Introducing renowned poet, musician, long-time vegan and friend of the animals Benjamin Zephaniah! We are proud to have his support. Benjamin is an author with an enormous breadth of appeal, equally popular with both adults and children. Most well-known for his performance poetry with a political edge for adults and ground-breaking performance poetry for children, Benjamin also has his own rap/reggae band. He is in constant demand internationally to perform his work - there are rumours that he is Nelson Mandela's favourite poet, and he is the only Rastafarian poet to be short-listed for the Chairs of Poetry for both Oxford and Cambridge University.
Benjamin developed a love of animals at an early age, becoming vegetarian at the age of 11 and vegan at 13. "I didn’t even know what the word meant," he says. "I just knew that I didn’t want to eat animals - it was a real gut feeling. At the time I was in a school where I was getting so much racism, I found comfort in animals. A playground can be the loneliest place in the world when all the kids are playing and nobody will talk to you, so when a cat comes along, you play with the cat, you know? And then the cat comes again the next day and brings a couple of his friends, and you form a community. So that’s where my love of animals started, and that was when I went vegetarian. And later on I decided that I just didn’t want anything to do with any animal product."
Read an interview with Benjamin here: Benjamin Zephaniah
And introducing environmental biologist, op-ed journalist, broadcaster and conservationist Elissa Sursara. Often referred to as a wildlife expert and boasting one of the world’s most impressive networks of supporters for animal rights and environmental advocacy, Australian born Elissa lends her support to a number of international organizations as a representative and ambassador, including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the WWF’s Earth Hour, and international wild cat organization Panthera. As a vegan, and recognized by PETA (in their celebrity vegetarian campaigns), Elissa strives to promote and improve the well being of farm animals and domestic companion animals by creating an awareness of agricultural animal cruelty. She is a leader in the movement to improve and make obsolete modern uses of animals in food, clothing, entertainment and laboratory testing.
Read an interview with Elissa here: Elissa Sursara