The inspiring women who have inspired team members at Animal Justice Project

Animal Justice Project is a woman-led organisation with the majority of our team being women. Across the animal rights community, and many social justice movements, women lead the way in demanding that injustices are ended, and our organisation is no different. Last year, we met each of our female team members, learning about why they went vegan and now dedicate their lives to animal rights but this International Women’s Day, Wednesday 8 March, we would love to share with you women who inspire each of our team members.

Sasha Bennett, Founder of Beneath the Wood sanctuary

Chosen by Ayrton, Campaigns Manager

Sasha Bennett
Credit: Sasha Bennett

Sasha is a big inspiration of mine and is one of the most dedicated humans I have ever met. Her tireless work for animals, day-in, day-out, should inspire everyone to hear of her story. The sanctuary took in the famous ‘53 pigs’ from a truly horrific illegal slaughterhouse in Pembrokeshire. With pregnancies, the number soon expanded to over 90 pigs. That’s over 90 huge ‘meat-breed’ pigs. That’s a lot of trust to gain from traumatised animals, a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of poo! Sasha carries the sanctuary and never has time off. She’s an inspiration to me and she should be to you too.

Show your support to Beneath the Wood Sanctuary: 

Nemam Ghafouri, Founder of Joint Help for Kurdistan

Chosen by Ash, Investigations Assistant

Nemam Ghafouri
Credit: Nemam Ghafouri / Twitter

Nemam Ghafouri dedicated her life to helping others, particularly Yazidi survivors of ISIS genocide. Her tireless work and dedication inspired many, and she received recognition for her efforts worldwide. Despite the dangers, she remained committed to her cause, which led to her successfully reuniting 12 Yazidi mothers with their children, her last mission, before tragically passing away from covid-19. Her work put the large organisations to shame, she had feet on the ground and achieved so much. Her memory lives on in the charity she founded - Joint Help for Kurdistan. 

Find out more: 

Alexis Fleming, Founder of The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice and The Karass Sanctuary for Farmed Animals

Chosen by Aura, Lead Designer

Alexis Fleming
Credit: Alexis Fleming / Facebook

I met Alexis and her mum in Brighton a few years ago and was instantly struck by her kindness, intelligence and determination. Despite an ongoing battle with chronic illness and numerous challenges, Alexis launched, in 2016, the first purpose-built companion and farmed animal hospice in the world: The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice. The hospice is a haven for terminally-ill, abandoned animals to live out their lives in comfort, treated with respect and love. The hospice also includes the Karass Sanctuary for Farmed Animals, where Alexis can be seen every day conversing and looking after all its residents, from hens, cockerels, sheep and pigs, to cats, dogs, quail and turkeys. Alexis Fleming is truly an inspiration, and a force to be reckoned with!

Support The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice and The Karass Sanctuary for Farmed Animals:

Sandra Higgins, Psychologist, Founder of Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary Ireland and Director of Go Vegan World

Chosen by Tom, Social Media Coordinator

Sandra Higgins
Credit: Sandra Higgins

As the director of Go Vegan World - a highly successful vegan campaign, and Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary - a sanctuary for rescued 'farmed' animals. Sandra has dedicated her life to caring and fighting for animals. Her work has focused on exposing the animal industry, advocating for animal rights, and showing the public the truth behind animal oppression. Sandra has led numerous high-impact and successful campaigns promoting an ethical vegan message. Her work has inspired countless individuals to go vegan and get involved in the animal rights movement.

Find out more about Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary Ireland:

Wendy Valentine, Founder of Hillside Animal Sanctuary 

Chosen by Sara, Development Coordinator 

Wendy Valentine
Credit: Wendy Valentine / Facebook

Wendy Valentine has dedicated her life to helping animals. In 1995, with just 20 acres of land, she founded Hillside Animal Sanctuary after witnessing the plight of battery hens first-hand. Since then, she has campaigned and cared for thousands of animals in need, particularly those who are routinely abused in the intensive farming industry. Educating the public forms a vital part of her activism, and she exposes the harsh cruelties inflicted upon these innocent individuals, to advocate for the abolition of animal agriculture. Today, Hillside covers 2000 acres of land and is home to over 4000 animals. It is one of the UK's most successful campaigning organisations for the animals' cause. 

Check out Hillside Animal Sanctuary: 

Vic Wood, Founder of Greener Beauty one of our original AJP Ambassadors

Chosen by Nigel, Membership and Sales Coordinator 

Vic Wood
Credit: Vic Wood

Vic has been at the sharp end of activism across the world and she has channeled her love for animals and the natural world into a successful and multi award winning ethical vegan business, Greener Beauty. Out of frustration at not being able to find the ethical, vegan, cruelty free and natural products in one place Greener Beauty was born. Vic's drive and dedication for animal rights and the planet inspires me every day!

Check out the wonderful products that Greener Beauty stock: 

Tina Newman, Author and Activist

Chosen by Krysia, Fundraising and Supporter Care Coordinator

Tina Newman
Credit: Tina Newman / Twitter

In 2019, passionate animal rights activist, Tina, realised there was a lack of children’s stories with a vegan message, and began writing the Vivi the Supervegan series of books. She wanted to empower children to be compassionate and kind, and understand that they have the ability to educate and inspire others to make changes. She also runs the ‘V-Gang Mummas’, a group who provide friendly online support for vegan families or people transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, help local businesses to become more vegan-inclusive and provide educational talks to schools. Tina is also developing a new initiative – the world’s first VegTech family platform, to solve the problem of children and families not being able to access vegan-inspired entertainment!

As mum to a young child, I know how important it is to educate children before the exploitation of animals is normalised into their daily lives, and how powerful children can be as advocates for change. Tina inspires me because she has made it her mission to reach a whole new generation, upon whom animals and humans alike are reliant for our future.

Check out Vivi the Supervegan: 

Ingrid Newkirk, Founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Chosen by Claire, Founder and Director

Ingrid Newkirk
Credit: Ingrid Newkirk / PETA

Despite the controversies surrounding some of PETA’s activities, Ingrid remains an inspiration of mine. Having spent some time with her in the United States, I can confidently say she is 100% in this for animals. She is, without doubt, one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met within our movement and anyone who dedicates their life to fighting for animals should be an inspiration for us all. We would, I imagine, achieve animal liberation sooner if there were more Ingrids in the world!

Find out more about Ingrid:

In the animal rights movement, women have been leading the way for decades and we hope that the dedicated individuals above can inspire vegans and activists to be brave and continue fighting against injustice.

As always,

For the animals.

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