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

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.

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 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’.


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

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