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Shining World Awards

Shining World Compassion Award Recipient: The Noble Endeavors of Mercy for Animals, Part 1 of 2

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Today, we are delighted to present a remarkable organization that has been working tirelessly for the last few decades to help inspire compassion and end animal cruelty. Founded by Mr. Milo Runkle in 1999, Mercy for Animals (MFA) is a leading international non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our precious animal friends. After witnessing the abuse of a farm animal for a high school agricultural project near his hometown in Ohio, USA, Mr. Runkle formed Mercy for Animals with the goal of ending the horrendous cruelty and promoting compassionate food choices and animal-free alternatives. This noble organization actively investigates the harsh realities hidden behind factory farm walls and aims to improve state-level policies and legislation for farm animal protection. Mark Devries, manager of special projects and drone investigation at Mercy for Animals and director of Speciesism: The Movie, explains why animals are not food, and why Mercy for Animals spreads the message of love and compassion. “Non-human animals are sentient, complex individuals with deep social and emotional lives, like ourselves. We share the very same brain structures and the very same collections of neuro-chemicals that function the same way, that allow for joy and sorrow and fear and anger, positive and negative.” Mercy for Animals believes that the greatest cruelty and injustice of our time concerns food production by the farm animal industry. This is the important Truth that the organization strives to share with the world. Posted online and via social media, Mercy for Animals’ undercover investigations have been especially effective in bringing that truth to the public. “It's our habits and the attitudes that we have been brought up with, that stop us from seeing something that's actually very clear: that causing harm, causing suffering which we’re all already opposed to, is something that we do when we support industrial animal agriculture, that causes suffering to billions of animals who are just as sentient as you and I are.” Witnessing the suffering of farm animals is a powerful tool of change in terms of both inner consciousness and outer social norms. Mark Devries shared with us his own experience of transformation sparked by directing Speciesism: The Movie, the 2013 award-winning documentary on industrial factory farming. “I actually became vegan when I was working on my first documentary ‘Speciesism: The movie.’ And that is when I started realizing that this is a fundamental issue of ethics and justice. And I could no longer come up with a defense that wasn't refuted for maintaining my current view of non-human animals and for maintaining my current practices. And it seemed to touch people very deeply and impact them very profoundly.”
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