Resurgence: at the heart of earth, art and spirit
An Animal Rights Article from

FROM Heidi Stephenson
September 2020

Welsh Mountain Sheep, etching & aquatint, by Julia Finzel

From Heidi Stephenson, Guest Editor of March/April 2012 issue:

It has been an incredible privilege to gather together these powerful voices. They are some of the greatest animal advocates of our time – and the people to whom I personally owe a huge debt, not just in terms of their generosity here, but for putting so many of us Animal Rights Activists (Tom Regan will explain, page 10) on our paths in the first place. They were certainly my shining lights when I was stumbling around as a young activist in the 90s, looking for guidance. I know you too will come away inspired. Inevitably when you’re dealing with a subject as gargantuan and painful as the abuse and exploitation of fellow sentient beings there will be some uncomfortable moments, and some tears. There would be something wrong if people were not moved by Mark Gold’s compelling piece on slaughterhouses (one of the best articles I have ever read on the subject), or Jan Creamer’s stirring feature on animal experimentation; but you can rest assured that you are in very capable, warm and seasoned hands. No one is going to ‘assault’ or ‘accuse’. And the truth must be faced (as I’ll talk about later, page 4) if we’re ever to change this.

There are also things to celebrate: Animals Asia’s work in China; Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals’ devoted life-saving in Egypt; Gudush Jalloh’s in Sierra Leone; Virginia McKenna’s success in getting Raffi and Anthea (two young lions who lived on top of a bar in Tenerife) out to Born Free’s sanctuary at Shamwari. Jordi Casamitjana and other activists have managed to get bullfighting banned in Catalonia. The ban came into force in January this year. It’s an incredible, heartening achievement, after so many centuries of entrenched brutality. And Jordi’s now ready to take on the rest of the bullfighting world; a true spiritual warrior who has done Joao (the bull) proud.

There are moments of beauty too: Asian elephant artists enjoying their painting and securing their future in the process, Benjamin Zephaniah’s Luv Song, Sharon Howe on Franz Marc’s visionary empathy (interestingly, back in 1912 he observed somewhat sadly that his work would not be properly understood for another 100 years – and here we finally are), Richard Ryder’s illumination of an alternative path, Ingrid Newkirk’s dream of nonviolence including animals, Jonathan Balcombe’s and Marc Bekoff’s fascinating insights into animal minds and emotions (I didn’t know rats liked having their bellies tickled), Marc Bekoff’s powerful Manifesto, and Brian May’s inspirational campaign to save our badgers. I hope by the end of reading this issue, Animals: A New Ethics, you will feel motivated and inspired. Let’s build a bridge between the environmental and animal protection worlds – and together make cruelty history.

Very many thanks to Satish and Resurgence, to fellow activist Rukmini Sekhar for planting the first seed with me last year, to our wonderful contributors, to the animal charities and campaigns organisations who do so much – and above all, to the animals themselves, without whom our lives would be infinitely poorer.



Permission to reprint granted by Heidi Stephenson

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