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Dr. Elliot Katz (vegan) - In Defense of Animals

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Let us explore the origin and development of a Shining World Hero Award recipient and his organization. In 1983, Dr. Katz founded Californians for Responsible Research, which sued the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for not enforcing legislation meant to regulate the care of laboratory animal-people. Ultimately, UC Berkeley received a cease-and-desist order from the USDA and was fined US$12,000 for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Subsequently, Californians for Responsible Research was renamed In Defense of Animals (IDA). Its avowed mission is “To defend animals, humans, and the environment from abuses and exploitation, and to foster peace between all life. We advocate for changes in laws, human behavior, and enlightenment in the need to protect lives, advance rights, improve welfare, and steward environmental protection.”

In 1985, IDA staged its first peaceful protest for animal-people in front of the Primate Center at the University of California, Davis. Another significant achievement was helping to derail a five-year commercial contract with the government of South Africa to slaughter more than 30,000 Cape fur seal-people annually. As Dr. Katz became more well-known and his organization grew, they took on bigger projects and expanded their kindness to animal-people around the globe.

In 2010, Supreme Master Ching Hai presented Dr. Katz with the Shining World Hero Award and humbly contributed US$10,000 to IDA to further its praiseworthy work for animal-folk. Sadly, Dr. Katz left this Earth on March 24, 2021, at the age of 86. He was a vegan for more than 30 years and said he found fulfillment in “fighting for the rights, welfare, and habitats of other species.” But beyond that, he aspired to spread love and oneness among all beings.

IDA asks people to abide by the essential tenets of the Guardian Credo that he penned: Animal-people are not our property, and we are not their owners. We must widen our circle of justice and compassion beyond the human species to include animal-people. As guardians of our animal-companions, we ensure that their physical and emotional needs are satisfied and that our commitment to them is lifelong.
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