What People Say
bless you Kim Stallwood – guru on animal matters. I salute you. Dr.Bri x
Vegan writer, scholar, author and critic. The sharpest vegan point of view. Animal rights master extraordinaire.
Sebastiano Castiglioni, Owner and Honorary Chairman, Querciabella
Vegan by choice, grumpy by necessity. In a world that values sunshine over the saturnine and hope over harrumphing, it’s hard to be a professional curmudgeon. In the animal rights community (where the competition for Chief Grouch is fierce), that vital role was ably handled by the late Cleveland Amory, whose dyspepsia was a key component of the barbs he so effectively aimed at hunters and other animal exploiters. The banner of bile is now waved by Kim Stallwood, a.k.a. the Grumpy Vegan, who first refined discontent and dysphoria into an art form in his editing of The Animals’ Agenda magazine, and then in two books he edited for Lantern: Speaking Out for Animals and The Primer on Animal Rights. Actually, I’m kidding. Those two books are inspiring and thoughtful examinations of how one can help animals in distress and through policy changes rather than belly-aching about how awful everything is. Plus, Kim is distressingly sweet-tempered when you get to know him (which, of course, you are thoroughly discouraged from doing), and now that he is back in his native England after doing time in the U.S. for many years, he’s distressed to find unwelcome shafts of sunlight brightening the winter of his discontent. Fortunately, this being the world we live in and our exploitation of other animals showing no sign of stopping any time soon, Kim retains a measure of grouchy glory, blogging and helping to run the excellent Animals and Society Institute. In all these and other endeavors, of course, Lantern wishes him luck, and hope that we don’t see him around.
The nice thing about Kim Stallwood’s blog is that, if you get tired of reading about veganism, you can dip into Kim’s recommendations for “pubs what the Grumpy Vegan likes.” I don’t actually know how grumpy Kim is (I met him once and he seemed perfectly genial), but I do know that he is a smart experienced activist who has been involved in animal rights since the 1970s. (He’s a former executive director of PETA and was editor of The Animals’ Agenda.) Kim’s blog includes an assortment of posts related to animal rights, England, the aforementioned pubs, etc, all written in an amusing third person voice.
The Liberator, the BUAV’s professionally produced bi-monthly broadsheet, was edited by the team of Kim Stallwood and Margaret Manzoni. Stallwood’s official title was ‘campaigns officer’, but by early eighties his was the commanding voice in the always chaotic Islington set-up. Phone calls about policy always seemed to end up being referred to Stallwood, as were most requests for information. Kim Stallwood, bearded and in his late twenties, was by nature a full-time activist, a creature of the times that had produced a curiously pure and humurless zealotry in the town halls of Haringey and Lambeth. A former catering student, Stallwood had been converted to the cause during a spell working in a chicken processing plant one vacation, as a result of which he had become a strict vegetarian, and busily read up on the theory of animal rights. He didn’t like, he said, the idea of domestic ‘pets’; if humans looked after animals, these should be regarded as ‘refugees’; to call someone an ‘animal lover’ was like calling them a ‘nigger lover’. True to this purist view of the struggle, Stallwood, like John Beggs, was thought personally not actually to like animals very much; there were upsetting stories about him cursing the many stray dogs who seemed to pant around the BUAV offices without any noticeable control. What Stallwood did like was the exercise of political influence: he was happy to go along with ‘direct action’ as long as it provided tangible results, but the real work lay in lobbying the new left. Animal rights purists complained that he spent all this time hobnobbing with the heroes of the GLC’s parliamentary vanguard, the Tony Bankses, Jeremy Corbyns and Ken Livingstones.
Animal Warfare by David Henshaw (London: Fontana; 1989) 159-160.
In the same decade, Kim Stallwood, the influential editor of the Animals Agenda, had pioneered the way forward in the collection and safeguarding of books and documents relating mainly to the US movement.
Animal Revolution by Richard D. Ryder (Oxford: Berg; 2000) 213.
Kim Stallwood’s excellent Animals’ Agenda, the movement’s leading newsmagazine, was read chiefly by the already converted.
The Political Animal by Richard D. Ryder (London: McFarland; 1998) 40.
More specifically, I would like to thank Kim Stallwood, who opened up his offices and his home to me on more than one occasion. His activism and kindness epitomise the animal advocacy movement.
For the Prevention of Cruelty by Diane L. Beers (Athens, OH: Swallow/Ohio University Press; 2006) xii
As an insider at the highest levels of the American animal rights movement for the past twenty years, with a background in the British movement (which has been consistently out in front of the rest of the world), Kim Stallwood is in a unique position to assess the state of the movement. And he has concluded that if we hope to begin making measurable progress for animals in the foreseeable future, the leadership must radically readjust their thinking.
The Longest Struggle by Norm Phelps (New York: Lantern; 2007) 290
The audience shudders as the brown, hairy face of a Norway rat, the kind scurrying through their alleys, flashes up, larger than life, on the slide-show screen. The good people of Canton have gathered in a neighbourhood church to learn how to defeat this enemy. Robert Eades of the city’s Rat Rubout program tells them the battle is all about garbage. If you clean up your trash, the rats will go elsewhere. If you don’t, the solutions — poison, deadly gas — become much nastier.
Kim W. Stallwood listens quietly, his expression difficult to read. As founder and president of the Canton Community Association, the soft-spoken activist has invited the rat-eradication specialist here to speak. But the topic is making his stomach churn.
Stallwood is all for eliminating the trash that attracts the rats. But trashing the innocent rats? Just because people won’t pick up after themselves?
It’s a moral dilemma that exposes his daily balancing act: On the one hand, Kim Stallwood, community activist, hopes that learning how to control rats will make life better for people in Canton. On the other, Kim Stallwood, animal advocate, is pained by any proposal that harms animals.
“I understand why people are bothered by rats. I don’t want to see Canton overrun by them. But the problem with rats is not rats themselves, it’s human behaviour,” he says.
“An Advocate for All Creatures: Kim Stallwood Speaks Out Globally for Animals and Locally for His Neighbours in Canton” by Linell Smith, The Baltimore Sun, July 29, 2001
The historic anti-vivisection group [BUAV] was housed inside a modern, stark white, three-story warehouse. Kim Stallwood’s desk was strewn with political manifestos and government white papers. A poster advertising the Threepenny Opera was taped to the wall above him, next to a silly drawing of a filthy, unshaven man with a cigarette dangling from one side of his mouth, saying to no one in particular, “Waiter, I’ll have the BROWN rice with that.”
Kim was in his mid-twenties, a vigorous Labour Party supporter and a fervent champion of the British working class as well as of the animals. After taking a catering course, he had worked for a summer in a chicken slaughterhouse. He said that listening to the screams of the birds as they headed to the knife had saddened and revolted him. So he had abandoned catering and joined the animal rights movement. Now he was working to get Parliament to pass a bill toughening up controls over Britain’s individually licensed experimenters, and specifically outlawing the infamous Draize rabbit-blinding test, as well as smoking and alcohol tests on animals. He was meeting lots of expected opposition, both from private research corporations and what he called the “Tory Gories.”
Free the Animals by Ingrid Newkirk (Chicago: Noble Press; 1992) 38
A man of great character. Despite all the great benefits and visionary scope of veganism, today’s world would lead all but the worst pollyannas grumpy! Indeed, Kim is a man of GREAT integrity! No joke!
Maynard Clark, Executive Director, Vegetarian Resource Center
Kim Stallwood is a true champion in the movement for social justice and equality of species worldwide. I would describe him as one of the greatest minds in the animal protection movement. In the last decades, his many contributions to non-profit groups as a spokesperson, writer and strategist cannot be equaled. On a personal level, I rely on and treasure Kim’s counsel. Whenever I need advice on our campaigns to end dog racing, Kim provides insight and perspective to me and my organization that could not be gained elsewhere. Kim Stallwood is a true visionary whose integrity is beyond reproach. I recommend him to anyone who cares deeply about animals.
Christine A. Dorchak, Esq., President and General Counsel, GREY2K USA
I first met Kim when he moved to Hastings in 2007. Since then our paths have crossed numerous times socially and professionally in connection with local projects. He recently agreed to volunteer with a local creative industries project, Hastings Creatives, as a content manager Web site. He is always professional and courteous as well as generous with advice when sought. I look forward to continue working with Kim and recommend him for his skills and experience as a manager, organiser and communicator.
Erica Smith, Wordsmith Design
I recommend Kim after working closely with him at Minding Animals International. His experience with the American and British animal protection movements and his deep understanding of animal rights as a moral and political issue enables him to act uniquely as a bridge between animal advocacy and the academic study of our relationship with animals. More particularly, his advice is always direct and insightful. I rely upon him to help me direct MAI as a rapidly growing international initiative.
Rod Bennison, Minding Animals International
Kim is a visionary in the field of animal protection. His experience in the movement has ranged from advocate to scholar to mentor. I have had the pleasure of working with Kim in various capacities and through the Animals and Society Institute, which he co-founded. He is always thoughtful and insightful and is an asset to animal advocacy.
Che Green, Founder and Executive Director, Humane Research Council
Kim is a highly respected international figure in animal welfare. I work closely with him at Compassion on a number of projects. He is always professional, efficient, productive and creative with the assignments I ask him to complete. Kim is a very knowledgeable and compassionate individual – a wonderful advocate for animals.
Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive, Compassion In World Farming