Supporter spotlight: What inspires Heidi and Michael to leave a legacy protecting animals?
“We are among the many people out there that want the kind of world we live in to be one in which the vulnerable are protected, not exploited.”
Heidi and her husband, Michael, have long believed that every animal deserves a life worth living and have a strong philosophy when it comes to the welfare of animals.
Heidi explains: “Michael and I have been intensely concerned about animal welfare all of our lives. We find the violence, physical and psychological abuse, and general lack of compassion for animals that is considered acceptable in our society appalling. More and more scientific studies demonstrate (and anyone who has had a pet already knows) that animals have distinct personalities and have emotional responses and needs similar to ours.”
Heidi and Michael’s love and respect for all animals developed early on in their lives. As young adults, their growing awareness of the suffering of animals, particularly in agriculture, led them to adopt a vegan diet which they still maintain today within a healthy and highly active lifestyle. Their wholistic approach to animal welfare also applies to the care of their pets.
Heidi and Michael adopted their cat, Calli, from a shelter at age two and she was a beloved member of their family until she passed away at the age of 15. Heidi tells us: “Calli was a shining example of a healthy and happy vegan cat. We didn’t want to care for one animal by harming another. Fortunately, other like-minded people have developed ways to allow us to keep our carnivorous pets healthy and happy without harming other animals. Thanks to these efforts, there is now vegan pet food available that is both nutritionally complete and that pets like to eat”.
Heidi and Michael’s vision of creating a kinder world led them to become World Animal Protection donors. “World Animal Protection advocates compassion for all animals, wild and domestic alike, and takes action on specific animal welfare causes that are important to us.”
Pictured: Heidi and Michael with Calli, their vegan cat.
Heidi and Michael made their first gift in 2007 and continue to support World Animal Protection with annual gifts. These compassionate donors also step up to save animals when urgent needs arise, like our emergency appeal to help animals affected by the Australian bushfires.
“Animals cannot speak for themselves or defend themselves in today’s world; they are vulnerable and we are among the many people out there that want the kind of world we live in to be one in which the vulnerable are protected, not exploited. World Animal Protection provides help and protection for animals on our behalf.”
Recently, Heidi and Michael became World Animal Guardians by including World Animal Protection as a beneficiary in their Wills. They wanted to ensure that their support for World Animal Protection will continue and become part of their meaningful legacy.
“I hope our gift will do two things” Heidi tell us, “directly help animals in need and increase awareness in our society of animal suffering, which will encourage greater compassion for all animals, not just our pets”.
As Animal Guardians, Heidi and Michael will continue to stand up for animals, both wild and domestic. We asked Heidi and Michael what they would tell anyone who may be thinking about leaving a charitable gift in their Will: “Consider the lives that are too often discounted as unimportant or considered only in terms of human benefit; the lives that are just as beautiful, unique, vibrant, deserving, and aware as ours.”
We are grateful to Heidi, Michael, and all of our supporters. Your contributions help us keep fighting to create a brighter future for all animals.