The Wonderful Women of World Animal Protection
Six World Animal Protection women share what fuels their passion to fight for animals every day.
This Women’s History Month, we spoke to six women here at World Animal Protection to learn what and who has inspired them to do their lifesaving work each day!
Liz Cabrera Holtz, Wildlife Campaign Manager
I was born with an innate love for animals, particularly dogs. But it wasn’t until someone handed me a pamphlet about factory farming in middle school (while waiting in line for the premiere of The Phantom Menace!) that I learned about the immense, systemic, and overwhelming suffering of animals. I stopped eating meat (and eventually all animal products) and ten years later headed to law school in the hopes of reducing at least a little bit of that suffering.
Emily Huggins, Philanthropy Associate
My mother became a vegetarian at a very young age. To her, animals were living, feeling beings and she didn’t want to contribute to their suffering. She never told my siblings and I how we should eat, but I followed in her footsteps and was vegetarian my entire childhood and then went vegan as an adult. At first, maybe it was because I looked up to my mom and wanted to be like her, but it became a conscious choice when I learned about the suffering on factory farms and the impact factory farming has on the environment. My mom’s decision to leave animals off her plate inspired more than just my dietary choices, it also inspired my life goal of protecting animals. I continue to be inspired by her to this day, as she has run several successful fundraisers to help those experiencing food insecurity in her community.
Lisa Monteleone, Director of Marketing and Communications
One of the greatest gifts my mom shared with me was her deep love and respect for animals. Long before conventional wisdom recognized animals as feeling, intelligent beings, my mom insisted we treat the companion animals who shared our home as family members. That meant the time I teased our dog to the point of receiving a warning nip, Mom blamed me and not the dog. It also meant we did not go to the circus or the zoo as family entertainment. “These animals are suffering,” Mom would point out. There may not have yet been an undercover investigation, but her sense of right and wrong guided her to inherently realize that a bear should not be made to wear a dress and ride a bike, and a majestic elephant did not want to be under harsh lights while being forced to perform. She rightly noted for me, when we watched captive big cats on TV, that pacing in a cage meant deep, psychological distress. There were also times Mom stopped the car with my brother and me in the backseat to confront someone treating an animal harshly, and we always knew if we brought home an injured bird Mom would start the recovery and rehabilitation process until flight and a natural life were restored. Together, we became vegetarians as our compassion for animals manifested in the food we were eating.
I am grateful to my mom for so many things, but as a member of the World Animal Protection team, I am especially thankful for all she taught me about caring for animals.
Meganne Natale, Marketing and Communications Assistant
Before beginning my journey in animal welfare, I worked in the cosmetics and fragrance industry as an advocate for cruelty-free beauty, which refers to beauty products not tested on animals. During my studies, I had the opportunity to work at several independent, cruelty-free beauty brands under the guidance of the amazing women who started these companies. These women blended, mixed, and tested their ingredients and products themselves to avoid the possibility of their products having been tested on animals at any step of the production process. They were determined to follow their dreams while ensuring animal cruelty and suffering were left out of the equation.
It was through these experiences and the passion that these women had that I made the leap to move into animal welfare full-time, expanding my advocacy to wildlife and farmed animals. I am constantly inspired by all the women I work alongside each day as we fight for animals everywhere.
Lindsay Oliver, Executive Director
So much progress for animals has been driven by fierce women. I’m inspired daily by the incredible women on our team and their determination to create real and lasting change for animals.
Animals are often the forgotten or hidden victims in our world. We live in a society that sterilizes their suffering and exploitation. Packaging in grocery stores with pretty labels flaunting words like “humane.” Roadside zoos ripping babies from their parents and making promises they could never keep. As a former undercover investigator, I’ve seen firsthand how horribly we treat animals in places like factory farms, zoos, and circuses. It takes all of us to fight for them and change their story from one of suffering to one of freedom.
Liz Quick-Corral, Director of Development
I am proud to be able to work with supporters across the US in my role at World Animal Protection in helping them connect to and provide resources for suffering animals. I truly believe the fight to end animal cruelty is a big one, and we need as many voices speaking up for them as we can.
My journey in animal welfare started as an accident. At the recommendation of a doctor, I tried to incorporate more plant-based foods into my diet nearly ten years ago. What started as a health choice quickly changed into a compassionate choice when I learned about the large-scale suffering that millions of farmed animals endure in our cruel factory farm systems. Once I started learning, I couldn’t stop, and I felt moved to align my personal passions with my career. I know we all have an animal that sticks out to us that we have known in our lifetimes, and I think these animals serve as a reminder that we can create a kinder future for those we share our planet with.