My love for animals began at an early age. Born and raised in Ontario, I encountered my turning point moment with animals when I was ten years old and went to a zoo camp.

Seeing animals cruelly crammed into tight spaces, I vowed to make it my mission to advocate for these incredible creatures.

Since beginning my career in politics and animal welfare, I led campaigns to pass legislation to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears, end the captivity of whales and dolphins for entertainment, and ban the cruel shark fin trade. Further, I assisted in the shut down of three dog meat farms and a cruel roadside zoo.

I have witnessed some of the worst cruelty to animals imaginable. But I also see so much hope. We all have our own special relationships to animals; whether it’s our pet dog or majestic wildlife we admire from afar.

I started “The Humane Education, One Dialogue” (T.H.E.O.D) project with the objective to promote animals’ humane treatment and to alleviate animal suffering on a grand scale.

T.H.E.O.D. is named after my shih-tzu mix rescue dog Theodore. Theodore came from a past of abuse and neglect, He experienced things that he should have never experienced. I feel so grateful to have him in my life. Even after everything he has been through, he is forgiving and loves so unconditionally.

My project facilitates conversations focusing on promoting animal welfare at a school level. My vision is to one day weave the animal welfare education into existing primary and secondary school systems.  This includes encouraging schools to start animal kindness clubs to spread the message.

Animal welfare is closely aligned with human health. The source of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is widely believed to be a wet market in Wuhan where both dead and live animals were sold. When animals are stressed and crammed in crowded, unsanitary conditions, it creates a breeding ground for the development and spread of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

These conditions for animals exist globally, even in Canada, and it’s time to end it.

Thank you for supporting my vision for a more humane world through humane education!

Julie MacInnes, Miss Gatineau World

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