to promote the cause of humane farming. He was a true friend to farmed pigs.  His Private Members Bill in the early 1990s

I often wonder in years to come, if future generations will look back on these times with despair and sadness when they see how we treated our fellow man and the animals who shared this planet with us.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed today, 3 March 2018, as UN World Wildlife Day, the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife in order to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's animals and indeed plants.  This year, the day is celebrated with the theme 'Big cats: predators

Perhaps it is only fitting that on World NGO Day, I am able to share with you our new, challenging and dynamic five-year plan aimed at achieving game-changing impact for farm animal welfare. To my mind, it has never been so important. Over the last half century, the industrialisation of the countryside

St. Valentine's Day is a special day to remember those we love.  Love comes in many forms and we all express our love and fondness for one another in many different ways. Research tells us that animals help in allowing people to be more loving because of the compassion they give

With every passing day, evidence of the need for change in the way we feed ourselves mounts. The latest warning comes from a letter signed by an unprecedented 15,000 scientists warning that humanity faces ‘vast’ misery if it doesn’t urgently adopt environmentally sustainable alternatives to business-as-usual, not least in the

One day, in the not too distant future, we will look back on the practice of confining farm animals in cages and ask ourselves how society ever allowed that to happen – how did we ever permit such cruelty to become normal? Progress has been slow but sure. Over the last

At a time when multiple companies are committing to higher welfare chicken across the globe, I’m at a loss when two of our major food business partners - who have traditionally been leaders in farm animal welfare – are taking a sideways step for chickens. I recently spoke about McDonald’s inadequate global welfare

“Industrially produced meat and milk are cheap at the supermarket checkout” due to"an economic sleight of hand", as Compassion’s Chief Policy Advisor explained in a compelling presentation at our recent conference. "We’ve devised a distorting economics that takes account of some costs, such as housing and feeding animals, and ignores others, including the detrimental

The UK’s reputation as a leader on animal welfare is hanging by a thread. Despite government assurances that Brexit would not alter other aspects of law, there is a glaring omission – animal sentience. In fact, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, repealing European law when the UK leaves the EU, fails to safeguard the

On Friday, fast food giants McDonald’s announced their new global welfare standards for broiler chickens. I am disappointed to say that it completely ignores key principles of broiler welfare such as the problems with fast growth breeds and  enough space for them to move freely. The industry has recently seen leading companies