Sharon Gannon and David Life
Sharon Gannon and David Life are another amazing duo, who have created an institution that has changed a multitude of lives. For those out there who do not know of this pair, Gannon and Life created the Jivamukti Yoga Method -- "a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings." The core philosophy of Jivamukti Yoga is expressed through five tenets, one of them being Ahimsa. Ahimsa, "[a] nonviolent, compassionate lifestyle extending to other animals, the environment and all living beings, emphasizing ethical vegetarianism (veganism) and animal rights," -- whether you practice yoga or not -- is a message of peace we should all strive for. Through their unique approach to yoga, Gannon and Life have influenced many individuals who have walked through their doors since 1984 to adopt a compassionate lifestyle, and have in the process saved the lives of an incalculable number of farmed animals.
It's impossible not to mention Wayne Pacelle when making a list of those fighting for freedom for non-humans. Wayne Pacelle is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of The United States, the nation's largest animal welfare organization. I had the pleasure of taking a graduate class with Wayne, "Animals in the Economy," that was one of the most educational and inspiring classes of my life. How he had time to teach a grad school class is beyond me, but that's why he is so inspirational. Wayne -- who has gotten more than 500 new state laws and 25 federal statutes passed that help protect non-human animals since 2005, like the hugely important victory eliminating an amendment proposed in the 2013 Farm Bill that would have nullified many state farm-animal protection laws -- knows the importance of creating more educated activists so that exponentially more non-human animals will someday enjoy the freedom they deserve.