Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni

beirat-sebastiano-cossia-castiglioniBorn in Milan, Italy in 1966, Sebastiano has been a vegetarian and an animal rights activist for nearly thirty years. He is the owner and chairman of one of the most renowned and pioneering wineries in Europe, Querciabella, where organic viticulture implemented in 1988 led to a complete conversion to strict biodynamic practices in 2000.

His Tuscan wines have garnered worldwide acclaim, including "Best Italian Wine" in 2004. Sebastiano is an industrial designer and the creator of a multinational business network encompassing fields as varied as agriculture, financial advisory, advanced technology, and real estate. He currently lives with his family in Northern Europe.

James Costa

beirat-james-costaJames Costa is a philanthropist and humanitarian who primarily resides in Los Angles, CA. He is  executive board member for the Hunt's Point Alliance for Children and the vice chair of The Humane Society of the United States. He is also an advisory member of The Sabre Foundation,
an organization that donates books worldwide.

He produced and directed the documentary Lunch Hour about the National School Lunch Program and childhood obesity. This film raises awareness of the urgency of this insidious disease and inspires Americans to work together to create change for the sake of our children.

He is proud supporter of Sea Shepherd. He has hosted several events that have raised over a million dollars for Sea Shepherd.  He has hosted several fundraisers for Sea Shepherd at his home. He believes that without Sea Shepherd our oceans would face a devastating fate.

Dr. Alex Hershaft

beirat-alex-hershaftIn the summer of 1981, Dr Alex Hershaft organized 'Action For Life,' a national conference that launched the US animal rights movement.

Shortly thereafter, he gave up a successful career in environmental management and an affluent suburban lifestyle to devote his full attention to exposing and ending animal abuse and other destructive impacts of animal agriculture.

Later that year, Dr Hershaft founded FARM (Farm Animal Reform Movement) which has become a major force in the struggle for vegetarianism and improved treatment of farm animals.

He launched World Farm Animals Day in 1983 and the Great American Meatout in 1985.

In addition to these annual campaigns, FARM also sponsors National Veal Ban Action, Letters From FARM, CHOICE (of plant-based meals in schools), and several other programs. FARM's nine national conferences turned hundreds of concerned Americans into animal rights activists.

Steve Hindi

beirat-steve-hindiSteve Hindi, a former hunter, founded Showing Animals Respect and Kindness in 1993 after attending the infamous Hegins pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania, where he witnessed the slaughter of thousands, with the involvement of children in the killings. He vowed to stop pigeon shoots, and went on to dedicate his life to ending the abuse of all animals. As volunteer president of SHARK, Hindi has led the organization to victories in statewide bans on horse-tripping and live pigeon shoots in Illinois, shutting down hunting clubs and canned hunts across the country, mounting international exposés of rodeos and bullfighting, and prosecutions of domestic animal cruelty cases. SHARK's Tiger Truck, crossing the U.S. and Canada with four large video screens - one on each side and on the front and back - brings graphic, compelling images of animal abuse to the public in a way that has never been done before; raw footage that speaks for itself, untempered by the mainstream media. LED signs explain what the public can do to help stop the cruelty they're witnessing.

Howard Lyman

beirat-howard-lymanHoward F. Lyman, fourth-generation farmer, rancher, and beef feedlot operator turned environmental activist, changed his life in 1979 when diet and lifestyle-related illness nearly killed him. Upon his recovery, he dedicated his life to the reform of animal agriculture and spreading the message that sustainable, humane, organic practices must take the place of continued reliance on a meat-based diet, which spells disaster for both consumers and producers in the face of the world's rising population and dwindling grain resources.

He is executive director of Beyond Beef, founder of Voice For A Viable Future, and president of the International Vegetarian Union.

Alex Pacheco

beirat-alex-pachecoAlex Pacheco, a national leader in the movement for animal rights, is the chairperson and co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) . With over half a million members and offices in three countries, it is the largest and most influential animal rights organization, described by the New York Times as the "mover and shaker" of the movement. PETA is known for fighting multi-billion dollar corporations, such as General Motors, and winning.

While still in his teens, Pacheco became involved in animal rights after a trip to a slaughterhouse. At the time, he was studying for the priesthood. Before that, the FBI had accepted him to work towards becoming an agent.

Shortly afterward this trip, he served as a crewmember aboard the Sea Shepherd, sailing across the Atlantic on a voyage that ended in the ramming of the notorious pirate whaling ship, the Sierra. In preparation for the ramming, the ship's bow had been filled with more than ten tons of concrete. That year, Pacheco was voted "Crew Member of the Year."

He then worked with the Hunt Saboteurs Association in England, taking direct action by sabotaging fox hunts and other organized blood sports. After this he worked in Alaska to protect endangered Humpback whales and went to study wildlife for the Washington, DC Commission on Public Health.

Later, he worked undercover in a laboratory, leading Maryland law enforcement agents on an historic police raid of the laboratory. The raid was the first of its kind, resulting in:

  • the very first criminal conviction of an animal experimenter in the U.S. on cruelty charges
  • the first laboratory shut down because of cruelty
  • the first termination of a federal research grant on charges of cruelty
  • the first confiscation of animals from a laboratory
  • landmark litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking protective custody of the animals.
Pacheco was the driving force behind U.S. Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger's order to close a Defense Department wound laboratory and Weinberger's directive that no dogs or cats ever be used again in military ballistics training or research. This was the second animal testing laboratory ever closed in the U.S.

Pacheco orchestrated a four-day occupation of fifteen offices at the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health by over 100 activists, compelling the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to order the termination of a $14 million dollar experiment in which the brains of conscious primates were crushed. This was the third animal testing laboratory ever closed in the U.S.

Pacheco's investigative work also resulted in the closing of the largest horse slaughter operation in the U.S., involving over 30,000 horses.

Pacheco has come to live with threats against his life by the abusers he exposes. He has been arrested for civil disobedience, shot at by ranchers and subpoenaed by grand juries investigating the disappearance of animals from laboratories. While his picture is plastered up on laboratory walls with an accompanying warning sign, he frequently receives awards for his work on behalf of animals.

On Capitol Hill, Pacheco directs a small team of lobbyists, testifies before Congressional hearings and works on Congressional and state election campaigns.

PETA campaigns have been covered on the front pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times; by, Time, Science, U. S. News and World Report, Town and Country; by Oprah Winfrey and Phil Donahue; in columns from Dear Abby and Paul Harvey to Russia's Tass News Agency.

PETA sponsors cutting edge and unique events such as the first animal rights rock concert, two animal rights record albums, and animal rights galas. PETA has produced award-winning public service announcements and heartbreaking documentaries, parts of which have been shown on programs such as Nightline, 20/20 and National Geographic.

When Harvard University commissioned a critical study of the animal rights movement, the report described Alex Pacheco as the movement's "folk hero". From debating doctors at MIT to his undercover work, his work and passionate outlook on life are compelling.

Heidi Prescott

beirat-heidi-prescottFormer wildlife rehabber Heidi Prescott is national director of The Fund for Animals. Founded in 1967 by author and animal rights advocate Cleveland Amory, The Fund for Animals is one of the nation's largest and most active animal protection organizations.

Dr. Tom Regan

beirat-tom-reganTom Regan is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (USA). During his more than thirty years on the faculty, he received numerous awards for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching; was named University Alumni Distinguished Professor; published hundreds of professional papers and more than twenty books; won major international awards for film writing and direction; and presented hundreds of lectures throughout the United States and abroad. In 2000, he received the William Quarles Holliday Medal, the highest honor NC State University can bestow on one of its faculty.

Among his books, two (The Case for Animal Rights and Bloomsburys Prophet: G. E. Moore and the Development of his Moral Philosophy) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

The Case for Animal Rights was immediately recognized as a modern classic when it first appeared in 1983. Unquestionably the best work yet to appear in its field, one reviewer wrote; beyond question the most important philosophical contribution to animal rights, wrote a second; (b)y far the best work on the subject, and will continue to be the definitive work for years to come wrote a third. Already translated into Italian, Swedish, and Dutch, The Case for Animal Rights will be issued in German and Chinese editions in 2003.

Other of Tom Regans books that touch on the topic of animal rights are All That Dwell Therein: Essays on Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics (1982); Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science (1986), The Struggle for Animal Rights (1987), The Thee Generation: Reflections on the Coming Revolution (1991), Defending Animal Rights (2001; University of Illinois Press) and (with Carl Cohen) The Animal Rights Debate (2001; Rowman Littlefield). He is universally recognized as the intellectual leader of the animal rights movement.

For its part, Bloomsburys Prophet has helped reenergize and redirect Moorean scholarship in particular and the study of early twentieth century British philosophy in general. Examples of the critical response the book received include: (A) scholarly masterpiece; scholarly but engrossing; enlightening about the early Moore and a pleasure to read; a shrewd, often witty and insightful look at G. E. Moores philosophy and his world . . . A must for intelligent readers of literature; and (the) portrait of the man Moore that Regan gives us is unique in the growing body of Edwardian literature.

In addition to Bloomsburys Prophet, Tom Regans other major contributions to Moorean scholarship are Moore: The Early Essays (1987) and G.E. Moore: The Elements of Ethics (1991). He is co-founder and past president of the Moore Society.

Tom Regans major film awards include the Silver Medal for We Are All Noah (International Film Festival of New York, 1986) and the Gold Medal for Voices I Have Heard (Houston International Film Festival, 1988).

Tom Regan is married to the former Nancy Tirk, with whom he co-founded The Culture & Animals Foundation. They have two wonderful children, a son, Bryan, who is a photographer living in Raleigh, and a daughter, Karen, a lawyer who lives in Washington, D.C.

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