Animal Aid : 30 years of campaigning for cruelty-free living

Michael Sutcliffe

Michael Sutcliffe

Jean Pink founded Animal Aid in March 1977, working from a back bedroom in her home in Tonbridge. In July 1977, I heard about her and promptly joined Animal Aid.

Originally, it was purely an anti-vivisection campaign - a protest against the rise of animals in ‘research’ laboratories. Her methods of campaigning were always firmly peaceful. She prepared good leaflets and we went out on to the streets and handed them to the public.

Gradually, more leaflets were produced, covering other animal cruelty issues.

When Jean Pink retired, Mark Gold took over Animal Aid, and continued the growth and the activities – a busy time of expansion and influence.

In 1987, when Animal Aid was ten years old, I retired after 41 years of hard work and a competitive life in the City. I could then give all my time to the fight against cruelty to animals. I could also help send Outrage out to members, joining the jolly gang of volunteers in the old Animal Aid Castle Street office, who frantically stuffed magazines into envelopes. That was fun!

So Animal Aid progressed, and Andrew Tyler became ‘leader’. Under Andrew’s great dedication and leadership, the organisation has continued to grow steadily, enhanced by his frequent appearances on TV and radio. It covers an increasingly wide range of issues. Its educational work has also developed, with well-organised visits to schools and colleges, backed up with top quality videos and leaflets. As a school speaker, I recall several years of enjoyable talks to schoolchildren of all ages – and even to a couple of agricultural colleges!

Animal Aid’s progress is the outcome of 30 years of enlightened leadership – and sheer hard work. So, very best wishes for the next 30 years – and much, much longer.

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