An Article Series from 


Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies

Kim Stallwood: A Life Dedicated to Animal Rights

March 2024

Fifty years ago, I was a student working the summer in a chicken slaughterhouse. Three years later in 1976, I was a vegan working for Compassion In World Farming and its campaigns against imprisoning egg-laying hens in cages and confining pigs in stalls too narrow for them to turn around.

Kim Stallwood

My life is dedicated to animal rights, working as an author, curator, and scholar. I have almost fifty years of personal commitment as a vegan and professional experience in leadership positions as a full-time employee, volunteer, board member, and independent consultant with some of the worldís foremost animal rights organizations.

As a curator preserving the history of animal rights, The British Library acquired the Kim Stallwood Archive in 2020. The Zurich-based animal law organisation Tier im Recht established the Kim Stallwood Collection in 2022. I am currently writing the biography of Topsy, the female Asian elephant electrocuted to death on Coney Island, New York, in 1903. My first book, Growl: Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate (Lantern) was published in 2014 with a foreword by Brian May. I have contributed to several academic anthologies about Topsy, animal biography, and movement strategy.

I have sought to work as a bridge between the animal rights movement and the academic field of human-animal studies in the humanities and social sciences. I serve on the volunteer board of directors of the US-based Culture & Animals Foundation, founded by animal rights philosopher Tom Regan and his wife, Nancy, in 1985. I co-founded with Ken Shapiro the Animals and Society Institute in 2005 and served as its Co-Executive Director until 2007. I was the volunteer executive director of Minding Animals International (2012 to 2017). I was the editor-in-chief of The Animalsí Agenda magazine (1993-2002) and the first Executive Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (1987-1992).

I pay for my animal rights work with consultancy fees from client organisations, royalties from publications, and the generous support of individuals on Patreon and subscribers on Substack. Such support pays for my modest window-less office and the costs primarily involved with researching and writing the biography of Topsy.

Kim Stallwood

The Kim Stallwood Archive
The British Library, London
In 2020 The British Library in London established the Kim Stallwood Archive, an extensive collection of 800 organisation, people, and subject files, including correspondence, manuscripts, meeting notes, and press cuttings chronicling his involvement with the international Animal Rights Movement dating from the mid-1970s onwards as part of their modern history archive.

The Kim Stallwood Collection
Tier im Recht, Switzerland

The Swiss-based animal law foundation, Tier im Recht, acquired the Kim Stallwood Collection in 2021. The publications, audio-visual materials, artefacts, posters, and much more became part of TIRís extensive and professionally managed library and archive. Kimís library of more than 2,000 books is scheduled to also go to TIRís offices in Zurich.

Topsy The Elephant
A Biography of an Elephant

Kim is writing the biography of Topsy, the female Asian elephant who was electrocuted to death on Coney Island, New York in 1903. The narrative is written from various sources, from fiction to contemporary science, to tell the story of an individual animalís life and the larger view of the plight of her kind, and animals generally.

Kim Stallwood

Return to Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies