“To change the world, my friend Sancho, isn’t madness nor utopia. It’s justice.” Miguel de Cervantes, ״Don Quixote״
“I want to collapse the distance between humanity and the natural world; I want to introduce and reinforce the idea that all life is entangled and connected and enmeshed,” says writer Talia Lakshmi Kolluri.
“Nature’s magnificence is all around us. Savor and protect it.” Ed Yong, author of "An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us"
“Every inch of ground on this earth has seen unfathomable suffering. There is no inch of earth not soaked in suffering, but there is also no inch of earth which is not soaked in joy and beauty and radiance.” Jane Hirshfield
“I am certain of one thing as I sit in my pew. If I have a soul, and I think I do, an octopus has a soul, too.” Sy Montgomery, “The Soul of an Octopus"
Vision: Humans regard animals as sentient and unique beings who possess their own capabilities and live free from human exploitation
Alongside presenting the stark reality of the horrors animals experience on factory farms and other exploitative industries—the destruction, the cruelty, the everyday atrocities, Arukah, an arts-centered animal-protection organization, aims to stretch our imagination in a critical and revelatory way, as a revolutionary, world-envisioning, joyful and exhilarating embrace of the wondrous nature of other species.
As the poets and philosophers tell us, we need to live in ways that inspire our ability to shift and shape our perceptions, to see differently the world around us, the larger-than-human world, to evolve, to insist on the freedom to change our lives, to live with a kind of openness and a sense of interdependence to empathize deeply with all who live among us.
More-than-human animals possess fascinatingly complex emotions and sophisticated minds. There are the profound familial bonds and love and friendship, culture, language, personalities, abilities, intelligence, the remarkable inner worlds, and ways of perceiving the world. All we humans need to do is pay attention and try to imagine and feel what a pig feels, what a cow feels, chickens, turkeys, sheep, fishes, living their lives.
What stories do they tell each other and what do those stories say about who we are as humans? What do pigs, outrageously exuberant and high-spirited, when living freely and in the fullness of life, chat with each other about in feisty oinks, grunts, squeals, and “nuff nuff” sounds? What do they communicate when imprisoned in the stygian abyss of factory farms?
Let us become a universe of majestic, magnificent, soaring actions. What are we capable of creating together through pledges, investigations, films, stories, poetry, photography, initiatives, drawings, essays, illustrations, paintings, celebrating and mourning and illuminating and doing?
MEET THE TEAM
Anything Is Possible
Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals
A teacher, author of several books, journalist, and civil-rights activist, Dr. Beals was one of nine Black students among the first to integrate Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, known as the “Little Rock Nine.” Her best-selling, award-winning book, “Warriors Don’t Cry,” tells the story of her historic act of resistance. In 1999, Congress awarded Dr. Beals the Congressional Gold Medal for contributions to the civil-rights movement. She believes fervently in extending justice to all species.
Tenzin was born in China's Chinese Communist Party-occupied Tibet. He escaped to India and emigrated to the US in 1999. Tenzin is a librarian at the University of Virginia, and teaches Eastern religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Zen Buddhism at Piedmont Virginia Community College. He traveled to Ukraine in 2022 to help human and animal victims of the war.
A specialist in employment law, Gina is an attorney who uses her voice to help those who don't have one and became an Arukah board member to do the same for animals. She is vegan out of a deep respect for all individual beings. Her constant companion is a dog called Goose, who was rescued from the streets of Mexico. The National Association of Professional Women named Gina Woman of the Year 2014.
President & Executive Director
The founder of Arukah and previously a writer for award-winning publications, Robin formerly co-founded an international alliance of animal-protection organizations working to oppose the dog meat trade. She has performed undercover investigations and written extensively about animal lives, both heartbreaking and exhilarating, as well as co-produced several videos. One Green Planet honored Robin as one of its ten animal-rights heroes you may never heard of but should know.
Gregg is a consultant for animal charities worldwide including Arukah, as well as the Executive Director - Romania of Save the Dogs. After earning a Ph.D. in Biology, he went to Nepal as the acting Executive Director of the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre. As the CEO of Soi Dog Foundation, the largest animal protection organization in Southeast Asia, he led it through a phase of rapid growth. He then became the CEO of PASA, the largest association of wildlife centers in Africa.
Jennifer is an expert on nonprofit compliance and operations serving over 3,500 unique customers during the past 15 years. She combines her love of writing, mentorship, and budgeting to empower nonprofits with tools for success. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations/Journalism and Minor in Business from Pacific Union College.
Dorit Jordan Dotan
Visual Artist, Web designer
Dorit's work is an expression of her social/political views, which call attention to complex cultural issues. Her fine art photography and new media are a daring exploration into larger ideas about social transformations and community. A vegan and an activist for animal rights, Dorit documents the suffering of animals to raise awareness of their plight. She has exhibited her work in the US, Canada, Europe, and Israel.
Director of Visual Communications
An animal advocate and photographer, Marc’s art includes “Just Married,” “Time in Havana,” and the multimedia iBook “What Will I Find?”
His photographs have appeared at exhibitions “i am. an immigrant” in Berlin, the UK-based Web gallery “Eighteen39,” and the SE Center for Photography. Marc has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, NBC, and DownBeat, among many others.
Director of Special Initiatives
Zahava is deeply committed to animal advocacy. In her blog, I’m an animal too, she promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle. Zahava was director of scientific research at In Defense of Animals, and a scientist and regulatory specialist at Abbott Laboratories. She holds a Master of Science degree in Agriculture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Youth Coalition Coordinator
An ardent animal rights advocate and vegan, Sydney works to influence others to change the way they look at animal agriculture. She is studying nutrition in college, with the goal of becoming a vegan chef. With Arukah, she is focused on building social media and creating a youth coalition.