It is wholly thanks to the commitment of the Voiceless gift-giving community that we continue to educate and inspire the next generation to create a kinder world for animals. Voiceless rely on the generosity of our donors and we simply could not do this work without them.
When Rosie Williams speaks about the human-animal relationship, her empathy is palpable. We sat down for a Q&A to find out what inspires her to donate to Voiceless.
What was the catalyst for your interest in animal protection?
I don’t think there was a single catalyst. More like a cascade over the course of my life. Very simply, I believe we should look after each other. And when I say ‘other’, I mean other creatures and not just creatures that look like us. We have a duty of care to hopefully prevent suffering, but where that is not possible, then at least to alleviate suffering whenever we can. I think that kind of caring is part of what it is to be human.
What inspired your gift to Voiceless?
Years ago, my son Oscar asked me if I knew what happened to many of the male calves of dairy cows. I didn’t know. I hadn’t thought about it. Two things are salient about that anecdote. Firstly, there is the abhorrent practice of separating and killing the calves, and then there was my ignorance of it. And I was ignorant purely because I hadn’t bothered to think about the significance of a lactating cow. I don’t want to ever be as thoughtless in terms of animal suffering again. And Voiceless is the vehicle through which I achieve that aim; hence our gift.
And in your opinion, what role does education play in the protection of animals long term?
I think the most crucial aspect of education around the protection of animals, is the ability of early education to circumvent the accepted norms of much of contemporary society. It’s important that kids engage directly with the concept of animal protection because if they can understand the part that we play then we can avoid so many of the issues that animals are facing currently.
What do you see as the most important changes needed to ensure our vision of a respectful and compassionate world for animals?
I think the most important change that we could make is a change in our conception of what an animal is. If we could understand and accept that other animals are our fellow creatures, then perhaps we would be more inclined to treat animals with the respect and compassion we wish for ourselves.