Lynda Stoner

“I got involved in the animal rights movement about three decades ago when I was stopped in my tracks as the television news showed footage of Harp seal pups being beaten and skinned alive. I’d seen and heard disturbing news before, but something about this haunted me.

I had just begun working on Cop Shop and was unable to get the images out of my head. I started looking around for something to do to help – anything! I worked on weekends as a volunteer with Friends Of The Earth and I kept asking people how I could directly help animals. The only contribution I felt I could usefully make was to go public as widely as possible about all the terrible ways humans exploit animals.

I worked as a volunteer for the animal rights movement for and then became Animal Liberation NSW’s full time political lobbyist. Under the auspices of this role my work was diverse and always challenging.

I am now working fulltime for Animal Liberation NSW as Communications Coordinator and I am involved in campaigning to raise public awareness. In our society we keep animals that are used for food and clothing away from the public in an attempt to further distance people’s empathy for them.

It is a very effective strategy and results in people having dual relationships with non humans – they are often quick to nurture dogs and cats and horses and to embrace the plight of ‘exotic’ animals such as whales and gorillas, but fall short of extending that compassion to ALL species. It’s as though people truly do believe some animals are worthy and loveable while ‘food and clothing animals’ are conveniently missing the same capacity for pleasure and pain.

It’s a dichotomy that has no rhyme or reason other than to placate human guilt.

Since I’ve been in this movement I have seen it grow in leaps and bounds. People don’t talk much about vegetarianism now, they go straight to veganism. The amount of young people attracted to the movement is phenomenal and that’s happening all around the world.

For those who despair, look back to when people were vilified for fighting for the emancipation of women, against slavery, against children being exploited, indigenous people not even having the vote. The day is coming when exploiting animals will no longer be acceptable, we just have to keep fighting for those rights on behalf of all species.”

“The best thing people can do to help animals is to become vegan. By not consuming or wearing animal flesh, skin and body parts they will also be helping our fragile environment and enhancing their own health.”