Following on from the terrible news today about the death of Eco Warrior Polly Higgins https://worldanimalsvoice.com/2019/04/25/eco-warrior-polly-higgins-has-died/ – I want to share a tribute to a personal friend and fellow live export campaigner.
Read the tribute from CIWF, London:
We are deeply saddened to share the tragic news that our friend and former staff member, John Callaghan has passed away.
John served throughout much of the 1990s as our Education Director and produced some excellent educational books on farm animal welfare. But, like all our senior staff, he played a major campaigning role during the mid-nineties when the live animal export protests were at their height.
Shoreham became a key export location when exports were banned at Dover and John became known as ‘Mr Shoreham’. He was regularly down at the dockside, leading the protests with energy and passion. One of our major supporters wrote to us recently saying:
“John was the loveliest person and an inspiration to me and many others. It was his wonderful self-deprecating humour that drew us in to the whole animal welfare world when we met him at Shoreham all those years ago.”
A wonderful communicator, he shared his expertise and love of animal welfare both via the media and by inspiring many people to support the fight for a better life for animals.
After a stint working for World Animal Protection, John returned to us in early 2007 as Director of Programmes and Deputy CEO and we welcomed back his commitment and experience. He left in 2010 and moved back to Somerset to be near to his family.
Those of us who worked with him will always remember his dedication, his gentle heart and wonderful humour.
I (Mark) had the immense pleasure of knowing John for many years. I did some work with him in the Netherlands in the mid 90’s when we took the CIWF exhibition truck all over the NL on the issue of intensive farming and live calf exports. As British calves were being exported to the NL at the time; we took some time out of our schedule to ‘sniff around’ and find out a little more about places they were being sent to.
John often used to hitch a ride in my car which I had taken to the Netherlands as part of the job. We shared many hours on the road; laughing, talking and generally trying to have a good time in work that we both knew the live animal export business caused immense suffering to – innocent, sentient beings.
As the CIWF tribute above says, I will always remember John as the most kind, humorous guy you could ever wish to meet – his dedication to animal welfare was 110%.
As Venus says with her post on Polly Higgins;
Why do the good, useful and hopeful people go out of the life so early?
And the assholes, the torturers, the criminals live long and have so much time to destroy life and nature?
This is an injustice that we experience more often and that offends us deeply.
True, very true. John also went far too early. I knew his son (John Jnr) also; and my condolences go out to him at this sad time.
RIP John- and thank you for all you did to improve the lives of all animals.
Here is a photo of John (man in the middle) I took many years ago at the EU in Brussels – a live export demo of all things – veal calves and veal crates !
… and (below); me in the Netherlands with the CIWF Tour Truck covering all aspects of intensive farming. Note free range chickens !