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Good Governance

Creating a Humane Canada: Interview with Barbara Cartwright (vegan), Part 1 of 3

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Ms. Cartwright is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Humane Canada, a national federation of SPCAs and humane societies, whose mission is to promote respect for and humane treatment of animals. For her exemplary work, Barbara was awarded the highly prestigious Canadian Governor General’s Gold Medal. She has been recognized as one of Canada’s top five “WOW Women” by Best Health Magazine, is a member of the Council of Women Executives, and serves as an advisor to several top global organizations. Barbara holds a master’s degree in environmental education and communication, and is a renowned author and lecturer. “The first time I became vegetarian was when I was 16. And I was eating a steak. And I could just taste that it was a cow, it was a being. And it just took that moment, and that’s it. And I’ve never consumed meat again.” “And they’re gentle and loving. And I really enjoy cows, and I still do.” In 2019, Humane Canada celebrated several major wins, with the Canadian government passing new animal welfare laws, one of which called for a complete ban on importing shark fins. Another huge win for Humane Canada in 2019 was the passage of the “Free Willy” bill, making it illegal to keep whales or dolphins in captivity in Canada. “How we got it passed was, we worked on it for five years. We had extremely good political support.” “And we had very strong support from the Canadian public. We put together a very successful coalition that represented several different animal welfare groups from across the spectrum. We also had scientists from around the world who came forward to help support us, and we had conservation groups. So, it was a really important coalition that made the shift.”
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