Our list includes some of history's earliest animal rights activists, a few famous names, and one special group of women who are protecting endangered animals and breaking down gender stereotypes.
Who run the world?
Eleanor of Arborea
Born in 1340, Eleanor of Arborea ruled over the Italian island Sardinia. She was particularly fond of birds and wrote some of the world's first animal protection laws.
The Duchess of Newcastle was born in England in 1623. She was a prolific writer who campaigned for women's and animal rights. Cavendish was also a fierce critic of animal testing.
Anna Kingsford was exposed to the cruel realities of animal testing while studying medicine in Paris during the mid-19th-century. She refused to participate and became the only student in the school's history to graduate without experimenting on a single animal. Kingsford went on to write several books highlighting the ethical and health benefits of vegetarianism.
Died #OTD in 1888, Anna Kingsford was one of the first women to obtain a degree in medicine. She was a prominent anti-vivisectionist and women's rights campaigner. A biography of her life has been digitised by the @WellcomeLibrary. https://t.co/11YMxgWCyO pic.twitter.com/Y4N7SYmgMJ— BSHM (@brithistmed) February 22, 2018
Frances Power Cobbe
Born in 1822, Frances Cobbe spent her whole life fighting for animal rights. She founded the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection in 1875. It was the first organisation to oppose animal testing.
In honour of #LGBTHistoryMonth we're sharing the story of Frances Power Cobbe, a member of the Battersea Committee in 1874. Cobbe was a women’s rights’ activist & animal lover who immortalised her beloved dog Hajjin in a book, donating proceeds to our animals. #ThrowbackThursday pic.twitter.com/Bt0xnc4FPT— Battersea (@Battersea_) February 27, 2020
The French actress wasn't content with being a star of the silver scene. Instead, Bardot's real passion is helping animals. She set-up the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals in 1984, which continues to rehome unwanted dogs and cats. She's also worked with animal charities in China, Canada, and Hungary.
Jane Goodall is the world's foremost expert on chimpanzee behaviour. She spent 60-years studying them in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. In 1992 she founded a rehab centre for orphaned chimps. Two years later, Goodall set up the Catchment Reforestation and Education programme to protect chimpanzees' natural habit from deforestation.
The Black Mambas
The Black Mambas are an all-female unit trained to track and deter poachers in South Africa. They help protect elephants and endangered rhinos. They also run education programmes that teach young people about the importance of biodiversity.
See also: Woman takes over animal shelter and reduces death rate to zero